- To provide affordable financing solutions for sustainable power generation
DFCC Bank has announced that it has formally entered into a partnership with Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM), the apex body representing the information technology (IT)/ business process management (BPM) industry in Sri Lanka, a sector that is one of the top foreign exchange earners for the country.
Given that the industry has been adversely impacted as a result of the present energy crisis, through this partnership, DFCC Bank and SLASSCOM said that they will work together to provide accessible and affordable financing for sustainable power generation for the sector, through special financing schemes, concessionary rates, and other exclusive benefits. With over 420 member companies, encompassing an employee base of 115,000-plus people, SLASSCOM’s membership accounts for approximately 90% of Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry’s export revenue.
The partnership between the two giants was officially entered into with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently, and the occasion was held at the DFCC Bank head office where senior officials from both organisations were present. DFCC Bank PLC Director/CEO Thimal Perera and SLASSCOM Vice Chair Ashique Ali signed on behalf of both entities.
Acknowledging the crucial need for such a scheme at this time, the DFCC Bank Director/CEO said: “Ensuring sustainable, reliable, and even self-sufficient power generation for this sector is essential at this juncture. Thus, we have worked together with SLASSCOM to present the industry with tenable sustainable solutions. Through this arrangement, industry stakeholders can access special financing schemes and preferential interest rates along with a host of other benefits, for investments into sustainable power generation, exclusively from DFCC Bank. This move is also in line with our broader Sustainability Strategy. Since 1988, we have been the pioneering financier in Sri Lanka for sustainable and renewable energy, and we are very pleased to support one of our top foreign exchange-earning industries at this time.”
DFCC Bank began its pioneering journey as a financier of sustainable energy in Sri Lanka in 1988, when it funded a solar PV module assembly plant, along with a plethora of other projects in the decades since, including waste-to-energy projects, wind and solar power generation, hydropower, and Sri Lanka’s first-ever biomass-based combined heat and power project. The bank has also financed countless rooftop solar power generation systems and also pioneered the introduction of standardised power purchasing agreements in Sri Lanka in 1997.
Commenting on the partnership, SLASSCOM Vice Chair Ashique Ali added: “Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM sector is one of the key foreign exchange earners for Sri Lanka with earnings topping $ 1.5 billion in 2021, and projected to reach $ 5 billion by 2025. A large part of the foreign exchange earned is retained in the country, paying for the human capital it employs. This is an industry that has shown resilience throughout the pandemic, and thereafter, the current financial crisis, growing in exports and employment and adopting flexible work arrangements to deliver on its commitments to global clients and investors. The industry has taken the initiative to encourage IT/BPM companies and the workforce to adopt solar energy solutions to overcome electricity supply disruptions. Industrywide adoption will reduce the dependence on the national grid and contribute to reducing the foreign exchange outflow for fuel imports. It is SLASSCOM’s vision to position Sri Lanka as a green destination for the IT/BPM industry. The adoption of sustainable energy sources and looking after employee wellbeing will help us move towards our ESG goals. Thus, as the apex body representing the industry, we are pleased to join hands with DFCC Bank to provide sustainable financing to the industry for solar energy generation and greater energy self-sufficiency.”