“Sri Lanka Go Digital”, an industry driven program initiated by ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) to empower entrepreneurs for the digitizing of the SME sector in Sri Lanka, launched its digital series as back-to-back programs conducted within a space of 5 days; in two historical initiatives for enterprises in the Galle and Hambantota districts. To more than 90% of businesses in both districts, this was the first of its kind digital experience, coming together in an online platform.
It was mind blowing to witness commitment by interested businesses over-subscribing, which is evidence to prove that the overall vision of this nation and a key objective of Sri Lanka Go Digital program, “Towards a Digital Economy” is real and achievable!
The back-to-back programs enlightened and empowered 100+ businesses from the 02 districts with a wealth of knowledge on the importance of embracing digital technologies to uplift their businesses, and took active part in the digital series conducted last week. These enterprises are representing more than 10 primary domestic industries in the form of agriculture, retail/trade, hospitality sector, processed food, spices, garments, gems & jewelry, automobile etc. that are encouraged to integrate technology to participate in the digital economy, by way of expanding their products/services to cater to the export markets.
Overall, over 200 businesses were touched and the message about the vital importance of digitization in the post covid era was spread across, while all these potential businesses, interested in being part of the digitization journey are in the network to continue follow up engagements initiated by the Sri Lanka Go Digital program in partnership with the implementing partners on the ground. The customized initiatives tailor-made to cater to the diverse demands of the target businesses in the 02 districts but in-line with the overall scope of the program going on virtual mode, was totally a different experience.
Starting from the initial planning discussions back in April 2020 with the different implementing and supporting partners in Galle and Hambantota, assessing & scrutinizing the interested businesses, conceptualizing & designing the structure and content of the initiatives, creating awareness & propagating the message, setting the guidelines & facilitating the online platform to managing the successful implementation and post follow up, were all done digitally for the first time in its history.
Another significant highlight to note, was the active participation of the younger generation and the representation by female led businesses. Thus the tailor-made sessions included not just plenary sessions focusing on enlightening with knowledge, but also demonstrations, introduction of a digital freebie in the form of possessing an ecommerce site and a hands-on experience to adopt digital marketing tools etc.
Galle District Chamber of Commerce, T&D Associates & Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce played vital roles as on-the-ground partners of the 02 programs, Facebook as a training partner while the resource experts; Amithe Gamage, business coach & social media selling expert and Dhanika Perera, founder – Bhasha Lanka (Pvt) Ltd enlightened the enterprises giving practical guidance for embracing digital and the prosperity of businesses.