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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Language Space

Lanka Business Online 13/07/2011

Sri Lanka outsource firm chief: English fluency need is a fallacy
July 13, 2011 (LBO) - A view that Sri Lanka's information technology and business process outsourcing industry needs only workers who are fluent in English is a "fallacy" the head of a firm catering to the European market said.
Mano Sekeram, chief executive of Eurocentre, a software engineering firm said, in most countries with which his firm had dealings, English was not the first language.
"It is about engineering services, it is about maths," Sekaram told an economic forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka's largest business grouping, last week.

"So this fallacy of needing English as a predominant thing in the IT/BPO industry is nonsense."
Sekaram said his firm worked closely with universities and his also constantly engaged training and human resource development.
"If you look at the overall strategy we are looking for quality," Sekaram said. "Quality means they have a very good education, they understand concepts very well, and they are able to extract things."
"The best guys in my company come from rural Sri Lanka. Eighty percent of the software industry comes from rural Sri Lanka. And that is where the talent is, just like our cricket team."

Sri Lanka is not active in the voice BPO market to countries like the US, where different states speak English with different accents.

Sri Lanka however plays in the knowledge process outsourcing business, where English is needed. Sri Lanka's education system however teaches English, though for many years it has been a grammar oriented rather than based on promoting speech.

In universities courses like engineering and medicine is taught in English even now.

In general people with so-called soft-skills including knowledge of an international language can progress easier in management, marketing and customer service areas, and have more opportunities for mobility