Post 26/11,hotels go shopping for hi-tech security gadgets,up demand

From gadgets to keep your security guard awake through the night to high-end baggage scanners,the security industry post Mumbai attack is growing at a breakneck rate of nearly 35 per cent,estimate those in the market.

Written by Sobhana K | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2009 1:02:26 am

From gadgets to keep your security guard awake through the night to high-end baggage scanners,the security industry post Mumbai attack is growing at a breakneck rate of nearly 35 per cent,estimate those in the market.

“We’d never counted the hospitality industry as a potential buyer,especially for baggage scanners. But post 26/11,new avenues have opened up. It is not just the five-star hotels which are buying explosive and X-ray scanners,even smaller resorts and hotels are catching up. Hotels are even scanning their food supplies before letting anything in,” said Lalit K Srivastava of Smiths Detection at the 12th International Security Exhibition at the Pragati Maidan.

After the November attack,all the branches of the Taj Hotel — Delhi,Mumbai,Bangalore,Cochin,Chennai,Jodhpur and Goa — have purchased X-ray baggage inspection systems.

In Delhi,the Ambassador Hotel,Jaypee Hotels,Shangri-La,Hyatt Regency,Le Meridien,InterContinental Nehru Place,Crowne Plaza,Apeejay Surendra Park Hotels have all purchased scanners now. The list is ever-growing. Among the corporates,Reliance Industries Limited was one of the first to place its order. Hotels are also buying explosives detection systems,hand-held narcotics detectors and chemical warfare detection systems. Hyatt Regency,Shangri-La and Le Meridien in Delhi have equipped themselves with the latest in this line. DHL Worldwide Express,Mumbai branch,has installed such detection systems.

“The market is increasing at the rate of 35 per cent annually,” said Rajiv Mathur VP Vision Security Group. The group launched a mobile surveillance unit,which is basically a pan-tilt-zoom camera which can be mounted on any vehicle that can view up to a distance of 1,000 metres during the day and 200 metres in the dark.

Even the market for household security appliances is increasing,with several firms lined up to sell everything from CCTVs to electronic locks. For instance,the Integrated Guard Monitoring System by Sparsh Private Limited can be installed in the guard room which beeps at regular intervals. If the guard is awake he would press the system. In case the guards nods off ,then after two or three beeps,the system will send out an alarm in the form of an sms,a call or a hooter.

“The demand is certainly increasing,although household security appliances such as these only account for 5 per cent of the total market share,” said Sanjeev Sehgal,managing director of Sparsh.

Divyakant Gupa director of Id Cube said that most of the upcoming housing colonies are getting security gadgets such as video door phones fitted before selling out the houses.

“Awareness levels have certainly gone up. We’re getting a lot of inquiries from middle-class families,not many translate into sales though. The price is a key deterrent. Most of these products are imported and come with a custom duty of 32 per cent and an additional VAT of 12.5 per cent,” said Rajnish Agarwal of Acquila Security.

At present,you can get CCTV for your house for anything between Rs 2000 and Rs 20,000,but experts claim that if tax exemption is given,the price can be halved.

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