Sri Lanka IFC in business skill push through web, mobile

May 30, 2011 (LBO) – International Finance Corporation, World Bank’s private sector arm, Dialog Axiata and IBM Corporation is seeing growing use of a web based business training platform backed by mobile delivery in Sri Lanka, officials said. IFC’s business toolkit developed by IBM has been adapted to Sri Lanka since 2008 targeting small and micro businesses.

“There needs are many, this offering is one that uses technology to deliver knowledge to improve their competiveness,” Anil Sinha, general manager of IFC advisory services in South Asia said.

Officials say the site now has 30,000 users.

“It has areas like accounting, finance, business planning, basic business skills,” Asela Dissanayake, from IFC’s South Asian advisory services unit said.

“It has been customized in Sinhala and Tamil languages.”

Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile firm and an IFC investee firm, has is using mobile to push the platform, using text messages and also physically training people.

Dialog chief Hans Wijayasuriya said about 5,000 people have been trained and plans were on hand to train up to 10,000 people of which 20 percent would from former war torn areas.

Sinha said one shop owner in the former conflict area of Battic