Private eye is watching

The private security industry in Chennai is witnessing an exponential growth.
The Black Panthers are part of PSDB’s 1,200 security guards.

So, what led to the boom? While it’s true that we are living in uncertain times, the turning point, all agree, was the Mumbai 26/11 attacks. “Until recently, Chennaiites would have thought the concept of private security outrageous. But Mumbai 26/11 changed all that. We had people and business houses rushing to us with enquiries,” says Abhilesh Hari of Vigil Security Bureau Private Limited, which has branches in industrial hubs like Bangalore, Coimbatore, Hosur and Tirupur.

“People have become more security conscious. They want the latest electronic systems to protect their home and hearth and are willing to pay,” says the young entrepreneur.

Well, designer security definitely does not come cheap. A home package offered by his company comprises two cameras in front and back, video door phone, burglar alarm and two security guards (day and night). The one-time installation of cameras alone costs Rs 40,000; salary for the guards is Rs 8,000 each plus 10.3 per cent commission to the company.

“It’s a total security solution involving man and machine,” says Abhilesh. One that puts your mind at ease when you are vacationing with your family, he points out.

Mumbai was a wake-up call to the business community too. With IT parks and other industries coming up in remote suburbs of Chennai, business houses haunted by images of gun-toting men wreaking havoc for four days, want to take up security in their own hands.

No wonder, they are ready to foot the huge bill for a state-of-the-art system comprising guards, surveillance cameras, canine squad and solar fencing offered by private security firms.

After the recent sensational murder-for-gain at a Jain mandir, the city police chief’s ultimatum to cash-rich banks and gold-rich temples to strengthen their security means good news for these firms.

Better Call them loss prevention executives

It’s no longer watchman, gurkha or security guard… Now they are loss prevention executives.

With the concept of private security undergoing a sea change in Chennai, jobs in many leading companies have new tags to attract young talent to the industry.

SDB-CISCO, which counts several banks and industrial houses as its clients, is increasingly looking to add graduates to its rolls. “We are aiming to appoint educated youth for various posts in our company,” says B A Manimozhi Arasu, joint general manager (operations). “And since they may feel queasy about being called security guards, we have come up with tags such as ‘loss prevention executives’.”

The sector is largely manpower-oriented, attracting hundreds of unemployed youth from rural areas. The government has woken up to this fact and on May 29 Indira Gandhi National Open University launched a diploma programme in security operations in association with Security Skill Council of India.

“The aim is to train one lakh security personnel by 2011 as demand for security personnel has increased manifold in the recent past in view of the heightened threat perception,” IGNOU Vice-Chancellor Rajasekharan Pillai said at the launch.

The programme will kick-start from January next and is open to graduates and undergraduates from all streams.

In order to eliminate the risk of having a black sheep amidst them, private security firms adopt elaborate procedures for recruitment. “The applicants’ address and background are thoroughly verified with the help of the police. They are also fingerprinted,” says V Devarajan, managing director, Premier Security and Detective Bureau.

For youth who wanted to make it to the army or police but could not, this sector offers good opportunities. Recruits are given training in defence skills, firefighting, first aid and even register maintenance. The salary package is good, say insiders. “We pay Rs 8,000 to the security guards. Besides, we offer provident fund, gratuity and compensation of Rs 2 lakh in the event of any accident. They are also given ATM cards,” says Sujatha Hari, executive director of Vigil Security Bureau Pvt Ltd, which employs 7,000 of them.

So, what is the difference between them and the under-nourished and under-paid watchman we are all familiar with?

“Our security guards are uniformed and professional to the core. Most importantly, the lady of the house cannot use them to run her errands,” she says.

News Courtesy: The New India Express

2 Comments

  • Riva Collins

    November 9, 2019 - 2:07 am

    It’s no secret that the digital industry is booming. From exciting startups to need ghor
    global and brands, companies are reaching out.

  • Obila Doe

    November 9, 2019 - 2:09 am

    It’s no secret that the digital industry is booming. From exciting startups to need ghor hmiu
    global and brands, companies are reaching out.

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