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How did the Indian security customer change in 2019?

How did the Indian security customer change in 2019?
The year 2019 was an important one for the Indian security industry in terms of smart city projects, safe city initiatives, and implementation of government regulations to standardize products.
The year 2019 was an important one for the Indian security industry in terms of smart city projects, safe city initiatives, and implementation of government regulations to standardize products. The Indian economy continues to grow steadily, despite global trade war worries and domestic policy concerns.

The Indian consumer has also changed over the year as the awareness of security requirements improved and government mandates became stricter. recently spoke to industry experts to explore the recent changes they have seen in the market and the customers in India.

Digitalization in surveillance

The single important change that can be pointed out is a major shift from analog to IP. For the uninitiated, this might not sound like a big deal, but
india security market growth
Sanjeev Sehgal,
Security Promotion Group of India
the Indian market has been painfully slow to embrace IP, significantly delaying the growth of the technology and devices based on it.

“The demand for IP cameras has increased substantially in this financial year,” said Sanjeev Sehgal, Chairman of Security Promotion Group of India, an industry body with that has the likes of manufacturers, systems integrators (SI), distributors, etc., as members. “The high-end market was already into IP, but now others in retail, SMEs, and even residential segment are moving to IP solutions. For instance, banks were earlier installing analog systems for surveillance and intrusion alarms. Now they have moved both the systems to IP.”

Notably, the State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender moved to IP-based systems last year, according to Sehgal. Another example is the Saraswat Bank, based in the Western state of Maharashtra, which has decided to not just install IP cameras in their new branches but also replace the existing analog cameras with IP.

“Cameras and intrusion alarms are being installed in the cash vans also now,” Sehgal continued. “Last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs came up with new regulations on the minimum number of cameras that should be installed in these vehicles, with features such as online access and intrusion detection alert to the control room.”

Facial recognition in access control  

On the access control front, there was an increase in demand for facial recognition solutions last year. Some large scale-projects were begun in their pilot stages, notable among them being the introduction of facial recognition at airports to simplify the check-in process and avoid printed boarding passes.

While the Hyderabad airport was the first to come up with this feature, airports in Bangalore and Delhi followed suit, with the help of the Portuguese cloud-based access control company Vision-Box. 

Airports are not the only ones adopting facial recognition. Reports suggest several state governments are entering into contracts with discreet companies for facial recognition to aid police forces. In October, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of the central Home Ministry itself floated a tender for nationwide facial recognition system, effectively paving way for the creation of one of the biggest biometric databases in the world.

Sehgal also added that face recognition technology is being increasingly used by companies for employee management and access control. The contactless nature of the facial recognition technology is apparently more attractive than the tactile solutions provided by fingerprint biometrics.
“If you ask access control solution providers, they will likely tell you that there was a drastic increase in their sales of facial recognition solutions in 2019,” Sehgal concluded.

Change in buying behavior

The Indian customer has also become more interested in understanding the details of what a solution can provide, says Ajay Baliga, Director and
Ajay Baliga security india
Ajay Baliga
Director and Co-founder
Intsys Technologies
Co-founder of the SI, Intsys Technologies, speaking primarily from experience with his own customers. There is an interest in cost-efficiency and faster implementation of projects that goes beyond the traditional approach of just opting for low-cost products.

“For instance, we once had a customer who wanted a building management system (BMS),” Baliga said. “He wanted it for a host of requirements including air, light, and water management, besides having video surveillance and fire alarm systems. So what we recommended was that while he could deploy the core functions of BMS like water, air, and light management, video surveillance could be integrated with the fire alarm system separately. All he would require is a small IO box that would integrate video cameras with the fire alarm system. This would considerably reduce the costs and speed up the project.”

Traditionally, a customer would have insisted on an all-inclusive BMS but now that the customer is being more open to understanding the different options available, there is more room for SIs to work and grow.

Interest in AI-based solutions

Similar thoughts were shared by Sandeep Patil, Founder of Securizen Systems, another SI, while suggesting that AI-based solutions are also picking up in demand.

“Let me share the example of a pipes manufacturing company,” Patil said. “Pipe manufacturing companies generally have a big yard and
sandeep patil, india security market
Sandeep Patil
Founder, Securizen Systems
manufacturing set up. We already had a video surveillance system installed in this particular site. They had a dispatch section also, where pipes are loaded on the trucks for transport.”

Generally, when there is an order for products at such a manufacturing plant, it includes different kinds of products, like a 2-inch pipe, 5-inch pipe, 10-inch pipe, etc. While loading these products, for better space management, the company would place a 5-inch pipe inside a 10-inch pipe, a 2-inch pipe inside a 5-inch pipe, and so on.

“We already have a system that overlooks the security at the loading area,” Patil continued. “But what the customer wanted then was to know the number of products loaded on the trucks through video surveillance cameras. So, with the help of AI-based algorithms, from the same video footage, we could identify how many types of pipes were being loaded on a truck. This gets automatically reconfirmed with the order that was received.”

Patil added that many customers have customized AI requirements now, which makes the role of a good SI even more significant.

An important year for security  

In short, despite global economic concerns, trade wars, and domestic financial woes, the Indian security market saw remarkable changes in 2019. Looking ahead, as public security continues to remain a major concern in the country, more government initiatives and projects could be something to expect in the coming year. Private end customers may also do the same, not just for security, but also for the advantages of advanced AI-based systems.  

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