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Why ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and why NOW?

Lahiru Pathmalal's picture

“If you think the most important thing you need at a startup is capital, you will be wrong. It’s the wealth of mentoring and handholding you will have getting your business up and running.”

I have been asked to write a few paragraphs on the use of ICT for creating jobs and solutions in Sri Lanka. Even though I am an entrepreneur of an upstart, the question really stumped me. Why? As an entrepreneur my main objective is to establish a profitable business venture guided by some core values; this question has made me rethink where ICT stands in the context of job creation and solutions.

Well, the short answer to the first question is YES. It creates jobs; in the short time we have been in operation we have seen rapid growth and have hired several people to join our team. In the future we will continue to need additional staff as we expand our operations. One can argue that through job creation, our site is playing a role in alleviating unemployment and thus a part of the solution. But, ICT can offer Sri Lanka so much more.

We should embrace ICT because helps us save time and money and this is essentially why I wanted to forge in to the ICT field. We created one of the largest sites of its kind two months and made a platform that caters to anyone in Sri Lanka! This we could not do under a traditional retail model, not with the kind of capital we were investing.

I know the term globalization does not get used much these days, but one of the major reasons globalization has quickened its pace and continues to do so, is because of ICT. ICT helps people communicate faster and cheaper than ever before. This also means that people now have more information at their fingertips than in any time of human history. Just the other day I heard that an average person has more access to information than the President of the United States did back in 1995, and that’s only 13 years ago!

A problem can be defined as something that is difficult to achieve or accomplish, ICT in the broadest sense, helps in creating solutions every moment of every day. What ICT does is help us find solutions faster, either through helping us dig for solutions already out there or helping us communicate to find answers together.

Additionally, the costs associated with ICT has come down dramatically. Technology in the field has grown and left every other industry in the Stone Age. For instance, had the combustion engine technology kept up with the ICT industry since the 1960’s, 4 liters of fuel would suffice to take us around the world!

Thus to sum I would say this. Embracing the ICT field is a must in meeting the future needs of the country and the world. Nothing is as accessible as technology nor comes at a cheaper rate. The technologies and the service sector that is developed in the ICT field will create jobs and be the engine that powers the economy for many years to come.

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