HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014
Protection force
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 15, 2012
First Published: 14:12 IST(15/8/2012)
Last Updated: 14:26 IST(15/8/2012)

The lowdown
India’s private security sector — the world’s largest — is expanding, meaning a greater need for bodyguards, now christened close protection executives (CPE). Celebs, VIPs, industry leaders, senior business executives, expatriates, foreign business delegations visiting India, educational institutions as well as the aviation, shipping, hospitality, retail and entertainment sectors require private security. The tourism sector is going to need it, too, says Kunwar Vikram Singh, chairman, Central Association of Private Security Industry – India and chairman, Security Knowledge and Skill Development Council. According to Singh, India’s private security industry is growing at an annual rate of 25%, the highest in the world. India has a manpower shortfall of about 30%. The biggest security services companies in the country include Group4, Topsgrup, SIS, Checkmate Services and Securitas, among others

A typical work day in the life of a close protection executive (CPE):
5am: Exercise for an hour
6am: Get ready; pray; have breakfast
8am: Leave for work
9am: Take over from the colleague on night duty. Understand the day’s schedule. Take intelligence briefing. Be with the protectee and keep an eye on who’s coming to visit protectee   
2pm: Grab a quick bite
2.30pm: Resume duty. Plan for the protectee’s visit to another city. Find out the route, political situation of the place, etc
9.30pm: Leave for the day

The payoff
A CPE can earn about Rs. 20,000 a month

* Agile and physically fit 
* Presence of mind; highly-vigilant all the time
* Patience 
* Ability to manage stress
* Good soft skills; be well-dressed and presentable, especially to be with corporate clients so that s/he looks like a “buddy or family”

Getting there
A bodyguard does not necessarily have to be a “pehelwan” (wrestler), says Kunwar Vikram Singh, chairman, Central Association of Private Security Industry - India and chairman, Security Knowledge and Skill Development Council (SKSDC), set up by the central government to start courses. Educationally, an aspirant should have a 10+2 or a bachelor’s degree, with good soft skills. “We are trying to attract boys and girls with B or C certificates of the NCC,” says Singh

Institutes and URLs 
* You can pursue a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognised university 
* SKSDC is going to offer training in about seven-eight months. “It’ll start diploma, degree and PG degree courses in security science and management in less than a year from now,” says Singh. The courses will be available through Punjab Technical University and “hundreds of security training schools,” which are to come up in the country, informs Singh. The authorities are also signing agreements with foreign universities, he says. “We’ll start an open university  for security science courses.”

Pros and cons
* Decent pay
* Growing employment options
* You might accompany a celebrity 
* A high-responsibility duty —stress and pressure are part and parcel of the job
* Work is physically demanding 
* Long working hours
* Possibility of frequent travel with the protectee 
* If the client is under threat, you too face it

It’s a sunshine sector. There is a huge demand for bodyguards. There are about 50% vacancies in this industry in the country. This is a huge area to make a career Kunwar Vikram Singh, chairman, Central Association of Private Security Industry-India and Security Knowledge and Skill Development Council

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