Plugged In

Global banking giant HSBC Group opened its US$ 31 million call centre operation in Sri Lanka Tuesday, as local financial markets dived on news that seven soldiers had died following early morning landmine explosion in the North. Global banking giant HSBC Group opened its US$ 31 million call centre operation in Sri Lanka Tuesday, as local financial markets dived on news that seven soldiers had died following early morning landmine explosion in the North. Sri Lanka had to beat off serious contenders like India to clinch the HSBC deal and secure its place as a serious contender in the global call centre business.

Situated near the Chandra Silva stadium in Kotte, the call centre and back office unit is one of the largest such operation in Sri Lanka employing nearly 3,000 people.

The unit has 1,666 desks, and currently employs 1,326 people, mostly doing back office work for the bank’s various branches worldwide.

“Sri Lanka is a very challenging market and we expect things to grow in 2006,” said Alan Burton, Managing Director of HSBC Electronic Data Processing Centre.

HSBC has eleven similar operations in five countries employing over 19,000 people.

The local business processing business (BPO) is roughly a US