In India, biometrics poised for growth

India's commercial market readies for biometrics, yet hesitation remains

Where has it reached? For BR Badhri, CEO, Customer Infinity Services Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based security solutions provider, the bulk of biometric applications to date are probably in areas that one will never hear of.

"Globally, biometrics could be seen at prison visitor systems, drivers licenses, canteen administration, benefit payment systems, border control, voting systems, junior school areas, gold and diamond mines, bullion warehouses and bank vaults," he says.

With many biometrics applications restricted to banking and security, the service providers are betting big on the concept.

"At present, the market share of biometric security system is Rs150 crore. For us, it makes about 10% of our turnover. We expect it to grow to 15-20% next year," says DE Byramjee, VP & business head, Godrej Security Equipment Division.

Still, a culture shock exists. With brands recording good responses on biometric-enabled products, many still feel that its proliferation is quite at the nascent stage. To blame is the lack of awareness, issues of privacy, choice of right technology to marry appropriately with the application that one intends to deploy, says Manmohan Kumar of BioEnable Technologies. But this is ubiquitous, say experts, with countries like the US apprehensive of the invasion of privacy while in Japan, people are reluctant to touch something used by others. And so, here India gets its benefit of doubt.

(Financial Express -- 01/14/08)