With a phenomenal growth
of mobile broadband connections and a rapidly increasing fixed
internet connections, Sri Lanka is fast establishing itself as a
potential regional ICT hub.
According to the statistics released by Telecommunication Regulatory
Commission of Sri Lanka (TRC), the number of mobile broadband
connections has doubled each year since their introduction in the year
2009, registering an average growth of nearly 96.5% during the past
six years. The fixed internet connections too have registered a
praiseworthy growth of 68% although it hasn’t seen as phenomenal a
growth as mobile BB connections have.
Sri Lanka is a 21 million
strong population served by five mobile service providers. In fact,
Fitch Ratings in their last year’s report named Sri Lanka as one of
the most crowded telecom markets in Asia while predicting a
possibility of merger between the weak market players to provide
innovation and facilitate de-regulation.
According to a Central
Bank report, every 100 people in Sri Lanka owns 113 mobile phones and
13 fixed lines by the end of the year 2015. This constant ability to
connect with each other and having access to information at fingertip
is changing the way Sri Lankans work, play and buy as a population.
The latest statistics issued by the Telecommunication Regulatory
Commission of Sri Lanka registers nearly 4 million fixed and mobile
subscribers. However the number of active internet users amounts to
more than 5 million.
With greater access to information comes the ability to make informed
decisions when making purchases. According to the latest market
trends, more and more Sri Lankan consumers research their products
online prior to making purchases while millennials remain the main
consumers of online e-commerce sites. According to the website ranking
provided by alexa.com, the top ten traffic receiving websites in Sri
Lanka include ikman.lk and eBay while global retailer Amazon stands at
a close 12, showing the growing interest in e-commerce among the local
While ecommerce is still a budding industry in Sri Lanka, social media
is taking leaps and strides among the local internet users. Facebook
and YouTube are the second and fourth traffic receivers in the country
and there are 3-3.5 million Facebook account users in Sri Lanka today,
which amounts to nearly 16% of the local population.
The majority of Facebook users, almost 2.8 million in number, are
concentrated on the Western Province of the country and many leading
brands are manipulating this presence to merchandise their products.
Dialog, Mobitel and Ikman.lk are the top Facebook pages with the
highest number of fans while Sri Lankan Airlines, Kapruka, Etisalat
Sri Lanka, Airtel Life and ODEL are some of the leading retailers
utilizing their Facebook fan base to the maximum. Budding fashion
brands like Kelly Felder and Nelu’s use Facebook to launch their
weekly or monthly collection of clothing while others like Drone.lk
promote their products exclusively through Facebook.
On YouTube, Mobitel Sri Lanka, Dialog Axiata and Knowledge Box are
among the leading brand pages with the highest number of subscribers
in Sri Lanka while Etisalat Sri Lanka, Closeup Sri Lanka and Dilmah
Tea too have registered a considerable number of followers. In the
meantime LinkedIn registers 688,000 Sri Lankan users while Instagram
indicates a 60,000 strong reach within Sri Lanka per day.
More and more Sri Lankan corporations including Virtusa, MAS Holdings,
Brandix, WSO2 among others effectively use LinkedIn to drive their
cooperate message to attract new talent to their organizational
structure while distributing their expertise knowledge and company
news to a larger audience. Instagram is the chosen media of many home
based small and medium scale artesian bakers in and around Sri Lankan
suburbs. Businesses like Cake Factory, Bakes by Bella and Yumi cake
promotes their products mainly through Instagram. Sri Lankan Fashion,
home ware and accessory retailers and designers too are maximizing the
ability to visual market their products through Instagram.
connectivity, more and more brands are turning towards digital media
as well as conventional methods to promote their products and the
country has seen some successful digital media campaigns during the
past year. While digital marketing is a growing industry in other
countries in the region like India; Sri Lanka due to its smaller
geographic size is yet to register a growth of remarkable scale.
However with nearly ¼ of local population connected online, marketers,
advertisers as well as corporations can no longer ignore the digital
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