With the country ambitiously gearing to evolve as a ‘Smarter and Digitally’ developed nation, the safety and security solutions industry pushes for a safer, secure and a smarter tomorrow.

Have you ever noticed a day without a case of burglary being reported in your morning newspaper? Waking up to the crime reports of the morning dailies has become a part and parcel of our life. The incidents rest as a mere piece of information until it hits hard on us or on our dear ones. Each one of us strives to keep our near and dear ones, our assets as safe as possible. We have worked years to build and maintain our livelihoods and when you leave them or these assets behind, we want to make sure that they remain safe and protected from any harm. Safety and security thus are fundamentally important facets across all walks of our lives, and to ensure the overall protection of all individuals and our precious assets remain as our prime concern.

The rapid growth of urbanization though leads our country to its new glories, it has also brought with it an increasing number of crime reports, especially the cases of burglaries. These crimes have especially become a cause of worry in our glorious metros and cities. But, thanks to the advancements in technology, fighting against these social evils is now a handy affair. Safety and security systems like CCTV cameras, video surveillance systems, fire alarms, etc. though has been in the market since long, its importance, acceptance and adaptability has been on a positive rise in the recent past. While the choice of urban citizens is more inclined towards the sky-shooting high-rises, a positive growth is also being seen in the acceptance and adaptability of smart security systems.

Market Roundup

As per a recent report by Research and Markets, the CCTV market is expected to register a growth with a CAGR of more than 12 per cent in the period 2018-2023. The report indicates a higher penetration of smart safety solutions like CCTVs in tier-I and tier-II cities. These regions together contribute more than 80 per cent market in India. By region, in CCTV market, North dominates the market. South and west together contributes more than 55 per cent market share. In CCTV Camera Market Dome type CCTV Camera is highly used in Indian market follow by Bullet and Box.

A vital and positive transition is seen in the growth of IP Video Surveillance and CCTV. These solutions are increasingly becoming a norm in public spaces. Emerging video surveillance tools allow for greater networking of cameras, greater fields of vision, cheaper access and come with a host of tools such as facial recognition and tracking as well as vehicle tracking.

Considering the evolving potentials, market experts project the video surveillance market in India to scale up to US$ 2.4 billion by 2020. Currently, though analog-based surveillance systems have accounted for majority of the share (68 per cent) in the overall market, yet IP-based surveillance systems are expected to increase in the next five years due to increasing IP infrastructure, declining prices and demand for remote access. According to ‘India CCTV Camera Market Outlook, 2021,’ the India CCTV Camera market is expected to grow with a CAGR of about 27.16% in the period from 2016 to 2021.

The Indian surveillance market is witnessing immense growth from sectors such as city surveillance, hospitality, airport security, BFSI, retail, BPO, manufacturing, college campuses, infrastructure companies and education. The government, in general, is the biggest segment in terms of volume demand. The private sector also shows vast potential. About 87 per cent of surveillance needs are for commercial purpose, whereas 13 per cent are for residential.

Residential Sector is one of the major factors in preference of Dome type CCTV Camera. After Implementation of 4G Network India, the IP Based Technology has gain momentum in CCTV market as the bandwidth required is now more sufficient to support the IP solution. Now IP is in fact evolving and have various options with 4G, wireless technology. Rise in unsociable elements, terrorist activities, threat perceptions, growing crime rates, data thefts, remote monitoring, growth of public infrastructure, increase in IT spending, and government initiatives are the main reasons for the unprecedented boom in the CCTV market.

According to an IHS report India’s market for network video cameras is estimated to reach USD 194.7 million by 2020. Although there is a majority market share of analog systems, that is poised for a change in the coming years, market experts’ project the next decade to see a proliferation of IP based video surveillance systems that will replace analog systems.

