Terrorism drives security technology



While the global economic turmoil has gripped a number of industries, security technology solution providers in India have grown over the last two quarters despite the slowdown. The terror attacks in the financial capital of the country has literally forced the government, business establishments in general and the hospitality industry in particular to step up spends on security and surveillance systems. This has translated into good business for the security technology solution providers.

Surveillance equipment providers have registered a growth of 20-50 per cent over the last two quarters which is considerable in the light of recessionary trends.
For instance, Zicom Electronic Security Systems Ltd, one of the leading security equipment providers in the country, reported a 20 per cent growth in sales in the quarter ended on June 1.

Its sales for the quarter stood at Rs 52.91 crore as against Rs 43.92 crore during the corresponding period last year despite the fact that real estate industry experienced a slump because of the global economic crisis. Smaller, companies that provide surveillance systems reported more impressive growth during the last six months. Super Safety Systems, an unlisted company based in Mumbai says its business grew by about 50 per cent in the last two quarters.

Zicom Managing Director Pramoud V Rao says the government's spending on Safe City Projects has increased after the terror attacks and surveillance systems are being installed at vital government installations in big cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.
‘‘The locations which are visited by a large number of people are also equipped with cameras. For instance, 500 surveillance cameras will be installed at major temples in Bangalore in the next one month. Such measures are driving the security industry", says Mr Rao.  Presently, the size of the security technology business is worth Rs 1,600 crore and it will shoot up to Rs 5,000 crore in the next five years, Mr Rao says, adding ‘‘We don't want terror incidents to take place. But we flourish under a fluid security environment". Suresh Prabhu, Country Manager, Axis Communications, a global leader in  Internet Protocol-based surveillance equipment manufacturer observes, ‘‘After the Mumbai terror attack, there has been a visible demand for surveillance solutions from the hospitality sector. Since there are increased investments in Tier-II and Tier-III cities (now), surveillance penetration in this region is bound to grow".

‘‘We foresee a positive consistent growth in the surveillance industry of about 35-40 per cent till 2012. Estimates from independent industry analysts confirm the assessment", Mr Prabhu adds.

The security solutions division of Godrej & Boyce, which imports premises security equipment from east Asian countries, has seen a spurt in sales after the Mumbai terror attacks. The company’s General Manager (Marketing, security solutions) Mehernosh says the sales of premises security equipment stood at Rs 80 crore at the end of the June quarter which was a 40 per cent growth year-on-year.

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