SWOT analysis of Private Security Services

SWOT analysis of Private Security Services
Manned guarding is the largest component of the private security services industry and is expected to contribute more than 90% of the private security services market. Cash services are expected to grow at a faster rate as compared to the manned guarding market over the next few years.

Scenario

The private security services market is dominated by large multinational and Indian players on one end of the market and a fairly fragmented, unorganized segment on the other. The key service offerings for private security players are around manned guarding and cash services and allied services such as electronic security services. The Indian security services industry has grown rapidly in the last decade, given the continuing threat perception from crime and terrorism; the demand for security in new infrastructure projects such as airports roads, and telecom towers; the emergence of modern retail, and the growing need for security for movement of cash within the banking system. The industry appears to have been relatively less impacted by the current economic slowdown and is expected to grow at 20% over the next few years. The private security services market was estimated to be INR 900 billion in FY 22-23. Manned guarding is the largest component of the private security services industry and is expected to contribute more than 90% of the private security services market. Cash services are expected to grow at a faster rate as compared to the manned guarding market over the next few years. However, considering the relative market sizes, manned guarding is expected to be a predominant component of the private security services market.

Brief history

India has the lowest police-to-population ratio resting at 0.95:1000 while the global average stands at 3: 1000, while Hong Kong stands at 4.8: 1000. The state police is no match to face and counter the security threats and challenges of business for want of troops. The ground to produce the private security in protecting the business security threats is seen and this has enhanced the role of the private security sector.  The PSS in its present form is unorganized, not optimally motivated or trained and equipped to confront the present and forthcoming challenges.  Out of 200 million students enrolled for school education of which only 20 million can finish Class XII signifying the dropout rate of 90% who do not have the necessary education or skills to be gainfully employed in the industries. This is the pool that PSS taps incessantly, the potential employable manpower.

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Profile of security personnel

Some factors play a major and critical role in carrying out security duties such as walking, running, climbing, looking, watching, hearing, observing, writing, lifting, etc in any activity to protect the properties and lives. But definitely and more so in business situations. Physical fitness is the mirror of the security personnel subject to other positive motivating factors. Therefore, without any doubt, the profile of a security comprises of 1. Physical ability 2 Mental ability. These are the two sides of the same coin. However mental ability also makes a security person more qualified to carry out the security function regularly without much of problems. With this basic qualification functional-related abilities and skills are required to perform the assigned tasks in security service in any business location. Another noteworthy skill expected from the security workforce is communication both oral and written form.  A good profile includes all these and when the responsibilities ladder goes up other factors like leadership, coordination, and interpersonal relationships are also required.

The SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is carried out in the subsequent paragraphs and it is a prerequisite to relate this concept to the various challenges that are present in this service.  The challenges are more from Marketing and Human Resources perspectives as they are the front-end and back-end services in their engagement with this business.

Strengths:

  1. Huge employable population available across the country.
  2. Growing requirements based on the security threat and perceptions.
  3. Support of Ex-Service personnel to frame the broad outline of the working regulations of the security personnel.
  4. Leadership role by Ex-Service in forming the security Organization in the private sector.
  5. Wide network of organizations in the private security industry across all major locations in India.
  6. Overseas tie-ups by leading organizations. E.g. ISS SDB Ltd-Chennai, G4 Securitas Limited- Delhi, and ISI- Bombay.

The Indian security services industry has grown rapidly in the last decade, given the continuing threat perception from crime and terrorism; the demand for security in new infrastructure projects such as airports roads, and telecom towers; the emergence of modern retail, and the growing need for security for movement of cash within the banking system.

Weakness

  1. Retention of employees performing front-line duties is difficult.
  2. Remuneration does not align with job requirements.
  3. More professional hazards like night shift duties.
  4. Remote location duties away from the residences.
  5.  Risk is highest for those in this industry when compared to those employed in other professions.
  6. There is a negative tag in the job i.e. only those who are not fit for any other employment lands up in this sector.
  7. Growing gap between the supply of the right type of personnel and the demand requirements of the business needs.
  8. Different rates of remuneration in different places in different industries.  What is prevalent and paid to the Security personnel in the Software industry differs from the process or manufacturing industry.
  9. Round-the-clock duty.
  10. Ironically it is still an unorganized sector even though the direct and indirect benefits from this service are immense. In almost all the occasions it is difficult to measure and evaluate the financial or monetary profit gained or loss prevented.

 Opportunities:

  1. Skills required are not too technical or nor do they need to be studied in long course.
  2. Conversion of Unemployment into Employment.
  3. Localized employment reduces the migration imbalance among the various locations.
  4.  Formulation of regulatory bodies governing the private security industries. E.g. Central Association of Private Security Industry.
  5. Awareness of Security Training for deployment of personnel to perform effectively.
  6.  Availability of Global knowledge and expertise.
  7. Certification on various aspects of security concepts by industry-backed forums. E.g. International Institute of Security Management, Delhi.

Threats

The threats to Industrial Security Services come from different areas.  Some of them are listed below:

  1. There is no recognition for the employees employed in the industry, unlike other professions.
  2. The government does not provide any financial aid/incentive education program to the industry.
  3. Lack of mindset from the industry employing personnel to take it as an essential job.
  4. Currently huge migration is taking place across the South not because of a lack of manpower in one location but ironically because of the unwillingness of local employable people to take up this job.   The threat is more real than the perception.
  5. Ever-increasing Security threats from unexpected quarters in different forms expose the unpreparedness of the security personnel to meet/counter this challenge.
  6. For Industries the threat is within meaning that the insiders are the source of danger to the properties because of inadequate security management.
  7. The Industrial Security Service is facing threats in the wake of murders/physical assaults to the security personnel when they face or prevent challenges like theft, robbery, and pilferage.

Unaddressed  Challenges and Repercussions

  1. Turnover of Security personnel is frequent and sometimes high in number
  2. Lack of awareness of security knowledge and implications internally,
  3. Frequent security lapse or breach in the business premises.
  4. Incidents of Fraud, misappropriation of funds, malpractice, willful negligence in work locations,  disruption of work, pilferage, and connivance
  5. Wrong inputs to the management leading to wrong conclusions.
  6. Man-hours loss.
  7. Negative reputation on organization management practices.
  8. Company’s Image and good is at stack.

Suggestions to overcome the challenges

  1. Design a fully committed Security policy with no compromise
  2. Invest in training, and knowledge building on security functions like any other functions in the company affairs.
  3. Design a written Policy and Operational manual for security
  4. Ensure fair practice and implementation of security guidelines
  5. Provide a motivating working environment to the security personnel
  6. Ensure the flow of information is on time and accurate
  7. Install the intelligence gathering on security and industrial climate
  8. Ensure the timely and proper statutory wages with basic welfare measures for security personnel
  9. Identify the opportunities for job rotation
  10. Make sincere efforts for career growth for security personnel.
  11. 11.  Supplement the physical security performance with technology where it is beneficial to end users and to the security personnel without compromising

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Prof Dr. V. Rangarajan

HR consultant, Academician and trainer.

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Prof Dr. V. Rangarajan

HR consultant, Academician and trainer.

June 2024

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