A noteworthy development being seen in the evolution of safety and security systems is in transition towards smart solutions. Today the advancements in technology have pushed these systems much beyond the traditional camera devices to passive analog CCTV video systems to more sophisticated network-based IP video solutions that include integrated analytics. What once began as an industry offering the security and surveillance products sector has now metamorphosed into a solutions industry. The technology transition and increased safety requirements has fuelled the suppliers to not just provides products off the shelf but customised end-to-end offerings ranging from location evaluation, installation to monitoring support.

Innovating Thoughtfully

“India is on a construction spree. Cities are adding millions of square meters of residential and commercial space a year to meet the overwhelming demands of urbanization. However, in the face of lax building norms and even weaker enforcement, the safety and security of the built environment is one of the largest challenges to be addressed,” shares Peeyush Gupta, Director, Sales and Marketing, UL South Asia.

A 123 year old global, independent testing, inspection and certification company, UL offers third party services across a wide range of industry verticals, including built environment, renewable energy and pharma, among others.The Building and Life Safety Technology division is built on the strength of UL’s global role in securing the people, products and property, an experience that stretches as far back as the construction boom in America in the early 1900s.  The testing portfolio spans the evaluation of the structural integrity of the building envelope through field and model testing, the safety and security of fire containment materials and fire suppression products like fire doors, roofing systems and the performance of security systems like burglar and fire alarms and security equipment such as biometrics and access management systems.UL’s acclaimed building inspection services range from fire forensics, safety products installations, life safety measures as well as current technology innovations like building automation, smart homes and cyber security protocols.  The global major not just limits to this, but also offers customized inspections considering the need for country specific or region specific requirements.

“The customized inspections enabling the certification of the properties of reputed corporates and real estate companies reflect UL’s in-depth knowledge of local, national, international codes and regulations,” adds Gupta.

Another major Zicom Electronic Systems looks at the bigger picture of the need for safety and security systems for a Smart India. “It’s important for any business to keep an ear to the ground to sense what exactly its client, audience and partners need, and also what are the technological trends coming in. In 2005, we witnessed the emergence of the ‘network system’, i.e. a single IT network, connecting industry offices and buildings. This system needed protection, and the need of businesses was simple — if one heads from a Mumbai office to Delhi office, the access card, fingerprint system must be usable at both locations. A decade later, the security industry would migrate to the IOT platform run by readily available Internet. To know that India’s Internet penetration is only set to explode, we predicted challenges to offices and households and created security solutions seamlessly riding on WiFi. CCTVs are omnipresent, but there are many who need more layers of tech-based security. To know who’s knocking at your door, today all you need is a tap on your phone to have a conversation with the person and even open the door from your phone. This wasn’t really a need, but the industry warmed up to the savvy offering and evolved with it,” says Pramoud Rao MD, Zicom Electronic Security Systems.

He further adds, “With India’s landscape where policy makers and the police try day and night to curb crime, it is important for a business to assume a more inclusive, more responsible role. If you as an entrepreneur are trying to offer the same solutions as a governmental agency, it’s essential to work hand-in-hand and not necessarily compete as a ‘better’ player. With the rising number of crimes emanating from phones and those against women, we developed ZIMAN application, which protects personal data and alerts a contact during emergencies.”

Another key innovation from Zicom’s product kitty involves the handset-to-handset tracking feature that allows external tracking for up to three handsets. A safety button on the application can be easily triggered in case of medical emergencies. Consumers can avail this benefit for monitoring their aged parents or children even when they cannot be physically present with them. Additionally, the application also comes with a geo-fencing facility that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries like school attendance zones or neighbourhood boundaries. Mobile internet safety is the other product ensuring personal and handset safety. The app stops spyware, malware and phishing as well as undertakes real time scanning of anti-viruses. It also offers a fully loaded internet security for online working. Raising the bar of safety services, Zicom’sEmergency Map offers its users easy access of locating nearby available emergency services like hospitals, police stations, fire stations and others. This feature is particularly helpful to individuals while travelling when they may not always be aware of where hospitals or police stations are located.

