India is one of the fastest, emerging markets for security services. In spite of the growing market for technological solutions such as video surveillance, access control, and perimeter intrusion detection, one cannot rule out the importance of human involvement and presence in securing one's assets and facilities. Hence, the demand for manned guarding has continued to see an upward trend. Private security agencies, besides offering manned guarding services, are also adding services such as cash management solutions, vaulting services, risk assessment and audit of a facility, background checks etc. in their overall service portfolio.
Among the aforementioned services, manned guarding has been one of the promising markets in India. In India, there are close to 15,000 registered private security services agencies, employing an estimated 6 million people. Growing terrorist attacks, involvement in disaster management, security threat for high-net worth and high-profile individuals (business men, industrialists, political leaders, and celebrities), consignment containing cash, and security in airports, retail malls, jewellery stores, offices, manufacturing complexes etc. have demanded the need for security services in India.
The high pace of infrastructure development to catch up with the economic development has also spurred growth of sensitive infrastructure like airports, ports, metro rail, as well as industrial infrastructure like refineries, oil & gas exploration sites, nuclear and thermal power plants. As India continues to build assets, the need to protect its infrastructure using high-tech surveillance and intrusion detection devices supplemented by competent manned guarding is turning out to be the right security solution.
Ensuring safety and security has played and will continue to play a key role in urban design and planning. It results in making the cities competitive and livable besides providing security and well-being to their dwellers. The convergence of information technology (IT) with the safety and security industry means that future "safe" cities will integrate solutions across large urban areas using software, satellites, wireless and other upstream technologies.
The introduction of Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act brought all private security agencies under government control. The central government drafted the law and state governments were responsible for its implementation and enforcement. The Act was a key driver favouring organized participants by mandating agencies to undergo certain compulsory training to impart professionalism in the market. This ensures that customers receive swift and professional service coupled with advanced command and control solutions.
This industry is also witnessing mergers & acquisitions (M&As) and private equity funding as it turns into a more formal structure than the current fragmented landscape. Entry of global reputed firms and demand for firms with nation-wide base and scale are driving consolidation in this market.
Intensity of competition is high, as facilities management (FM) companies also have their own security guards to secure the premises of residential and commercial complexes. Instead of hiring from outside security agencies, these FM companies employ their own personnel once they bag the FM contract. The need of the hour is to suitably operate and monitor technological systems like fire detection and suppression systems, video surveillance, perimeter intrusion detection, and access control.
Going forward, manned security companies will have to rework their business models and market approach to partner with other industry sectors (for example, Energy, Building Technologies, Security, Information Technology (IT) etc.). While Indian cities may still have a long way to go to deploy "safe" and "smart" concepts, solution architectures and technologies, industry participants must understand this market to better adapt to their respective roles. This industry, in future, will no longer be seen as just a guarding market employing hundreds of security guards, retired service personnel from other central and state security forces. In contrary, it will have to redesign its value creation process to accommodate technological innovation.
The industry has a few challenges to overcome in the Indian context, the first and foremost being the poor training provided by security companies. In matured markets, there are series of training courses that have to be completed by guards in order to become certified. Training related to confronting threats by following proper protocols and making educated decisions before a threat happens is lacking in India. Second, within the manned guarding industry, there is a significant turnover rate, which affects the market. This is due to several factors such a low pay rates, improper understanding the operating environment, poor benefits and compensation packages, and lack of development opportunities to allow employees to grow. Moreover, technological innovation in security applications may decrease the number of security guards needed because of end users recognizing the benefits of incorporating an efficient video surveillance system.
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Manned Guarding and Security Services Market in India is a Market Insight and it is part of the Building Management Technologies Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related research services include: Select HVAC Products Market in India, Integrated Building Management Systems Market in India, Indian Fire & Safety Products Market and, Indian Facility Management Services (FMS) Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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