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Saturday, 6 August 2011

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Lanka has quality IT experts

Profile

* Full name - Shiraz Lye
* School attended - Wesley College
* Civil Status - Married
* Date of Birth - September 6
* Favourite sports - rugby, swimming, chess
* Educational Qualifications - MBA, CIM. Executive Diploma in Management


IFS is a public company founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology.

IFS focuses on agile businesses where any of four core processes are strategic: service and asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and project.

The company has a large number of customers and is present in more than 50 countries with thousands of employees in total.

At IFS, being global means never being far away. Through solid industry knowledge and customer participation in product development, they always stay close to the changing reality of customers. And with a large number of support centers all over the world, help is always near.

IFS Applications is a global product with a truly global organization to implement it. More than 50 offices around the globe and a worldwide infrastructure for services and support make IFS a reliable partner in global implementation projects.

Daily News Business interviewed IFS Sales and Marketing South Asia Director Shiraz Lye for this week’s column.

Here are the excerpts of the interview.


IFS South Asia Sales and Marketing Director Shiraz Lye. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

Q: Could you give us an overview of how you entered this industry and how you came to this position?

I started my career in many industries such as business equipment, dairy, FMCG, renewable energy. Then I moved into the marketing field in IFS. After gaining experience in these industries, I wanted to move into an industry which is fast paced, has high involvement and a bit more into technological side.

I did skim through many sectors and was amazed of the IT industry and within it I took sometime to select which sector to put myself into the business applications or enterprise applications market is enormous and ever changing with enough growth scope to me, the company and a country as a whole.

After realizing the potential I got on board a perfect organization which basically had the same values, beliefs, culture, and the product offering which I was looking for and needed at the time when I was entering a totally new industry.

Handling a region and two broad aspects of an organization such as sales and marketing need lots of freedom of movement, different and robust thinking, support, power and authority which I got from the day one. The organization grew threefolds from the date I joined and I grew with it.

Q: What is your personal thought on the present situation of your industry in Sri Lanka?

IT as a industry has been in Sri Lanka more than 30 years and it has been really growing at a very fast pace over the last few years. The present government has accorded high priority to the IT sector. Many people today know how to use computers and thousands of jobs have been created in this field.

These things are happening at a rapid pace and opportunities have grown now.

Q: What are the opportunities you see in the industry today?

Information technology is the one of fastest growing segments in the economy and thousands of job opportunities will be created from the industry.

At least 5,000 graduates pass out every year from universities and it could not meet the growing demand for employment. Our experts are more flexible and quality wise they are much superior to other countries.

According to the IFS President Sri Lankan quality is very high. They still want to invest here. IFS setup here during the peak of war as a result of high quality. They also appreciate the English language skills in Sri Lanka too.

Q: What are the latest trends you see in the industry today?

Every home and school is equipped with computer in the present age, as information technology occupies a prominent place in our lives. Now the government has also realized the importance of IT under the Mahinda Chinthana policies.

Every home and school is equipped with computer now, as information technology occupies a prominent place in our lives

We see the dimension of Sri Lanka and new trends.

Today more and more people are using laptop computers and more often we see people carrying laptop computers and use them both at home and office.

People are also able to make internet calls between Facebook and Skype in the modern world. Computers are also an essential part of everyday life. Around the globe, children often use computers from a very young age.

Q: Looking at global trends, in which direction can you see it going and how Sri Lanka can benefit from this?

IT needs to be applied in government institutes for the country to move forward.

IT is a big industry and it can play a bigger role in the Sri Lankan economy. Also we need more resources including IT graduates to develop the industry.

My suggestion is to increase the number of IT graduates in the country instead of arts graduates.

Q: What is your greatest achievement in life?

I have participated in a renewable energy project during the time of the tsunami that benefited a large number of underprivileged in the North and East provinces. So far it is the largest renewable energy project in the country. It is my greatest achievement in life.

Q: What are your interests and hobbies?

I love playing rugby and watching movies with my family members.

Q: Where would you like to spend your holidays?

I would like to spend my holidays in Habarana, Arugam Bay and elsewhere I like any cities in Europe.

Q: What is your motto in life?

“Just do it and do it right the first time”.

Q: What sort of investment plan does your company have in mind in Sri Lanka?

IFS is known as a research and development centre in Sri Lanka. Now a lot of companies have identified issues relating to the IT. IFS provides solutions to many of these organizational issues.

We have plans to expand the resource base considerably within the next three years. We are looking at centralizing global support activities to Sri Lanka discontinuing the existing teams in other countries.

Also expanding the consultants, business analysts base in the country in meeting the resource demand within IFS projects across 50 countries.

These consultants are exported at US $ 500 to 750 per day which is a considerable revenue source to the country. We are one of the few that do not send a single dollar out of the country. Money retained here is paid as salaries for our 700 plus software specialists.

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