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Keeping a watch: how video surveillance has carved a secure niche for itself

Video surveillance has seen a paradigm shift in India with security becoming a priority for both the government and the enterprises. Predictably, what with newer innovations flooding the market, India’s security and surveillance market has grown considerably over the past few years.

According to 6Wresearch, a global market research and consulting firm, India’s video surveillance market is projected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 13 per cent during 2017-2023. Although, analog based surveillance systems have accounted for majority of the market revenues, however, growing awareness as well as declining prices is likely to proliferate IP based surveillance systems over the coming years.

The Northern region has registered the highest revenue in 2016 with states of Delhi NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh being the major contributors. Hybrid video surveillance solutions are being widely deployed in these states. These are also the preferred surveillance solutions for educational institutions, airports, railway stations and power plants.

In a tête-à-tête with Sudhindhra Holla, Sales Director—India and SAARC at Axis Communications talks about various aspects of video surveillance and how small businesses are embracing this industry.


What is the biggest challenge in video surveillance industry today?

In today’s scenario, the main challenge is cyber security. At the end of the day the camera is a sensor in a big network and it is connected with the devices. If your network or server is weak from cyber security perspective and is vulnerable to attacks then it not only compromise the camera it will also compromise the entire system that is connected through it. Whether it is financial data, employee information or business intelligence data on the connected platform it can be compromised if it is not properly secured. And any kind of data today is extremely expensive to lose because people can misuse it.


With Video surveillance becoming popular, is physical security a thing of past?

No, I don’t think video surveillance has made physical security passé. You can surely connect everything with the technology but you need the physical security at some point in your facility besides having video surveillance. For instance, if you need a car to stop at the entrance you need some person to watch over. However, entire software platform is getting intelligent behind the video surveillance and it is able to interconnect and interoperate with intelligent innovations. Now all the things are interconnected with IT systems and that is intelligently controlling all the devices, access points and actions to be taken but still there is a need for some sort of physical security. So, physical security is as necessary as sensors and video surveillance.


Has this business percolated to tier 2 and tier 3 cities?

Internet and technology information is available everywhere. Gone are the days when we say that this thing is available in tier 1 or metro cities only and that small cities are way behind. Personally, I have witnessed initiation of huge projects in tier 2 cities. So the knowledge percolation has already happened. People are aware. Even in the tier 2 cities the movement from analogue to IP is already happening. People are moving away from analogue. There are so many players in the market place that the cost also is coming down.


When adopting the video surveillance, what kind of solutions do SMEs prefer?

The kinds of solutions are not particular, it mostly depends on the industry or vertical or segment that SMEs belong to. For instance, retail segment is looking for store optimisation, how they can improve customer satisfaction and how they can do loss prevention. While, manufacturing and critical infrastructure businesses are looking at how to protect their premises from a perimeter perspective. Small businesses just want to view monitor and record the data in the easiest manner. They do not want complex technology. In the other words, these businesses just want to connect the system with video surveillance. If there is any issue, it should be easy to retrieve the footage. That is their primary concern.


With the newer technologies changing the dynamics of video surveillance, how industry verticals are making use of surveillance solutions?

People counting is one of the biggest applications of video surveillance. Today retail segment is widely using CCTVs to draw the data based on consumer behaviour and using it to enhance the sales and customer experience. We are seeing an increasing trend of intelligent building systems helping in the convergence of multiple networks and see this sector ready to invest in high-end quality security solutions. For instance, cameras can capture how many people came in a day and how many invoices had been made at various store outlets across the country. In the same manner, data captured can tell us about co-relation between number of people coming, transactions happening and value of the invoice being cut. That’s the sort of intelligence which can be gathered. The second kind of intelligence data, which can be gathered, is how many men and how many women are coming to the store based on that retail vertical can decide what kind of products to display or what kind of advertisements to pop up in stores. The third form is gathering the information about the trends. For instance on a particular day or in particular month footfall is very low then you can use the information to promote on those days or make some announcement or try to display some products which can be of great interest for people. Basically, one can capture different data and statistics and can make sense of what is going on.