Taking on the World


Even though the country is struggling with an economic crisis, there still are companies that are operating in the country, bringing in valuable foreign currency that helps maintain the country’s economy.

Among the many are the software industry, Sri Lanka’s fourth biggest foreign revenue earning industry and fastest growing in the past couple of years. In fact, demand is so high for IT professionals that many in the industry claim that there aren’t enough graduates each year to keep up with the new job openings.

Sri Lanka is growing fast as a hub for IT in South Asia, once again delivering quality over quantity compared to its rivals in the region. One such organisation that is known for delivering both quality and competitively priced software solutions is none other than Sri Lanka’s Axiata Digital. Labs (ADL) a pioneer in providing digital solutions in the country and beyond.

Ceylon Today had the opportunity to speak to CEO Thushera Kawdawatta to learn more about the company and what sets them apart from the competition.

Could you share the source of inspiration behind forming ADL?

Telecommunications companies are at the forefront of powering digital transformation because they provide connectivity. When we solve problems within, it can often be the same solution to a number of problems in businesses. So the result is more than a product but a solution.

So, we formed directly under the Axiata Group, one of the giants in the South Asian region. We got some of the best of the best to build a team and started exploring different avenues, including Financial Technology (FinTech). All together, we started to see the potential of growing this as a business, and we’ve become one of the fastest growing organisations in the country.

What are some of the organisational philosophies you had in mind when forming ADL?

From day one, we wanted to build an organisation that will last long, will provide opportunities for its employees, to have something for the people that are building that organisation. It’s not just about the growth.but also about being sustainable, that lasts long for people to grow with.

What are some of the highlights in the few years that you have been in operation?

We’ve provided more than 150 digital transformation solutions for our clients, which are not only innovative, but also at a lower cost. We’ve been able to solve their problems with faster, cheaper and more effective solutions.

Beyond that, creating a culture of learning within the organization and being known as a top solutions provider. We’ve even won three global awards.

One of the major achievements you’ve made is your Axiata product suite. Can you elaborate on what it is?

We are unique compared to a typical IT organisation. Usually, they provide either services – you approach the client, you understand the problem, you provide the solution – or provide products. These would often provide solutions to a predefined problem. In ADL, we’ve invested a lot to ensure that the problems we solve in digital transformation can be translated into common solutions. Meaning we provide not only services, but also a suite of products as well.

We’ve made these products available as a complete suite we call Axonect. This lineup of products are catered to solving a comprehensive number of problems. For pretty much every digital transformation area that we are working on, we have a to help accelerate your business to become much more digital savvy in a shorter period of time and at a lower cost.

What is it like working at team ADL?

We have a great team who are not only academically qualified, but are also some of the best in the industry for their field of expertise. But we also realise that technology is changing fast, which is why training and development are a key focus of ours. We’ve invested heavily on this which is why we’ve made a lot of progress in this regard.

We are also adhere to the best practices of the global standard. ADL is CMMI II compliant, one of the first to have achieved CMMI II level 3 compliance. 

With Axiata being a global company, why establish in Sri Lanka?

It’s true, ADL is a global company, but our headquarters is in Sri Lanka. The main reason behind this is because of the unique talent that we have. Instead of volume, we focused our attention on quality. Connecting with the premier universities in the country, we’ve been able to tap into the top notch engineers in the country. If you have the best of the best in the country, then your solutions become the best as well.

What’s in the future for ADL?

It’s becoming clear that speed is the new currency. We need to make sure that digital transformations happen faster. Seeking ways to do this without losing in terms of quality and reliability is our focus at the moment. With the highly competent team that we have, I’m sure we can achieve it.

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage