A story of inherent preparedness


The current pandemic is causing pandemonium globally. Whole industries have come to a grinding halt and the corporate work system is going through an upheaval. For businesses, uncertainty and crisis situations are always part of the game. As with all the economic, political and environmental crises faced in the past couple of decades, this crisis too shall eventually come to pass. And the businesses left standing would be the ones who were resilient, responsive and adapted to the changes.

BISTEC Global, a startup in Sri Lanka with global clients, is facing its first international crisis situation. How it responded was to adapt and respond to the situation swiftly and strategically. In the wake of the Sri Lankan government’s announcement of a one-day public holiday to assess the pandemic situation, Bistec promptly shifted all its business operations and teams to work from home (WFH) for the following two weeks. With the resultant public lockdowns and curfews, the Bistec teams will continue to work remotely.

Facilitated by its exceptional IT Services team, all Bistec teams were able to resume normal business operations from home with no disruption in services to their clients. Bistec has also offered free IT support and consultancy to set up WFH operations via their IT Service Desk to all businesses in need during the pandemic.

Having an adaptable business model is crucial for a business to be resilient in uncertain times. Bistec uses virtual teams and remote working frequently in the normal course of its operations. Its business model is based on the Extended Team Model concept, where it provides businesses internationally with a global pool of talent they would have otherwise not been able to access. Extended Team Model is the next stage of outsourcing, where the talent is part of the business’s extended team based in another country. This model offers great flexibility to all the parties involved and gives an important competitive advantage in times of crisis – and even otherwise.

Culture matters. And for Bistec its people and culture are the foundation on which its whole business model operates on and relies for success. The team comprises a set of talented and diligent individuals who have embraced Bistec’s vision and are guided by its promise “to create a better life for everyone connected to us in one way or the other”. The Bistec culture is based on Purpose, Meaning and Autonomy. For a business to have the flexibility to adapt to any circumstance and make strategic decisions swiftly, it has to have complete confidence and trust in its employees to share the same vision. Bistec is confident in its ability to continue operations and support all its clients in any circumstance due to the high level of trust in all its teams.

Although Bistec is a relatively young company, it has inherited the combined experience of twenty plus years from its leadership. The Senior team brings all the technical expertise, knowledge and innovation to Bistec from their experience in the IT, Software and Business fields. Having worked extensively with remote teams in their whole careers, they adopt the best practices and guide the teams in the best way.

Having the right business model, culture, people and leadership for remote working will not ensure its success, if the business does not invest in the right equipment to support their operations. Bistec invests in the best in class equipment and up to date technologies for every employee. High quality brand laptops and headsets are part of the standard issue for all the staff at Bistec which make remote working possible for all its services. Bistec’s selection of tools and cloud infrastructure make its systems robust and accessible from any location; these include simple attendance systems to more complicated developer environments.

Sri Lanka has the largest CIMA qualified accounting fraternity outside the UK. The IT Industry is actively building capacity and knowledge on AI and machine learning; these are a few areas in which the UK can use Colombo to base remote teams and overcome challenges they face in crisis situations like the prevailing pandemic. Bistec’s Extended Team Model is a proven methodology which businesses globally can capitalize on to recover swiftly from any uncertain situation.

BISTEC Global offers Software, IT and Accounting services through its Extended Teams model to clients across four continents including Australia, UK, US and Brunei.

Island of Ingenuity is a collective of the knowledge services industry in Sri Lanka, whose ethos is to provide inventive solutions through proactive and flexible customer engagement. It is endorsed by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Board of Investment, Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies, Information & Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, Federation of Information Technology of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Electronic Manufacturers and Exporters Association.