Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
Kunwar Vikram Singh – Chairman, Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI)
Vikram Mahurkar – Founder, Checkmate Services Pvt. Ltd. 
Vishwanath Katti – CMD,  Guardwell Prime Services Pvt. Ltd 
Capt S B Tyagi – Chief Councillor, International Council for Industrial Security and Safety Management (ICISSM) 
Simon Pears – Global Security Director, Sodexo

Advisor: Rajiv Mathur

Key points

This special webinar, focussed on the situation specifically in India. In these

challenging times India faces distinct problems, a large population incorporating different religions and cultures; a security sector facing cutbacks as businesses downsize; and a requirement for companies to bear much of the costs with a virus that has the potential to spread speedily.

You will witness an interesting discussion about skill sets. On one level some staff not working are spending time being trained; and others are gaining skills from the types of work that are being required where some are multi-tasking more than was the case previously. In a different way the India security sector has engaged with business continuity, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. But this area is a big opportunity for security in India, if it can be good at maintaining business operations in adversity it is at the core of business requirements. As you will see, there is a suggestion that it will be a skill that, once developed, the sector India can export.

The audience posed a lot of questions, and many revolved around the consequences of downsizing. Some security companies, but only some, have suffered a dramatic level of losses.  Panel responses were more optimistic, noting that downsizing was a passing phase, there was talk of consolidation in the industry, of clients needing security as recovery takes place and there being an opportunity for security to take control of its destiny.

In terms of the Indian security sector response to Covid-19 you will witness interesting discussions, for example, Vikram Mahurkar and Kunwar Vikram Singh praising the response so far albeit that it has varied by region somewhat and by sector.  Vishwanath Katti makes the point, returning to the theme of downsizing, that those companies who are best prepared, doing the best job, and engaged most closely with clients are the ones who will survive, they are well placed. There is never a substitute for being good at what you do. India is heavily reliant on people and few expected this to change. Capt Tyagi noted that whatever the technology in the end people have to respond; India has been and will likely remain committed to labour alongside embracing technologies Simon Pears posts a final an optimistic note. His company, Sodexo, has global operations and he reported that in China which is further down the road to recovery, normal service is being resumed, and quickly. Security is proving resilient, more so than other services. There is an awareness there about how important security is, providing an early warning system to identify those with  fevers for example, to prevent further spread of the virus, doing what it is good at, keeping people safe.