International violence draws concern from global companies

Last week's killing of LK Chaudhury, the India head of Italian auto-parts company Graziano, and assault on Kashir Dwivedi, CEO of US-based Expedience e-solutions' India Ltd will further amplify the security measures global companies take in India.

Both incidents occurred in Noida, while the former was an industrial relations issue' wherein a mob of operators took out their frustration on the CEO, the latter was a case of damage or threat to life.

"A third party agency which acts as a warning system for US-based Honeywell's employees has sent out worldwide travel alerts' to the company's employees who are visiting places such as Delhi and Pakistan after attacks on multinational companies such as Marriott and Graziano," says Arun Khazanci, director operations for Honeywell's life safety business and president of Fire and Safety Association of India (FSAI), a non-profit organisation which seeks to educate society on security and fire safety measures.

Protection and security firms such as G4S and Sentenel dealing in manpower guarding and in security systems such as access control, CCTV (closed-circuit television), TV monitors and also in outdoor parking lot and barricade protection have seen an increase in demand. "Though the electronic and guarding services industry has grown about 30 percent year on year, total security awareness among companies in India is developing slowly and it's usually when unfortunate incidents such as the ones which took place in Noida over the past week happen that companies sit up and take notice and decide they need to act on security," says Anil Dhawan, senior vice-president sales and marketing for G4S and president of the India chapter of Asian Professional Security Association (APSA), a professional association which sets quality standards for the security industry.

According to Dhawan, the security industry is still very fragmented and because of the lack of regulations a lot of organisations market products, which cannot withstand rugged conditions such as weather variations, factors that the APSA aims to correct. However, in the area of manpower guarding, the government of India has passed the Private Security Regulation Act (PSRA) of 2005 stating parameters on areas such as training, discipline and grooming that security companies need to comply with in order to obtain licenses.

However, PSRA needs to be further adopted by state governments and thus far just 5 state governments have implemented this act, Delhi not being one of them.