Security equipment cos could see a 10-15% rise in demand

Written by Surabhi Agarwal | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 29 2008, 06:53am hrs
The worst-ever terror attack on Mumbai has brought to light the technological backwardness of the country in matters related to security.

In such a scenario, it may be ironical note that some of the most hi-end work in developing technologies for security systems is being undertaken by Indian IT companies. "Security oriented work requires sophisticated non-IT skills as well, which we must be exporting to the world. I am sure these skills along with intelligence can be channeled to drive IT solutions for the country," said Vikash Jain, associate principal, Everest Group.

As an immediate reaction to the terror attack in Mumbai, hotels, malls and commercial buildings across the country are expected to beef up their security systems. The Rs 2,000-crore security equipment industry is expected to see demand go up by 10-15%. "Right now, malls and hotels spend between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore on the security set-up. But, at most places, the arrangement is inadequate. We expect hoteliers, mall owners and offices to spend more on access control and monitoring," said Sameer Nagpa, executive committee member, Fire and Safety Association of India. He added that government offices are the most poorly protected of all.

Reno Kapoor, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, The Lalit, said that hotels could undergo a complete transformation in terms of security measures overnight. According to analysts, the biggest loophole in India's security set-up is the lack of a unique identification number for its citizens. "People here use several documents for the purpose, making the process of tracking very difficult," said Viral Thakker, executive director, KPMG.

Though the government has mooted unique identity cards project for citizens, it is expected to be available to an initial set of users only by 2010.