ECONOMYNEXT – US-based John Wiley and Sons Inc, a research and education publisher, is on track to make Sri Lanka its top technology centre, with the existing staff to be doubled in 18 months and more added later, officials said.
The Colombo-based software development centre which began operations in 2019 already employs 215 engineers.
“We plant to double the workforce over the next 12 to 18 months, and may add another 200 on top of that,” Aref Matin, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of John Wiley and Sons told reporters in Colombo.
With staff doubled, the Sri Lanka development centre is set to overtake Wiley’s current largest development centre is Russia which has 350 staff.
The company has been mainly hiring experienced staff in the start-up period, and but has started to work with local universities Bimal Gunapala, General Manager of Wiley Global Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, the Colombo based unit said.
The centre is located at the Maga One building in Colombo 05, occupying several floors. The expansion is likely to be done in a second tower, he said.
The company plans to start an internship, scholarship program and start hiring and mentoring fresh graduates,
Wiley global has education and learning management platforms for schools and universities, an online library and has a portfolio or peer reviewed research publications.
A team in Colombo is already managing an education platform in Australia which has over 275,000 users, he said.
Matin said Wiley also had a service where engineers were trained and supplied to a number clients ranging from companies like General Electric to research organizations.
The service is offered in from India.
Sri Lanka was not a country where large numbers running into thousands of engineers could be hired easily, but the talent was of high quality and were good at working in teams, he said.
About 7,000 to 8,000 information technology graduates came out of Sri Lankan universities each year.
With collaborative work, being done from multiple locations, team work skills are vital, Matin said.
Retention rates were higher in Sri Lanka than in India with less staff hopping from one place to the other officials said. (Colombo/Feb12/2020)