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Pradhan releases FICCI-PwC report on Indian private security industry 

Business Standard , Nov 10, 2017

A FICCI-PwC report, titled 'Indian private security industry

The report presents an in-depth analysis of the Indian private security industry, covering its major service segments, key players, existing policy frameworks, a comparison with global policies and amendments needed to the existing reforms and lists real challenges for the industry players going forward.

The private security industry is one of the largest employers in India and is continuously growing. The private security industry is amongst the largest employers in India, employing almost 8.5 million people and has the potential to employ 3 million more people by 2020. Manned guarding continues to be the service line with maximum employment and is also the highest revenue generator for the private security industry, contributing to 80 per cent of the revenue, followed by cash services.

With a high level of advancements in technology, services like electronic security services, integrated facility management and security architecture and engineering will see greater prominence in the time to come. This not only has the potential to improve the quality of services offered by security companies but may also prove to be a boon for the large workforce who will have the opportunity to up-skill themselves and progress to engaging employment conditions. With the passage of time, security companies have evolved from servicing only homes and businesses and are now focusing on servicing the government.

The report notes that as per industry sources, 60 per cent of the security service providers still operate as unorganised, thereby keeping the sector pricing oriented and amenable to unfriendly employment practices and making it difficult to monitor quality and compliance. The sector continues to be perceived by the workforce as non-aspirational, as people are unaware of career prospects and the benefits that can be achieved. Technology integration is yet another challenge as it is widening the gap between the well-established players and smaller players in the industry.

Most clients are now looking for technology-enabled security solutions which some of the bigger players in the industry already have; however, because of high capital and highly skilled manpower requirements, it is getting harder for smaller companies to keep up with the pace. Lack of quality manpower, high attrition rates and compliance requirements also continue to pose major challenges to the growth of the manned guarding security services market.

Government policies are changing the game quickly with important decisions being taken to overcome challenges such as revision in foreign direct investment (FDI) rates, recategorisation of security workers and modification in the minimum wages. However, the industry stakeholders are still of the view that more changes at the policy level and improved enforcement could help private security grow further and make the sector more viable for investments. Some key suggestions are creating a grading framework for private security players in the market and having a single window licence process.