Dec 07 2020
Manpower Security has always been considered an unorganized sector & irrespective of the size of the industry it still remains more or less nascent in the minds of big money churners.
Our country saw an Industrial revolution post ‘91 & in the era that followed Manufacturing, IT-ITES & Agri-Dairy industry has been the one which has contributed maximum to the nation’s GDP.
The Game Changer:
Services has largely been a game changer when it comes to organizations looking to diversify their interests, let’s take the example of the IT majors who diversified into IT based services; for more relevance let’s take the example of GMR which launched “Raxa” in 2005. GMR diversified into the support services and has been gaining ground rapidly by adding both PSU & Private clients to its ever-growing business portfolio. Taking a leaf out of their books a few other corporates too have ventured into Risk Assessment & Training services for the Private sector guarding force which has more than 13 Million manpower working under its umbrella.
The Chairman of CAPSI, Shri. Kunwar Vikram Singh summarizes that the balance between people in security and security technology is debated. Yet a majority of the work undertaken in PSI is based on behavioural analytics; the role of people – although much less commonly acknowledged – is rarely far away. But CAPSI & its members have taken a step in the right direction by representing the industry in the best possible manner.
My Own Story:
Now amongst all this talk of PSI being on the rise let me tell you my own experience in this industry. I began my decade plus journey in the PSI after I passed out of the prestigious Symbiosis Institute with an MBA in HR, after dabbling in a corporate career with a few Indian Majors, a Japanese MNC & a consulting firm I finally decided to join my father’s business which was a private security company established in 1983 (www.dssgroup.co.in).
This decision was more on the lines of self-sustaining since I had just started off with my PhD., and it was tough to manage a job and studies together. Being in my own firm gave me some freedom. I expected a smooth ride & since I just saw it as a regular business, I expected the same sort of respect & work ethics as in a regular organization.
But I was in for a rude shock when I started visiting the clients, firstly they wouldn’t talk with you as a professional & the second they came to know about my qualifications they started questioning my decision to join an industry which apparently as per them didn’t have much of a leverage in terms of a professional career.
This made me think on how to change the perception that people have, I was too small a fish in the sea to cause any ripples but I started slowly focussing on the Human factors involved in this business. Training, recruitment & career mobilisation used to be my focus – somewhere I believe professionals across the country were doing the same, and within a few years buoyed by the Govt. of India’s NSDC we saw the focus shifting from Highly skilled manpower to unskilled & semi-skilled ones.
Agreed that even today the chambers of Shangri-La are too far but the road to it has been laid out. It remains true that people in B-schools and colleges may often consider a career in some area of the Internal Policing, or the military, but rarely private security. Yet the breadth of opportunities is enormous. The key for security is to present itself differently and this is a longstanding challenge.
But the biggest achievement of the PSI champions & leaders is the fact that today it is recognised as one of the biggest employers in the country. The Human factors which have been brought to play are the biggest achievements.
The role of security has not been bypassed albeit it is time for organizations to step up. Business is being transformed (using more technology, centralising processes etc.) and the need is for security to be strategic, there is always a place for security at the tactical level, but executives don’t invite tactical people to sit at the high table (think, act, report strategically).
Amongst some interesting observations that will engage more people & will allow other industries too to take note of PSI is to interpret their work in terms of how it impacts on the business. I’d like to remind the reader that PSI has always operated ‘in a context of an expectation of change’ & the future is all about integrating it with the “Human Factor”.
Dr Sheetal Nair, Corporate Head, DSS Group of Companies
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