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INSIGHTS

5 reasons security companies rush to manufacture in India

5 reasons security companies rush to manufacture in India
Major video surveillance and security solutions companies are now seeing India as an ideal place to manufacture their products. Here is a look at why they do this.
The Indian security market has been growing at a steady pace in recent years. But until lately, most of the products sold in the country were made abroad. This has created several issues for customers, including higher costs, a long service period when a component needs to be replaced, and limited customizability for local requirements.

But over the last few years, a combination of higher demand in the local market, regulations, and better business conditions have prompted many global manufacturers to set up plants in India. Some of these also include R&D centers. Incidentally, five years ago, I had written a piece on this site about how "Make in India" will bring security manufacturing to India. 

Advantages of manufacturing in India

The rapidly developing nature of India's economy works in favor of most of these companies. This means that the costs are still lower than the developed economies, but talent and resources equally good.

1. Skilled workforce

Ashish Dhakan, MD and CEO of Prama Hikvision India, explains that the availability of comparatively cost-effective labor and a skilled workforce continues to be one of the most significant advantages in the Indian manufacturing space. His company's factory, located a few hours away from the bustling city of Mumbai, was set up about two years ago, with a focus to support the Indian government's "Make in India/Atmanirbhar (self-sufficiency)" initiatives.

"The key advantages of manufacturing in India include a familiar legal system, cost-effective labor, availability of skilled workforce, high-quality production, domestic market, and availability of raw material," Dhakan said. "The challenges include the higher cost of logistics, productivity-related issues, and infrastructure-related shortcomings."

2. Shorter delivery time

Another company that has recently set up its own production space in India is BCD International, Dell's OEM partner in surveillance and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Speaking to asmag.com recently, Kelly Carlberg, Global Alliance Manager – Dell at BCD International, explained that a key advantage is that the time-to-market shrinks from about ten days to about four and a half days.

"One of the reasons for us to set up the Build Center here was that the integrators demanded faster delivery times when they place the orders," Carlberg said. "By putting it in India, we've added a bonded warehouse in India. So, we can go in and out of India very quickly. We bring it into India, do our value-added builds onto the servers, such as adding the hard drives, adding the extra cards, doing the final testing, and shipping it. And we expect to be able to land it anywhere in APJ [Asia-Pacific and Japan] within five days."

3.Need to meet local requirements

Perhaps the most interesting entry in this segment was from the American manufacturer Honeywell. The company recently launched its Impact series in India, a low-cost solution aimed at small and medium enterprises in small towns and cities. Besides the local market, it also has plans to export to nearby regions like the Middle East at a later stage.

Jasmeet Bhatia, GM for Building Technologies at Impact by Honeywell, made an interesting point as he explained their plans for the country. A product Honeywell plans to launch under Impact is surveillance cameras with integrated analytics. But analytics is not anything new. Several companies have experimented with it. But Bhatia feels that what's available in the market now not affordable to many customers.

"If you had to have video analytics, you needed to have a high-end server that was not DIY," Bhatia said. "While the existing CCTV cameras are useful, the backend requirements are very heavy. Or you can take the video analytics to the cloud, in which case you need high bandwidth. We have looked at all those points. This product that we're launching is differentiated versus the existing solutions."

4. Government support

In the last few years, the Indian government has made several initiatives to promote manufacturing efforts in the country. Although India is not known as a hardware production destination, there is an increased awareness of this, as it is seen as a path to further economic development.
Nitin Amin, Country Head of Infinova, weighed in on this support from the government. The Chinese company has been manufacturing at its Pune plant since 2016 with a significant focus on customers in critical infrastructure like airports.

"We see a lot of developments by the government to support local manufacturing not only for the parts but also for semiconductors and the IC," Amin said. "The government is into ensuring that things like semiconductors and chipsets are developed here. Of course, developing the entire ecosystem will take a lot of time, but definitely, things are moving in the positive direction."

5. Government restrictions

Besides supporting local manufacturing, the government has also taken certain steps to ensure that solutions used for local public projects have a significant percentage of locally-manufactured components. This majorly limits the business opportunities for products made abroad since the number of public projects is high in a developing economy. India is also on its way to develop smart and safe cities, which would all need security products that fall within the regulatory mandates.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that India is emerging as an important manufacturing destination for security companies. Besides what we have mentioned here, sources close to the industry have confirmed that several other major companies are exploring their options in this regard. Perhaps this would become an even-more urgent need as the Indian government (like several others now) puts its foot down on using locally manufactured products for public projects. 


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