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Chief Executive Officer’s Review

“As the national ICT solutions provider to the nation, we believe that SLT is in a very strong position to act as a key partner in the government’s mission to achieve Smart Sri Lanka”

“At the cusp of a new decade, SLT approached 2019 with a mindset of looking to the future, that of the country and its citizens and SLT’s role in that future. As part of our journey towards a smart Sri Lanka, we have launched the framework and the architecture to drive Digital transformation.”

The roadmap outlines our initiatives to lead and drive the digital transformation of the nation under 14 industry verticals that cover all aspects of the nation’s infrastructural, administrative, and socio-economic processes. The acceleration of our fibre initiative will play a crucial role in the digital transformation and we aim to develop two million fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) ports by 2022, up from the existing 350,000 ports.

Our domestic and global fiber infrastructure is one of our key assets and vital to our journey towards Smart Sri Lanka, as well as our global strategy; we are connected to the world through five submarine cables and are looking to invest in the upcoming SEA-ME-WE 6 submarine cable system. This infrastructure combined with our extensive fibre infrastructure across the island plays a key role in one of the most significant initiatives we launched in 2019.

Xyntac is the global business unit of SLT, our global face. We launched the brand at the International Telecom Week in Atlanta, USA in 2019. Through Xyntac, we are expanding SLT’s income and revenue streams to the global market. We already have the excellent, world class infrastructure and the product portfolio in place to sell wholesale voice and data to the global market. This is important for stimulating our dollar revenue, as our equipment primarily comes from international vendors and forex continues to be one of our biggest challenges. Having a natural hedge scenario in place will help to balance the dollar outflow for the business, hence why international business is crucial to SLT going forward as it holds a lot of opportunities in untapped or underserved markets.

As the national ICT solutions provider to the nation, we believe that SLT is in a very strong position to accomplish this and to be a key partner in the Government’s mission to achieve Smart Sri Lanka. We also believe that a single entity alone is not enough when it comes to the digital transformation of Sri Lanka. To this extent, we believe that the Government should welcome all other operators, vendors, and service providers from around the world to assist the country along on this journey. At SLT, we have been developing our partner ecosystem to bring new products and services and enable new opportunities in the country. We partnered with key cloud players like Microsoft, Oracle, Citrix, and VMware to bring their cloud services to Sri Lanka through our data centres and fibre connectivity. Furthermore, we have also partnered with 27 SME solutions providers to bring “total solutions” to the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) market.

2019 was a year that brought several challenges for SLT and the country as a whole. Industries across the country were impacted by the tragic events that unfolded in the year, the hospitality industry in particular. 2019 being an election year also meant that it was harder to gain traction in key strategic projects to support the Government’s digital transformation and other critical infrastructure development projects in the ICT and digital space. Despite these challenges, SLT was able to grow the business with 5.5% revenue growth to reach LKR 50.0 Bn. in revenue. We did this through an incredibly strong and compelling product portfolio and through effective management of our costs, which only increased by 2.4%. The events of the year had an impact on our budget and targets but nevertheless, the overall results speak to the Company’s resilience and adaptability.

“Our domestic and global fiber infrastructure is one of our key assets and vital to our journey towards Smart Sri Lanka, as well as our global strategy”

We look forward to more stability in the country and a healthier performance in 2020. The new government has already implemented tax cuts and a reduction on the telecommunications levy that will make our services more affordable to our customers and lead to increased consumption, particularly with data. We welcome these initiatives and look forward to working closely with the government to propel the country forward into the digital era.

We will be looking more closely at our consumer segment and identifying how we can serve them better. To this effect, initiatives we previously implemented to increase our resources and focus on customer service will really come into play this year. Therefore, we have declared 2020 as the Company’s Customer Service Year and launch initiatives to further boost efficiencies within the Company. We will enhance the skills and competencies of our customer-facing teams and identify ways to refine our service delivery while maintaining a lower cost structure.

SLT’s journey of digital transformation continues in 2020 and we are ready to take on all that it entails. I would like to thank all those who have helped to make this journey possible this far and thank our stakeholders for continuing to be with us.

K A Kiththi Perera
Chief Executive Officer
3 June 2020