Delving further, Bosch India Security Systems emphasizes on the importance of security concerns for establishments of all sizes. Sudhir Tiku, Regional Head, Bosch India Security Systems in his recent official blog states that smart cameras form an integral part of the broader communications and surveillance spectrum. He divides the role of video surveillance systems into three key sections – to proactively combat against fraud and theft, to aid staff in the resolution of situational disputes, and to provide inputs that help understand consumer behaviour better.

He expresses in his official blog, “Securing commercial and retail establishments comes with a unique set of challenges and this is where Bosch India enters the picture with its expertise and effective video surveillance products. Our security technology team utilizes state-of-the-art Bosch cameras and creates a value proposition in the Indian market based on quality, solution approach and IP connectivity. The team is also intensifying the vision of making communication products in India and this initiative is witnessing sustainable progress.”

Understanding the customer need Bosch India points out the three key factors demanded by Indian consumers while opting for security solutions – high quality, affordable products and ease of use. Hence, focusing on a localization strategy now drives a substantial part of Bosch India’s communications unit’s revenue and since its inception three years back, this program ensures that products are manufactured and released in an 8 months – 2 years timespan. The end result is that the standardized processes set in place ensure the Bosch quality stamp, deliver affordable localized options, and provide an ease of use that is customized for Indian users and context.

“Indian customers are very demanding as they will ask for multiple demonstrations, conduct a lot of research and also want live on-site installations. We plan to launch 10-12 locally engineered products every year and the commercialization of these products has been a major boost for us. We are also building on the existing Bosch Security Training Academy program that is freely available for anyone to enrol via the Bosch website. By building local products Bosch Indiais innovating security technology where it is needed the most and providing customers with efficient and cost-effective solutions for their current and upcoming security concerns,” adds Tiku.

Roadblocks to Growth

Our country has the world’s second largest population and an expanding middle class. This evolving opportunity while undoubtedly brings with a slew of economic and business opportunities. In the Information Age, it is of vital importance to act smart and be updated to stay ahead of the new age concerns. Though the country is positively opening up for smart safety and security systems, the market for these solutions remain largely unorganized.

“The market is flooded with inferior security products from Taiwan, China and other Southeast Asian countries. These products score in terms of price when compared to the products sold by Indian players. The Indian CCTV market grew by 20-26 per cent. Even though the demand for CCTVs has been rising fast, in India the industry is still at a developing stage. Manufacturers, integrators as well as solutions providers face several challenges, which are preventing the industry from flourishing. There are infrastructural issues constraining the industry,” points out Rao.

Market experts uniformly opine that the consumer should insist on procuring products that come with an inbuilt warranty against any manufacturing defects. In the day and age of the Internet, where all information is available even on cell phones, consumers should try and make sure that they check the CCTV brand or the manufacturer/supplier of the product, on the Internet. The focus at the time of purchase should move from low price to quality. Most of the clients would be pleasantly surprised that they can get a much better product with a warranty and a service backup at a price similar to the Chinese products that are being sold in the country without any such facility.

The deployment challenges as per the market experts include cumbersome procedures, delay in timely approvals, geographical and extreme weather conditions, tough terrains, lack of clear roadmap of the project and the shortage of skilled manpower at remote locations. Owing to these factors the project cost escalates and the completion of the project gets delayed, resulting in an increased cost of installation for the end-customers.

However, with the government’s Make in India initiative, these challenges are gradually fading away. Processes are becoming streamlined, and with the government’s emphasis on a Digital India, various initiatives are being taken to educate and train officials, which are, in turn, paving the path for a brighter future.

The evolution of safety and security systems has been thus an interesting saga in the India’s path of development. The technological transitions continue to drive in a positive change of development for a Smarter Tomorrow. The industry continues to bring in more smarter and much innovative technologies in transforming Smart India into a Safer, Smarter and Secure India.