Tops Grup - Specialist in security
Grup, which specializes in corporate and industrial
security, has just upgraded its Pune office from
a branch office to a regional one. The company started
operations in 1970 when it pioneered industrial
security in the country.
The company is in the process of introducing a countrywide
radio trunk networking service and setting up intricate
electronics surveillance systems in industrial and
commercial establishments. Investigating competitive
malpractice and industrial espionage, spurious product
introduction, and copyright infringement of software
and media products also form part of the company’s
list of activities.
Not content with such a wide array of services,
it plans to take on some more! On the cards is corporate
security training, and cash management services,
where it sees a major market. The latter is big
business given the spread of automatic teller machines
(ATMs) across the country.
"Earlier we thought that cash management services
meant transferring cash from one location to another.
Today it means a whole lot more, with the installation
of ATMs across the country. Besides providing the
physical security, it also means understanding the
complex technology of the ATMs, replenishing cash,
accounting for it, understanding the codes, and
changing cassettes. Above all, you need to build
up a high degree of credibility," says Aneel
Khanna, chief operating officer of Tops Grup.
management services will also extend to supermarkets
and other chain stores, as also precious cargo transportation,
such as bullion and diamonds. To gear up to the
task, the company proposes to acquire the appropriate
capability, including equipment, armoured vehicles
and technology. In order to equip itself better
to handle such high technology security, the company
plans to enter into a technical or joint venture
collaboration with an overseas organisation.
The other area where Tops Grup plans to branch out
is into corporate security training. According to
Khanna, it is not the responsibility of the
security staff alone to maintain the security of
the organisation. The company's staff, he reckoned,
is equally responsible, and need to be trained to
cope with emergency situations. The corporate training
would involve evacuation drills, fire fighting,
installing of systems and panic diffusing measures,
as also personal protection in hazardous zones.
The company plans to expand its branch activities
to cover 85 cities by March 2002, from 79 at present
and hope to make it to Rs. 100 crore mark from the
present turnover of Rs. 52 crores. The final objective
is to turn the company into a global player, extend
its activities beyond the country's boundaries,
and get publicly listed.
However, what really irks the Company Management
is the absence of 'industry' status for the security
business, and this, Khanna asserts, needs urgent
overhaul. A major grouse is the neglect shown by
banks with most of them not very forthcoming with
their schemes, especially when, in the day of high
technology security needs, it is imperative that
security companies need to equip themselves with
the right infrastructure and expertise, which invariably
calls for timely investments.
Grup, in its bid to achieve industry status for
the sector, has taken the initiative of setting
its own house in order. The company has obtained
ISO certification. It has also initiated steps to
revamp the Security Agencies Association, moving
towards self-regulation, and getting involved in
citizen protection groups along with the state police
to monitor residential belts.
Considering that this sector is largely unorganised,
with only a handful of organised players most of
them with a regional presence, the task is indeed
a complex one. But, as Khanna rightly puts it, security
is a vital need, and this sector is a significant
employer, employing over 10 lakh people. Valued
at Rs. 1,500 crore, and growing at the rate of 20
per cent annually an industry status should not
be too far away.
163-1A, Adarsh Colony, Vishrantwadi, Pune-411037;
By Rahul Surkund