Lanka yet to respond positively:
US looking for more local BPO
Several USA companies are keen to offer Business Processing
Outsourcing (BPO) opportunities to Sri Lanka. However Sri Lanka is yet
to respond positively to these ventures said Managing Director, Sri
Lanka, Waquis, Inc, Mahinda Athulthmudali.
He said that BPO provides high paying employment opportunities for
school leavers and there are many US companies who like to do business
with Sri Lanka. The salaries for beginners go as high as Rs 40,000 for
the training period.
Picture by Herbert Perera
Managing Director, Sri Lanka, Waquis, Inc, Mahinda
The high literacy rate, quick turn around time, time difference and
an active work force are some of the key advantages Sri Lanka offers for
the BPO industry.
He said that founder President of Waquis, Inc, Los Angeles, USA, Joe
O’ Neil had been networking through their office in Bangalore 7 years.
“When I invited him to visit Sri Lanka he was amazed about the talent
Sri Lanka offered,” he said.
Waquis, Inc, immediately set up an office in Borella with Mahinda
Athulthmudali with an investment of RS. 40 million and to date they
process around 3,000 assignments a week. “This is all we can handle for
the moment,” he said.
He said that O’Neil was also pleased in the quick manner in which the
BoI approved their project and this is an encouragement for other
Waquis, Inc, in Sri Lanka after setting up business six months ago
handle USA bank loan applications for major banks and also handle
mortgages. “Due to the time difference when a loan application is handed
over to US banks they forward it to us. We go through it in the night
and send it back within half an hour,” he said.
Staff at the Waquis office
A former employee of the Federal government of Canada said that he
wanted to render a service to the motherland and that was why he started
this business. “We would next look at outsourcing annual reports to US
companies and hope to do business with Australia as well,” he said.
Sri Lanka, Waquis, Inc is also looking at opening an office in Matara
Athulthmudali said that one reason for the slow progress in the local
BPO industry is that there is no association and urged people who are
involved in the business to set up one. “When this is done more can get
in to the business and the country can benefit,” he said.
He said that one gray area they face in the industry is the high
charges for leased lines and the lack of backup in case of a failure in
“The delay in VAT refunds is another problem we face and we suggest
that the authorities should try to introduce a credit card which would
give the VAT balance in it. This we can produced to customs and other
authorities,” he said.