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India’s HCL Technologies looks to hire 1,500 into Sri Lanka unit amid Covid-19

ECONOMYNEXT- India based HCL Technologies, an information technology (IT) service and engineering group which is entering Sri Lanka amid a global Coroanvirus pandemic says it wants to recruit 1500 locals in the coming 18-months.

“We are looking at about 5000 people to be deployed in three to five years and of which 1500 employees will start working in Sri Lanka in the next 18 months,” Srimathi Shivashankar, Corporate Vice President of HCL Technologies told reporters in an online briefing.

HCL operates in 45 countries excluding Sri Lanka, employing around 150,000 people generating a revenue of 9.94 billion US dollars, serving 250 companies of the Fortune 500 and 650 of the Global 2000.

HCL plans to recruit freshers, graduates, and professionals in software engineering, application development, product testing, infrastructure management, and support. HCL will not bring BPO operations to Colombo, officials said.

Covid-19

Sri Lanka’s Board of Investments approved the setting up of HCL Technology unit in Sri Lanka in February 2020 just as Coronavirus pandemic started in China.

Sri Lanka closed airports on March 19 to contain the Coronavirus pandemic but is now re-opening the economy after containing its spread. Sri Lanka has confirmed 1,900 Coronavirus cases with over 900 coming from a Navy base and no new cases have been seen in the rest of the community for over three weeks.

“Amidst all these uncertainties, one thing for certain is that whatever we had committed for growth in Sri Lanka with the BOI’s support will happen as planned,” Shivashankar said.

Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka, said HCL would create well-paid jobs in the knowledge sector and broaden the horizon of young people where they get to work with world-class processes and settings.

“What is also exciting is the fact that Sri Lanka will be opened up in the eyes of Fortune 500 and the Global 2000,” Ratnayake said.

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HCL says that it is providing services to global clients including healthcare firms by quickly scaling-up patient-facing applications, giving more capacity for new clinical trials, as well as building-up IT infrastructure for expanded capacity in hospitals and facilities treating COVID-19 patients.

HCL said it came into Sri Lanka for the talent pool.

Hiring Plan

HCL officials said they have already spoken 1000 IT professionals who wants to join HCL and have hired some engineers already.

HCL said it followed policies of ‘stay rooted’, ‘come back home’ in India where they were given with global opportunities in the country itself rather than migrating.

Other policies include ‘diversity’, focusing on gender mix, and early career programs.

HCL has partnered with Esoft to provide skill-based entry-level IT jobs while students with advance level and Higher National Diplomas (HND) too could join through training programmes.

“We do believe that this the way we can increase the employability aspect in Sri Lanka and align our vision along with the larger vision of BOI and government of Sri Lanka to improve the possibility of the youth to be deployed in the online sector,” Shivashankar said.

HCL Technologies will invest about 10 million US dollars in Sri Lanka but its largest investment right now was in IT equipment.

Shivashankar said that HCL had an idea to build an IT campus in a second phase in which case larger investments would be made.

HCL Technologies is currently operating from an interim office at World Trade Center in Colombo and it will be moving to Orient City in September. (COLOMBO/June17/2020-sb)