The Australia-based global tech consultancy founded by Howard HillEsbrand has an audacious and workable plan to help transform Sri Lanka into an AI Powerhouse.
BCS Technology International is an award-winning, fast-growing global tech consultancy that provides business solutions that leverage next-generation technologies like AI, Analytics, Blockchain, and Cloud. Started by Howard Hill-Esbrand in 2001, the company has a presence in nine regions with offices in Australia, Mexico, Canada, USA, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Guyana. In 2022, BCS Technology entered Sri Lanka to drive its next phase of growth and expansion.
“We have a unique proposition for Sri Lanka,” Howard says, “and I believe it is a good one!”
With the active intervention of BCS, he envisions for Sri Lanka to be the ‘AI Powerhouse’ initially in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and eventually for the world. “Bold as the claim sounds,” Howard explains, “we possess a clear-cut strategy and the required experience and expertise to achieve this objective. And, importantly, we have absolute faith in Sri Lanka.” Excerpts of the interview are as follows:
Can you walk us through the journey of BCS Technology so far? From the roots of inception towards ascension to an award-winning tech consulting firm?
I worked in the IT industry for over 20 years in various management positions in large Australian companies, before following my dreams and starting BCS Technology in 2001. I started the company after identifying a gap in the market for software development specialists who could support the aviation industry. From there, our brand has grown to support most low-cost carriers across the globe. The initial focus on servicing the aviation industry opened new opportunities for us to expand into areas that lacked innovation by building rigorous and quality-driven processes that resonated with brands across multiple industries.
We continued to gain partners, which eventually led to specialized training, support and development from the largest companies in the world in computer software, big data and analytics, AI, blockchain and cloud computing.
With the change in global IT trends and growing demand for more dynamic, holistic and 360-degree technology solutions/interventions, we went through a complete transformation from a software-related services company to a fully-fledged Digital Transformations Partner specializing in delivering tailor-made, robust technology solutions globally.
This shift in mindset and approach was crucial, helping us to tap into other market segments such as FMCG, hospitality and finance, partnering with global corporate giants. By driving exponential growth and accelerating the tech evolutions of our partners, BCS Technology has validated its position at the forefront of the technological wave of the 21st century. And now we are here in Sri Lanka! I am happy to say that we have big plans to position Sri Lanka among the top technology hubs in the world.
Please shed some light on the thought process behind your plans to position Sri Lanka among the leading technology hubs in the world.
There is a vast pool of knowledgeable, innovative, capable and intelligent individuals residing within Sri Lanka to whom we would like to provide a platform to showcase their capabilities and expand and apply their knowledge in AI technology development and engineering in a dynamic environment. We would then like to see this intervention cascade down across multiple operational sectors of the country, such as the educational sector, workforce development and industry development, and open gateways to engage with global knowledge centres, industry leaders and specialists, academics and technology experts from across the world.
In a fast-paced, dynamic work environment like BCS, what can potential recruits from Sri Lanka look forward to in being a part of the organization?
My message to every potential team member is this: If you aspire to be at the forefront of next-gen AI technology or be a changemaker who aspires to reshape an industry while contributing to the country, we are willing to invest in you. BCS Technology will provide the platform to accelerate your professional journey and growth.
We thrive on a very open, welcoming and inclusive culture that fosters employee empowerment, professional growth, learning and development, team building, and employee wellness while ensuring the team has fun!
We believe in absolute professionalism when it comes to delivering projects while equally ensuring that the teams operate with the right spirit and have all the additional support they need to excel in their scope of work.
It is also noteworthy that the BCS employee network is almost 500 strong, spanning nine other regions: Australia, Mexico, Canada, USA, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Guyana, so our employees can expect global exposure from day one and that we consider our regional expansion efforts quite seriously.
What has been the progress focus so far? What are your immediate and long-term objectives?
We have just started setting up the core team here in Sri Lanka and opening up our headquarters in the heart of the commercial hub of Colombo. That marks the start of two strategic yet rigorous journeys in talent acquisition and forming critical partnerships with industry-leading organizations such as SLASSCOM. We will look towards these strategic alignments to help drive awareness and engagement on the AI front and initiate conversations and conferences around the subject no sooner than November 2022.
We will soon provide services to some of our key global accounts from Sri Lanka while investing in creating a portfolio of unique products and services offered directly out of the island nation. In this endeavour, we aim to build a team of 50 in Sri Lanka by the end of this year and triple the headcount by the end of 2023, in line with our regional expansion plans.
As I already mentioned, our overarching objective is to help transform Sri Lanka into an ‘AI Powerhouse’ of the modern world by empowering young, aspiring Sri Lankans to expand their horizons in digital transformations and AI engineering space. Our focus for the next five years is to make transformative technologies such as AI, blockchain and technology optimizations through DevOps + cloud transformation attainable for companies of all sizes and not limited to enterprises alone.