World’s largest foodservice company Sysco says Sri Lanka is its heartbeat

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 01:11 –      – 385

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  • Fortune 500 company with $ 76 b in revenue has doubled technology staff in two years
  • Marking 10 years of operations in Sri Lanka with over 1,000 employees, commits to invest further in capacity and capabilities
  • Sets up Sysco Cyber security Operations Centre in Colombo buttressing existing Sysco Technology’s Global 24×7 Operations Command Centre and Sysco’s e-Commerce platforms and operations
  • Stresses SL operation is “mission critical” as Sysco eyes greater share in $ 1 t global food market
  • Sysco LABS awarded Best Exporter Award in ICT sector at Presidential Export Awards for both 2021/22 and 2022/23


Sysco Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer Tom Peck

– Pic by Sameera Wijesinghe


“We do it with great sales tools, great e -commerce tools, great supply chain tools, and a lot of that is built and supported out of Sysco LABS here in Sri Lanka. So said differently, this is almost the heartbeat of my global technology operation across now those 10 different technology functions supporting a global $ 76 billion company,” emphasised Peck.

Sri Lanka houses Sysco Technology’s Global 24×7 Operations Command Centre and the units that build and develop Sysco’s e-Commerce platforms and operations. The latest expansion includes the launch of a Sysco Cyber security Operations Centre, further adding to its diverse portfolio of expertise in the technology field.

Growth has outstripped capacity

Currently operating from two locations, Sysco is keen to move into a fully-fledged single building within the next 24 months. “That growth has outstripped our capacity and we are looking at a new real estate strategy,” Peck said adding “We are very, very committed to continue to grow our presence here.”

Sysco is also planning to bring some of the third party spend to Sri Lanka. “Doubling the size of our presence here is partly through growth and is partly through insourcing some of that work from other consulting companies,” he said.

Sysco LABS has a high rating on Sri Lanka’s human resource pool. “We are thrilled with the talent and the people apart from the excellent location. In my 30 plus career in many countries around the globe and the talent, the support, the collaboration you get from Colombo and Sri Lanka more broadly is the best I have seen,” said Peck who joined Sysco over three years ago.

He said that Sysco has a sense of commitment and pride in being a purpose -driven company beyond just being a technology company. “In our annual employee surveys we are extremely proud that the Sysco LABS team scored higher than the entire company and higher than my global department in what we call our engagement score as well as in supervisor effectiveness. It is all about getting great leaders, great people. We want to give them that caring, purpose -built, career opportunity and culture that we have here,” Peck explained. Sysco also surpassed all its competitors in customer satisfaction scores for digital tools.

Sysco LABS a compelling proposition for those seeking a gainful career

Peck said Sri Lankan universities are producing great talent. “The skills on the team here are amazing. The knowledge of English and collaborative ways of working are amazing.”

He emphasised that being a $ 76 billion company in a $ 1 trillion food market, Sysco offers a compelling proposition for those seeking a gainful career. ”We are on 10 different technology domains and there is so much opportunity here to do different types of technology ranging from software engineering to the security centre to artificial intelligence and everything in between. So there’s a great, great career path,” Peck said.

Sysco LABS is an active member of the Sri Lankan tech and corporate communities, supporting the local IT industry with knowledge sharing and capacity building initiatives while also contributing to the country’s tech talent pipeline through its programs like Project Summit which is designed to accelerate the careers of young engineers.

Sysco LABS was honoured with the prestigious Best Exporter Award in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector at the Presidential Export Awards for both 2021/22 and 2022/23. This achievement recognises Sysco LABS as the foremost contributor to export revenue within the ICT sector, affirming its position as the premier technology corporate in Sri Lanka.

Having marked its first decade successfully, Sysco going forward likes to continue support of the universities. “The partnership we have there is a feeder network for talent that needs to continue and to grow,” he said. The universities need to continue to teach and invest in new technologies.

Peck also likes to see continued acknowledgement and appreciation for the Sysco LABS brand as a great place to work. “We are investing and working to protect that brand. The integrity of the brand, the talent of the brand, the philanthropic, purpose driven belief of the brand,” he said.

Sysco believes that with Sri Lanka having stabilised the economy after unprecedented challenges in 2020-22, an era of growth is welcome. “Stability, peace and prosperity is not only good for the citizens, but for businesses too. Anything that we can do together to help. Sri Lankan prosperity is good for Sysco, our employees, and the country,” Sysco Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer Peck added.