Demand for more advanced technology solutions to counter threats triggered by the recent terror attacks has led to private security firms gearing up to tap this fast growing market.
"We have conceptualised and successfully implemented security solutions like video analytics. An add-on to the basic CCTV system, these intelligent software can identify any unwanted activity and alarm the control room. X-ray baggage scanners and portable explosive detectors like Sniffex have also been put in action at various places," says Sunil Nihal Duggal, CMD, Vision Group, a security solutions provider.
"Private security is currently valued between USD 2 billion - USD 3 billion and employing 5.5 million personnel. This year alone saw almost 200 new security companies coming up, and the sector expects to add approx 1 million new employees in 2009. Even before the Mumbai attacks, the Indian industry was growing at an astounding rate of 35 per cent," Duggal adds.
According to private security firms, 24 hours wireless communication, a quick reaction team, disaster management plans and deployment of more security guards and sniffer dogs were done at various hotels and malls in the capital post November 26 terror attacks in Mumbai.
"Hotels are soft targets for terrorists with lots of different entrances and exits. Access control at the entry and exit is the first line of defense. Installation of bio matrix solutions and adequate identification mechanism at non-guest entries would minimize the risk. Even at the reception and lobbies equipments like scanners and explosive detectors may be used," says Duggal.
While admitting that security checks get difficult during VIPs and VVIPs visit to public places, he says, "There are technologies like face recognition system which are used for mass surveillance and crowd management and with the help of this any known or pre-recorded (criminal) face can be identified even amongst a large crowd."
According to a Frost and Sullivan research, India is poised to emerge as a key international spender in the global security market, with an estimated spending of USD 9.7 billion by 2016.
"In light of the terrorist attacks security stakeholders are going to be more pragmatic when it comes to developing a 'last line of defence' within public places such as hotels, religious places and various tourist destinations," says Frisco Buker, Senior Consultant, Frost & Sullivan.
Anand Jha of AJ Rakshak Security Pvt Ltd, says the security market has never seen a growth like this before and especially after Mumbai terror attacks not only big hotels but mediocre one are also installing highly advanced equipments to check any eventuality.
"There is more 50 per cent growth in the private security market after Mumbai attacks. Employment has also witnessed a huge growth. We make sure that the guard is trained and knows how to use metal detectors, scanners and x-ray machines. However, in hospitality industry, a clear instruction is to remain cautious yet humble to visitors," he says.