Indian security market to grow after May election 2014(1)
Editor / Provider: a&s Asia Editorial | Updated: 4/28/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics
In 2013, equity markets remained tame due to slowing economy, bonds lost value as interest rates rose and physical assets such as real estate and gold also started feeling the effect of economic slowdown. However, a late surge of revival in 2013 has investors and experts excited. The gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 4.8% late 2013, as against 4.4% in the previous quarter. Rupee depreciation concerns have also subsided. Externally, the global economy is stabilizing, with better growth expected in 2014. Indian exports have already started to lift. On the home front, fewer downside risks, a more competent central bank governor, and the prospect of better government after the May election have boosted business and investor confidence.
Market Continues to Grow
General security awareness was relatively low before the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008, said Aditya Khemka. CEO and Director, Aditya Infotech. “At that time, there weren't too many security products available. The technology was not that advanced and the market was highly fragmented. For instance, the video was only for viewing. The usability, stability, and even the delivery of security technology were not great and clear.”
India security spending dramatically increased after the Mumbai bombing as people began to aware that this could happen to anyone, added Khemka. The bombing made people aware of the issue of security and the importance of it. “After that, hotels and the hospitality industry started to install surveillance equipment. Security guards and cameras are seen in hotels. The mindset just changed. Corporates, government segments, and even rich consumers now see security a must. Also, new houses put security as top priority and invest on it.”
IP Solution Requires Education and Training
Analog surveillance systems still account for a great percent of the Indian market share, while IP systems just started and were applied to government projects. “IP solutions just started in India and the growth used to be slow over these two years due to lack of large projects. The growth will be faster this year after the general election and the new government,” said Khemka. “Education and training on both disties, installers, integrators, and even the market are required to drive the IP applications forward.”
India, as one of the emerging market around the world, we will keep promoting values of IP solutions and being the leader for that, according to Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager India & SAARC, Axis Communication. "We'll never be the cheapest in the market. Instead, we manage project-related cases such as banking. Also, we will continue to educate the market with our training programs, which help engineers, integrators, and architects design solutions for each project. They can better appreciate the values of the quality of products and importance of reliability. Keep-iP-simple and TCO are what we are educating the market as well. We are eager to enter the tier-2 and -3 markets. It will also tap India's large base of SMBs to grow its business. We will continue to grow our channel base as well as strengthen relationships with our existing channel partners to make our products available and accessible to these customers. Our main focus is to spread geographically across industries. For this, we are expanding our footprint in all the key verticals and geographies in which we were not present before. We are also working on some solutions and continue to invest in developing solution-oriented, segment specific channels, which would enable system integrators and users to install their existing cameras in a much easier way."
India is expected to be an attractive market for safer city solutions with seven announced projects to be completed in the next 10 years. Initially known as the Mega City Policing Project, each individual project aims at invigorating policing capabilities to detect and counter potential threats in urban areas. The key objective is to neutralize growing threats to individuals and residences, critical infrastructure, and economic centers.
Many cities across India are already covered by video surveillance with plans for more projects to extend coverage. However, city surveillance projects in India have been known for their delays and holdups. Khemka explained that since every city has its own requirements to fit their own local needs, regulations for city surveillance varies. Many projects have even been scrapped and put up for tender a number of times before finally being executed.
The major challenge in implementing city surveillance project is to follow the multi-body guidelines given by different nodal agencies, hence the entire process gets stretched and chances of delays. “The biggest challenge in city surveillance projects in India are unified expectations and guideline from numerous agencies such as police department, city development agency, and more,” said Shakti Leekha, Senior GM & Head, Bajaj Electricals.
Despite slow processing and constant delays, India offers tremendous business opportunities in city surveillance projects as surveillance system deployment has been at its minimal. With more and more cities opt for safe city project. “We feel that after the election, more projects will surge and speed up,” said Yatindra Mishra, Regional Manager, West, Systems Solution Div. Panasonic India.
Security has become a primary concern due to increasing crime rate followed by incidents like ATM robbery in Bangalore, according to Ashish Dhakan, CEO and MD, Prama Hikvision. “Government mandate some guidelines demanding the newly deployed 16,000 ATMS, each has to be with 4 cameras. Each ATM has 4 cameras is definitely a good number and demand for security. We are also paying attention to security as a service (SaaS) catering to banking segment as some of the banks may not invest that much on ATM cameras. Our strategy is to offer a good mix of price, value, service, and innovation. By expanding our distribution network, we are reaching out to all part of India.”
Seeing this vast potential owing to growing urbanization and rising demand for safety and security solutions, Gunnebo India, also announced plans to establish its global R&D center at Halol in Gujarat. “The capacity extension will be utilized towards enhancing existing production capacity of traditional physical security products but will also be extended to the special ATM-line,” said Per Borgvall, President and CEO, Gunnebo. “As part of our strategic initiative we plan to set up an R&D centre in India to get closer to the market and have growth markets in Asia like India in focus. We also want to make investments in the Indian market since we see a very interesting development and growth for the coming years within our core businesses. It is important for us to grow our presence and capacity to supply products locally."
The Mumbai Bombing also shackled the hospitality industry as well. The 26/11 terrorist attack when 166 people were killed in the twin attacks on the Taj Mahal Hotel and Trident Oberoi in Mumbai, changed the perception of the hospitality sectors. Traditionally, security at a hotel means just peripheral guarding and monitoring entry and exit points. X-ray machines, handheld and walk-through metal and explosive detectors for people and luggage are strengthened measures in India, especially in high-occupancy, five-star hotels. Hotel security in India is much tighter today, according to Joy Jacob, Sales Manager, Smiths Detection Veecon Systems. “As a world leading designer and manufacturer of sensors that detect and identify explosives, weapons, chemical agents, biohazards, narcotics and contraband, we have the most comprehensive range of detection technologies in the India, including X-ray, trace detection, millimeter-wave, infra-red, biological detection and diagnostics. Demand for greater hotel security has also increased substantially in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.” (to be continued)