LEAP Sri Lanka, a regional IT-SME development program was conducted from the 23rd to 25th August at Hotel Topaz, Kandy as a three day residential program. Organised by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the program was a huge success and witnessed the engaging presence of a considerable number of regional tech companies. LEAP was established, bearing on the four pillars; Learn, Engage, Aim, Prosper of regional SMEs to streamline them to expand globally. The program was aimed at augmenting export growth through innovation and entrepreneurship, uplifting the regional level technology companies by assisting them to succeed locally and stimulating them to reach the global market. LEAP Sri Lanka launched its preliminary phase with 30+ C-level officials from 20+ companies across the country.
The three day program comprised networking sessions, personal brand building, business etiquette, analysing business markets and business environments, personal coaching and business communication which inculcated a bulk of valuable knowledge in those who were present at the program. Moreover, an inspirational talk was given by Mr. Indika De Zoysa, Director of Projects at ICTA on “How to boost your potential as an entrepreneur’’. A personal branding session delivered insight with an introduction to and the importance of personal branding, tips and tricks on how to build a personal branding while the business etiquette session shed light on workplace etiquette, meeting etiquettes, business protocol and so on. The business communication session emphasized on improving personal skills, public speaking, phone and email etiquette. The knowledge shared was vital for tech companies to achieve long-term goals and has a bearing on creating a sound working environment.
The initial LEAP Program marked a huge success by acting as a powerful force to support tech companies to succeed at the highest level and received much applause and praise from participants who were keen on having more and more such programs. “We are extremely delighted to be part of LEAP and the learning we have inculcated will support us to take our next steps and further we are eagerly looking forward to attending the follow up workshops,” a CEO of a participant company commented.
The initiative is expected to critically evaluate functions of the business such as building a viable business plan that will help them grow, conduct capacity building workshops and focused trainings identified through a needs assessment, conduct personalized business coaching, connect with markets, access development initiatives to explore and expand into global markets.
The National Exports Strategy (NES) led by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and implemented by the International Trade Centre as a central component of an EU project reiterates the importance of digital business clinics for regional tech companies in order to scale them to grow locally and reach global markets to overall support the industry. With SMEs around the world holding a dominant share of the global economy, it has become a necessity to uplift regional SMEs. Further, it points out the significance of tech companies, their overall impact in achieving national export revenue targets and the prominent role that regional tech companies could play in elevating the ICT industry to the next level.
ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) was jointly supported by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MODSIT), Exports Development Board (EDB) and other industry stakeholders such as Hatton National Bank and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) to make this program a success. This initiative will accelerate the growth of IT-SMEs around the country and will support the overall development of SMEs, which are expected to grasp a massive place in the country’s economy in the years to come.
Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) is the apex government agency for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Sri Lanka, which has been mandated to take all necessary measures to implement the Government’s Policy and Action Plan in relation to ICT. ICTA is a government owned institution formed to implement the government’s e-Sri Lanka development project.