In addition to ensuring a safe and healthy working environments, Sri Lankan businesses must innovate and adapt workplaces as the Covid-19 Global Pandemic has brought forward a transition in to on-line work practices while creating new vistas for freelancer and team-sharing platforms, said Anjana Rathnayake, founder of work.lk, jobpal.lk and rubik.lk which continue to disrupt the job market and the gig economy.
“The Covid 19 Global Pandemic has directly and indirectly affected over billions of both formal and informal workers. Compared to pre-crisis levels (Q4 2019), a 10.5 per cent deterioration is now expected, equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs, International Labour Organization (ILO) has cautioned. This is a staggering 14 times the population of Sri Lanka, and is much higher than the previous projections, due to the prolongation and extension of lockdown measures all over the world. Although Sri Lanka has been safe so far due to far-sightedness of the Government, the ‘new normal’ birthed by Covid 19 is here to stay whether we like it or now,” said Rathnayake, Director / CEO of E-FutureTech Systems (Pvt) Ltd, which celebrated its 3rd anniversary recently.
“As a result of the economic crisis created by the pandemic, almost 1.6 billion informal economy workers (representing the most vulnerable in the labour market), out of a worldwide total of two billion and a global workforce of 3.3 billion, have suffered massive damage to their capacity to earn a living, as per ILO. According to Forbes, Twitter, Facebook, Google and many other global giants are transforming and redefining their enterprises towards enabling a majority of employees to continue or shift towards to working from home. According to Gartner Survey in March 2020, 74% of CFOs expect to shift some employees to remote work permanently. These new trends have forced Sri Lankan employers also to adapt and redefine how their employees work,” he added.
“Jobpal.lk is a first fully-fledged job platform offering seamless solutions between job seekers and employers that does not charge employers and as such it revolutionized the job market,” said Rathnayake.
An engineer with over 11 years of experience at a leading telecommunication operator in Sri Lanka, Rathnayake following his entrepreneurial instinct and passion to innovate, quit his job and gave birth to E-FutureTech Systems (Pvt) Ltd in June 2017.
“Our main target segment or value proposition would be the jobseeker category. In addition to offering the basic services of searching for jobs and applying for vacancies absolutely free of charge, the applicants may opt for our premium service, where Jobpal Team would apply for jobs aggressively on behalf of the jobseeker,” said Rathnayake. On average over 1,000 new vacancies are posted on jobpal.lk monthly.
E-FutureTech in 2018 launched work.lk, which is a freelance marketplace open for a range of services from high tech services such as web or mobile development to documentation related work like content writing, proof reading, translations, data entry to even day-to-day household work such as gardening, plumbing, painting, masonry, electrical etc. Currently Work.lk has over 70,000 registered Service Providers.
Due to its innovativeness and creativity both jobpal.lk and work.lk won numerous accolades such as SLT Zero One Awards, e-Swabhimani Award for Inclusion and Empowerment.
“Our innovativeness and creativity is the number one of reason why, although so many online recruitment and freelancer portals have sprung up in Sri Lanka, we are cut above the rest as our core business is catering to the needs of the jobseekers and service providers,” he said.
Currently, vacancies and gigs could be posted free of charge, while Team E-FutureTech keeps in constant touch with employers and service seekers to obtain all available vacancies and services, both local and foreign, in order to better serve jobseekers and service providers.
In November 2019, in order to assist teachers and lecturers to conduct online classes, E-FutureTech launched, the first Sri Lankan-owned Rubik.lk- Learning Management System (LMS) where course content in English, Sinhala or Tamil media can be made available on the platform. Rubik.lk features all the necessary facilities needed to conduct a complete online class backed with both online and offline payment options. Rubik.lk saw a massive surge in usage during the Covid-19 Pandemic which restricted access to traditional classes.
In addition in January 2020, E-FutureTech launched its own e-Commerce platform – 999.lk where electronic items, fashionables and wearables, health & beauty products, home & garden items and phone accessories could be purchased online at affordable prices.
Venturing into electronics and automation engineering sector, E-FutureTech in December 2018 started Divor Automations (Pvt) Ltd as a subsidiary of E-FutureTech with the leadership of Sithira Ariyapperuma who is the CEO of Divor Automations who himself is a Mechatronics Engineer. Divor Automations specializes in embedded systems, IoT solutions, automation, process management, electronics and automation consultancy.
Marking its third anniversary in 2020, E-FutureTech Systems (Pvt) Ltd will announce the launch of its own visual content production house with a further view to disrupt how visual content is consumed in Sri Lanka in the near future.