India: Product Sector Overview

India: Product Sector Overview
Surveillance is leading the way in India. While the country is no different to others in this respect, one factor that differentiates it is its non-centralized urban sprawl. This has ensured that no single distributor has successfully conquered the market nationwide.

Distribution in India has never been on a par with that of Western countries, and no distributor has been able to achieve significant market share countrywide. Few companies are notable in this sector, though ADI (Honeywell), Vista (Siemens Building Technologies), Autocop, Zicom and Neural Technologies stand out. ¨Add to this list Universal and Kawach Protection Systems,〃 said S. Mushtaq Md Khan, Industry Manager, Environment & Building Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia & Middle East. ¨There are others, such as Eagle Aircons, which are mostly representatives for single brands and not large distributors, that stock a variety of brands.〃

As for systems integrators, Turbo, Zicom, Alba (now Chubb Alba), DATS (part of the iMetrex Technologies, now under the Siemens Building Technologies umbrella), Godrej, Firepro and Electronic Corp. of India Ltd. (ECIL)  a government of India Department of Atomic Energy Enterprise under its Instruments & Systems Division  are among the most well-known. Others include Honeywell Building Solutions, CMS Technology, Johnson Controls, Race Technologies, ABB, G4S, Eureka Forbes, Schneider Electric, BioEnable and Ingersoll-Rand Security Technologies.

Allan McHale, Director of research firm i&i, agreed with the latest Frost & Sullivan report on India. Most system integrators are hesitant to make the full shift toward open systems, he said, as proprietary systems ensure that their customers are tied to them for retrofits, upgrades and other services. This limits technology absorption and market penetration.

There is also a low adoption rate of technology among systems integrators and end users, the Frost & Sullivan report found, because new technologies are expensive, and product companies do not offer educational support to systems integrators on the latest technological advancements. This limits end-user knowledge of benefits and applications of the latest technology, leading to low adoption.


In access control, Cardax, Lenel (UTCFS) and Honeywell dominate, said Ian Meadows , Business Development Manager, Cardax Systems. Khan added Europlex (iMetrex - Siemens), noting that it is strong in controllers; as well as Ebiome (ESSL)a strong Indian player. In video surveillance, Cieffe, Panasonic, Dallmeier, Pelco and Bosch are very prominent. In video analytics, Aimetis is growing fast. Finally, in biometrics, Sagem, Bioscrypt and many products from the Far East have good market presence.

Having a well-known brand outside security helps, experts agreed. Siemens and Sony were already recognized because of their reputation in consumer electronics. Bosch has had an almost one-century presence through its diesel components and system manufacturing subsidiary. Manufacturers that have sold products through distributors before setting up Indian branches, such as Infinova, have also found that their brands were known prior to having an actual presence in the country, said Milind Borkar, Vice President of Sales for the Middle East, Africa & Indian sub-continent, Infinova.

The majority of products supplied to this market are imports (60 percent, according to the U. S. Commercial Services), so buyers are hungry to meet with overseas suppliers. The lack of legacy security systems within India makes this a prime market for those offering the latest security solutions. Furthermore, around 70 percent of security installers in India also install fire protection equipment, making this market one of particular interest to companies providing integrated solutions.

The key product areas in the Indian market are surveillance, access control and intruder alarms. Video surveillance products and solutions account for 50 percent of the total market, Meadows reckoned. Access control makes up another 35 percent, intrusion alarms 10 percent and peripheral security detectors such as metal detectors, scanners and X-rays 5 percent.

Access Control

The first large-scale users of access control systems were multinationals, especially in the IT and IT services sector, said Harish Vellat, Managing Director of HID Global India. His company  one of the leaders in readers and cards  aims to have an 80-percent market share in three yearsˇ time. This is because clients demand high security to protect the kind of work being carried out for them in IT organizations. This is how need for access control was created in India.

Fall in import duties in 2005, increased competition and shifting of focus from hardware to software components led to significant price reductions, according to the newest Frost & Sullivan report on India. Deployments of cost-effective systems by new end-user segments  small offices and manufacturing firms, and educational institutes  has increased, as has market penetration. Another factor is network, multi-layered systems, which have maintained growth momentum from the corporate sector, especially the IT and IT service segments.

Growth in access control is not as high as the 35 percent stated by many players, said David Benhammou, President of CDVI Group. ¨Approximately 75 percent of the access control share is being taken up by low to mid-price, small players,〃 he said. ¨High-end solutions are being offered by only 25 percent, though this is changing.〃

Video Surveillance

According to Frost & Sullivan, growth in different applications such as public area surveillance, traffic monitoring, process monitoring, remote site monitoring, supplementing of access control, and non-security applications like fire protection, are factors that are contributing to increased deployment. Technological advances that enable real-time remote monitoring are pushing systems from passive to active where functionality is leveraged to the maximum by integration with access control as well as fire protection systems.

Bandwidth availability, however, presents one of the main challenges for IP video, though this is fast-changing, said Ambareesh Dixit, Head of Business Communication Products, Broadcast and Professional Products Division, Sony India. Government bodies are now fast adopters of the technology, he said.

Alarms and Peripherals

Demand for intrusion alarm systems is mainly driven by an increase in awareness of theft and vandalism, and availability of affordable products. At the moment, crime in India is still low compared with Western countries, said Anand Mecheri, CEO and Managing Director, DATS Division, Siemens Building Technologies India Group. Organized retail is gaining pace and consumer needs are becoming more sophisticated, leading Mecheri to predict that: ¨This will set off a larger number of break-ins than we have had before.〃

¨In the perimeter market, India used to be very fond of the electrical fence,〃 said Adam Rosenberg, Vice President of Marketing, Magal. ¨Today, users understand that an electrical fence designed to stop cattle cannot hold off terrorists. They are looking for reliable, cost-effective solutions based on a high probability of detection and an extremely low false alarm rate with a long product lifecycle and minimum maintenance requirements. Taut wire is now being used at borders, airports, military sites, and power stations.〃

〗Related Reports:
India Electronic Security Sector Posting Growth of 30 Percent
Security Concepts Taking Root in India

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