Hotels, firms, banks up spending on security after attacks
For India Inc, the terrorist attacks on Mumbai were a rude wake-up call.
Two years on, funds allocated for security have increased substantially, insurance cover for terrorism gone through the roof and security is no more just placing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
At the Taj Mahal Palace and Trident, the two luxury hotels targeted by the terrorists on November 26, 2008, one cannot miss the beefed-up security with scanning machines and alert, but surprisingly, polite security personnel. Almost all premium hotels and malls in the city too are investing and insuring themselves against similar attacks.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, the exporter to Europe and Americas, has implemented an emergency preparedness programme for its employees after the 26/11 incident, wherein they have been trained to deal with any emergencies, be it fire or terror attack.
Siemens, the Indian arm of the German engineering major, is not far behind. One can see at least 15 CCTV screens right at the entrance. Besides, visitors are provided with identity cards with their pictures taken on the spot through a web cam.
Major banks, such as ICICI and HDFC, and government institutions, including the Security and Exchange Board of India and Reserve Bank of India, too follow the photo identification process.
“Post-26/11, there was an immediate reaction and a buying trend was noticed for security equipment. In the last two years, there has been a continuous spending in the government sector for city, airport, power plant and other important places for surveillance-based equipment,” said Pramoud Rao, managing director and promoter, Zicom Electronic Security Systems.
Corporate houses were not comfortable avowing their exact spending on security.
According to an estimate, the spending on security could have increased by more than 100% since the terror attacks. But, industry experts say, a lot more needs to be done.
Retailers too are pulling up their socks. “Every Future Group store has a metal detector at the entrance and CCTVs. Besides, shoppers carrying bags have to deposit them at the cloakroom,” said a senior employee with the company.
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