IFS plans more investments in Sri Lanka, undeterred by uncertainty

ECONOMYNEXT- IFS, a Swedish ICT company with a majority of software development based in Sri Lanka, is planning major investments in Sri Lanka after a record quarter, top officials said.

"We’re growing quickly, outperforming our industry peers, and we are using that growth to invest in our businesses and the communities we operate in," IFS Asia-Pacific & Japan, Middle East & Africa Regional President Stephen Keys said.

The IFS labs in Colombo are experimenting on cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence, digital twins, holograms and drones to drive future growth, he said.

The firm remained tight-lipped about the actual number they will invest in the country.

The current political uncertainty will not affect IFS’ appetite for investment in Sri Lanka, as the firm has a 21-year history in the country, and will look at the longer term, Research & Development Senior Vice President Thomas Säld said.

Sri Lanka is the firm’s largest operation, with 1,100 employees in Colombo and Kandy, which form a third of its global workforce.

Around 60 percent of IFS’ software development and 80 percent of support services are done in the country.

The research and development arm in the firm’s home country Sweden is just 40 percent the size of Sri Lanka.

"We won’t be able to provide our world class solutions today without our operations in Sri Lanka," Keys said.

This is achieved through close relationships with local universities and talent pool, with IFS working to change local curricula as well, he said.





The recent quarter has been one of the best ever for the company, Keys said.

He said IFS’ global revenue grew 28 percent from a year earlier to $143 million in the September quarter on licensing revenue which grew 53 percent.

Licensing revenue growth was supported by a new interest among clients in moving to cloud solutions, he said.

"Cloud and software service revenue grew 6 times. It sounds like a higher number but it’s off a relatively lower base. But people are looking to change quickly," he said.

In the past, cloud revenue had grown in single digits, and the current trends are applicable to the industry as well, Keys said. (Colombo/Nov09/2018)

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