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September 30, 2020

Spotlight on Sri Lanka: Top tech and value in the shadow of India

While India dominates software outsourcing in South Asia, Sri Lanka is home to some of the region’s most skilled developers, offering great value at affordable rates.

If you’re a tea-drinking tech leader, you’ll be interested to know that Sri Lanka not only supplies about a quarter of the world’s tea but generates export revenue of more than $1 billion per year in ICT, business process management and telecommunication services. 

When Accelerance visited this beautiful country, we discovered a large pool of small but savvy software development firms that offer broad service options and solid tech-stack experience. It’s also significantly cheaper to do business here, with rates 15-20% lower than in India.


A tear-shaped island located just south of India, Sri Lanka is one of the most developed countries in South Asia. The island nation’s infrastructure is comparable to India’s; most firms work in Western-quality offices, have fast internet connections and consistent access to electricity. 

For centuries, Sri Lanka played a central role in global culture, becoming extraordinarily wealthy through the spice trade. In the late 16h century, the Portuguese conquered what was then Ceylon before the Dutch took over. The British Empire occupied the entire island in 1815, and remained in control until Sri Lanka won independence in 1948.

English skills are widespread, a legacy of British colonialism, along with the country’s common-law legal system. The British also introduced tea plantations, which remain a cornerstone of the rural economy, although urban areas now focus on garment manufacturing, tourism and tech services.

Taking time to explore Sri Lanka is more than just a perk of on-site visits to an outsourcing partner there – it’s part of a cultural exchange that will become a valuable aspect of your relationship. The more you know about the island and its people, the easier it will be to communicate with your development team and do business effectively.

There are so many stunning historical and natural sites to choose from. Highlights include the Buddhist temples in Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Dambulla; a day trip from the capital Colombo to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage also takes in a tea plantation and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in the former Kingdom of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


You can see wild elephants and crocodiles – even leopards, if you’re lucky – in the national parks of Yala, Wilpattu and Horton Plains.


Do the Beach Thing - Sri Lanka has some fine beaches both on the South and West coasts: spots like Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna are worth a visit.


Best of all, you can bookend your day with Sri Lanka’s delicious and often spicy cuisine, from string hoppers (a type of rice flour and coconut milk pancake) for breakfast, to fish curry for dinner – followed by wattalapam, a traditional coconut custard pudding, for dessert!

Outsource with Confidence with Accelerance

Accelerance travels the world to simplify your search for the best offshore companies – and we remain impressed with what Sri Lanka has to offer. 

Visiting your software development team in person is invaluable to building a good working relationship. With international travel restricted indefinitely, you can have confidence that Accelerance has completed on-site vetting of all the partners in our global network as a key part of the certification process. Virtual meetings and collaboration tools also make it possible to work smoothly and efficiently across the miles.

If you’re interested in outsourcing your software development, contact Accelerance to find out more.

For the latest analysis on outsourcing opportunities throughout South and Southeast Asia, check out our 2021 regional guide.

Andy Hilliard

As CEO, Andy leads and advocates for the globalization and collaboration of great software teams with companies in search of talent, innovation and a globally-distributed extension of their engineering function and culture. Andy founded the ground-breaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa...

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