Currently, the private security industry (PSI) is an indispensable component of security and safety around the world safeguarding not only the infrastructure of the nation but also the intellectual property and highly-confidential information. As for Indian private security industry, the small police-to-people ratio continues to spearhead the exponential growth of this industry, which is already registering the annual growth of 22 per cent.

As a matter of fact, the private security industry is the largest sector providing employment opportunities to the Indian population, second to the agriculture. Though the industry employs a large number of employees, a major part of it still falls under the category of “unorganised sector” whereas only 45 per cent of it can be called “organised” due to the slack implementation of the Private Security Agencies Regulation Act-2005.

However, the landscape in India is changing every now and then. The industry has a great potential to generate thousands of jobs to urban and rural population, but it falls short of 30 per cent of manpower.

Changing landscape of Indian PSI

Considering current policy and regulatory developments in the country, the private security industry is bound to grow by leaps and bounds as the government of India is emphasising on “Make in India”, which encourages foreign capital into the development of industries across the nation. This surely will increase demands for private security personnel and will make the entire industry to adopt the latest technologies and best practices as per the international standards. For this, another campaign by the government of India “Digital India” is acting as the propeller for the private security industry to use new and cutting-edge digital technology for protection against crime, natural disasters, accidents or terrorism.

There is a myriad of career opportunities contained in the private security industry for the youth where they get technical knowledge expertise as well as important professional experience.

Career scope in security services

People can look for good employment opportunities in the security services industry as it is constituted majorly of the manned guarding with around 75 per cent of share, cash services management and electronic security having 20-25 per cent share. The private security agencies provide skilled technical services including tracking X-Ray machines, dog squads, bomb and explosive detection, CCTV surveillance and many more. Therefore, the role of security guards is becoming more technical day by day. Below are a few options that aspired youth can watch for:

  • Manned guarding: Manned guarding has the highest employment rate and revenue share in the whole industry. All major sectors like retail, commercial, IT, manufacturing demand the skilled and competent security guards.

Moreover, the 39 per cent of demands for residential manned guarding in metro cities like Delhi, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur also gives a major boost to the overall demand of security guards. As of now, well-paid private security guards work at over 22,000 private security agencies in India that are managed by ex-services and retired officers.

  • Cash management security services: Cash management security services form the organised part of the private security industry with 7-8 market players holding around 70-80 per cent of the share. The reason behind this is the high-level security required in the cash-management sector. From cash replenishment services for bank ATMs to cash pick up and drop for large corporates and retail outlets, cash management services are widely opted by all.

Although licensing of arms, liability, and insurance make this sector a high-risk and low return business, cash management security services, including both manned guarding and electronic security, see a significant increase in its demand and growth with the new installations of ATM and widespread use of debit cards across the nation.

  • Event security management: Event security service providers are burgeoning across lengths and breadths of the country leveraging the digital technology and employing and training the semi-skilled or unskilled youth for both security guards and event security management.

These companies let the events take place in a safe and secure environment with the means of crowd control and VIP protection services. Youths can apply to varied jobs in event security management like bodyguards, security event managers, and security information system analysts in security monitoring team.

  • Technical roles: Businesses worldwide look for security guards having an advanced skill set, firefighting capabilities, learned first-aid practices etc. Amongst these, the most important requirement in the sector is the in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience of working with technology. As already mentioned, the technology is paving its way to revolutionise the private security industry by bringing in the automation techniques and sharp tech-enabled surveillance. Many private security companies have started offering a wide range of cloud-based and remote security solutions using the analytic platform and smart intelligence in order to the security needs of clients in various industries. For this, they are doing massive hiring for information security managers and executives who protect the servers, computers, networks, etc, from cyber attacks.

As technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Big Data make a trailblazing entry into the private security industry, there is going to be a wave of jobs not only for well-trained security guards but also for the skilled information security analysts in the sector to keep up with future security needs.

There are more than 200 Training Centres imparting security training as per the National Occupation Standards approved by the Government of India. Centres of Security Excellence are also being set up to provide advance training in security management.

The writer is chairman, Central Association of Private Sector Industry (CAPSI).