The five million private security personnel in India today outnumber the army, navy, air force, police and the CBI put together.
Generating a million jobs a year, this industry has emerged as one of the biggest private employers. Last week, even the Centre welcomed the use of private security personnel for intelligence gathering and disaster management — an acknowledgement of its growing importance.
Those from the industry said higher incomes and rising crime graphs in big cities have made private security a necessity. “In the past couple of years, the security in residences has grown to about 10 per cent of the enquiries we got. The upwardly mobile want security for their families and their bungalows,” said Major Mandeep Garewal, managing director of Force Tech.
In housing societies, residential security complete with patrolling is a selling point for developers. And the growing number of multiplexes, parking lots, flyovers and airports means more guards needed to secure the premises.
“The demand is largely driven by the upsurge in the construction industry. Also, the public is now more concerned about law and order. Given these factors, the private security industry is one of the largest creators of jobs in the economy,” said Kunwar Vikram Singh of the Central Association of the Private Security Industry.
Security needs have grown beyond stationing a “guard with a stick”.
Now, private security personnel also have to be tech savvy, leading to the rise of professional private security agencies that make up the Rs 21,000-crore industry.
“The demand will increase once colleges and universities start offering courses on security as is envisaged. With the enforcement of the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005, all personnel will have to be trained,” said Captain Ravee of the Orion School of Security and Intelligence Management. According to Central Association of the Private Security Industry, gauging from the growth, up to 10,000 training institutes will be required all over India to meet the demand.