|Softlogic Trading (Pvt) Ltd,
CEO and Director
Technology must reach rural areas fast
The IT industry is very competitive. However, this competition helps
us to move forward with a better and a creative management perspective.
Out of the total population in the country around 85 percent of the
households have televisions where as the penetration for IT is around
Name in full: Roshan Rassool
Civil status: Married, has three
School attended: Wesley College
Sports: Cricket and squash
Professional qualifications: MBA
Hence, there is a huge opportunity for industrialists in the IT
industry, Softlogic Trading (Pvt) Ltd, CEO and Director Roshan Rassool
told Daily News Business.
Excerpts of the interview.
Q: How did you enter the industry?
A: I have been in the industry for 22 years now. During the
time that I left school after higher studies; computing was the buzz and
I personally was fond of computers. The job market also had a good
demand for this field at that time too. I started the career as a
software programmer in a leading automation company.
One day I had to do a presentation to one of the company’s main
clients, while I was doing the presentation my chief has seen me. Having
recognized my marketing skills he and the marketing manager both
encouraged me to continue in sales and marketing. The IT industry is
very interesting since the market and products evolves dramatically and
I am never bored and it is a constant challenge. This is indeed a good
industry to be in.
Q: What are the opportunities available for professionals in
A: Out of the total population in the country around 85
percent of the households have televisions where as the penetration for
IT is around five percent. Hence, there is a huge opportunity for the
industrialists in the IT industry. Our market size is comparatively low
with around 300,000 to 350,000 are sold. However, we see a growing trend
in consumer markets with a growth of 30 to 40 percent, which is
commendable. There is a major shift to mobility. At present mobile
products such as desktop, notebook ratio in the market is around 3:1 and
in two years back it was 5:1. This is a clear indication that the
mobility is accepted by consumers and will be the way forward.
Q: What are the challenges you face in the industry?
A: The IT industry is very competitive. However, this
competition helps us to move forward with a better and a creative
management perspective. It also helps us to improve the value that we
offer to customers. The other challenge is that people are very price
They are more into low priced products, which will only benefit in
the short-term, but in the long-term it is not a good decision. The
after sales support and services are vital and low priced products may
not have this component included.
Q: What strategies should be adopted to uplift the industry?
Softlogic Trading (Pvt) Ltd, CEO and Director Roshan Rassool.
Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
A: The key is to take technology towards the rural areas and
as a corporate engaged in the industry Softlogic Trading is much focused
The Government is taking a major effort in enhancing the ICT
knowledge of the people. The Government designated 2009 as a year of IT
and English as of the end of the conflict was continuing to roll out new
IT and education-related initiatives.
The Government’s e-Sri Lanka, Nenasala, Gamata IT strategies outlines
the country’s vision for information society development and forms the
basis for initiatives related to ICT development. A key measure was the
establishment of the Sri Lanka’s Information and Communication
Technology Association (ICTA), which has led ICT projects on various
fronts. Introducing easy payment schemes in owning a computer for the
public servants will improve the IT knowledge thus it will help to
enhance the efficiency of the public sector and accelerate development
programs of the country.
Q: What is your advice to young entrepreneurs?
A: Always engage in a field that really makes you to perform
your best and what you are passionate at. Hard work, academic
qualifications and smartness of ideas will pay off. Innovative and
creative ideas are a must for entrepreneurs.
Q: Do you think customer orientation is more important to Sri
A: Customer orientation is very important for a company to
move forward. Starting from front office to back office the organization
has to be focused to provide the customers its best.
Q: What is your perception about using Corporate Social
Responsibilities (CSR) as a marketing tool?
A: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was recognized as an
initiative to contribute to the society for organizations to communicate
with society for its existence. This initiative should be passed on to
help the less fortunate people in society. If a company is using CSR,
the company has to be genuine and passionate about it. Although it has
been classified as another activity of realizing the corporate goals, it
is something much more than that. This is an exercise which can create a
pull rather than a push towards the customer if you are honest about it.
Q: What are future plans of the company?
A: Softlogic Trading (Pvt) Ltd, will soon introduce Dell
tablets and a range of mobile products to the Sri Lankan market.
Tablet PC’s are a category of equipment between a smart phone and a
notebook. Customers who are looking at web surfing, mail and
entertainment such as music, photos and podcasts will be key users.
In Sri Lanka this is a new category and this segment will have to be
developed. We are forecasting that the tablet market will approximately
carve out two to three percent of the current market size in the next
couple of years.
The demand for consumer products market has been growing at a
considerable growth. Softlogic Trading will also expand its distribution
network with completing 200 outlets islandwide within the year.
Q: What is your philosophy in life?
A: Work hard. Play hard.
Q: What is the place you like to visit in Sri Lanka?
A: Kalpitiya. The beaches are amazing there.
Q: What countries do you like to travel most?
A: Malaysia because of its culture is much more familiar to
us. I would also like to go to Egypt especially because for its great