What it does:
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) provides 4G LTE services across the country and powers a plethora of ICT and broadband services. It’s responsible for the country’s second largest mobile network, Mobitel.
SLT recently saw LKR 4.9 billion in profit after taxes, an increase of 25.6% on the previous year. Shareholders also recently enjoyed LKR 2.74 earnings per share, with the government owning nearly 50% of total shares. They have eight million customers.
Access to widely-used communications tech. Good problem-solving opportunities. Well-defined work.
The not so good:
Hard to get promoted due to size. Hierarchical.
Hiring grads with degrees in:
SLT began when the first undersea cable was laid between India and then-Ceylon in 1858, which the government of Ceylon administered to. By 1896, the government had taken over the Oriental Phone Company, establishing the first telegraphic circuit between Galle and Colombo, leading to the establishment of the Post and Telegraph Department. As usage grew by 1931, an automatic telephone exchange at Kahwatta was installed, heralding later installations like the Telex service in 1963 and an earth satellite in 1976.
As telecommunications technology progressed, so did SLT, adding a digital fibre optic cable in 1994, with internet and email services following soon after. Their technology and data centres continue expanding to this day.
This company is a good fit for ICT, computer science or software engineering graduates wanting to experience the telecommunications sector and work in a large, well-respected company. There’s ample opportunity to problem solve and learn from senior staff in engineering roles, but rotating to other areas of the business can be difficult, so it pays to enjoy the work you start on.
Staying at SLT too long could lead to career stagnation due to the company’s size and therefore, number of employees aiming for higher positions. If you choose to stay for any period however, job security is high, as it is essentially a government organisation.
SLT aims for a ‘familial’ culture, encouraging employees to take pride and ownership in their work. They achieve this by offering well-defined projects, but this can also lead to long hours and lack of variety in work. Training programs and ‘employee empowerment’ are part of fostering this culture, but these programs are known to not reach everyone.
The organisation is highly hierarchical, which may not be to every fresher’s liking. Senior staff are not always open to new methodologies, leading to technological stagnation. This is shifting as more young employees rise through the ranks.
SLT aspires to connect all Sri Lankans with the fastest connections they can provide. They aim to achieve this through seven core values.
They’re attempting to achieve this not only through updating old technologies and services, but social responsibility. One notable initiative was the sale of calendars in 2018 to raise awareness of water conservation, with calendars in previous years advocating for different causes. They also have a regular book donation program to teach English language skills to both teachers and students across Sri Lanka.
They also take part in regular dialogues within the ICT community, sponsoring forums like the Future Gov SAARC conference and National Engineering Conference. They also make contributions to forums outside their discipline, like the CIM Business Leaders’ summit. They aspire to continue these contributions, laying the foundations for further communication as they did their first undersea cable 150 years ago.