We spoke to Aditya Khemka, Managing Director, CP Plus to understand his brands views on how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the Indian security industry, the new tech they are betting on to be more relevant in the changed scenario, the focus areas for CP Plus in the year 2021, ‘Make-in-India’ initiatives that CP Plus is undertaking to boost local manufacturing and key industry verticals that they are going to target with their innovative security solutions.
Interviewed by Adeesh Sharma
The brand’s views on how the pandemic has disrupted the Indian security industry?
There is no doubt that the still ravaging coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the devastation of many sectors across the Indian economy and beyond. Although, some were able to withstand the shock, quite too many industries faced utter disruption throughout 2020. The World Bank even went on to say, “that the coronavirus has severely disrupted the Indian economy, magnifying pre-existing risks to its outlook”. The COVID-19 outbreak came at a time when India’s economy was already slowing, due to persistent financial sector weaknesses, the World Bank report said. This has, inevitably, had a dramatic impact on the economy, with global markets slumping - more than eight years of gains since the last recession were wiped out in one month - reduced to a level not seen since 2011.
As all other businesses were shut, there was no need to implement security solutions and the business was smashed as many segments such as malls, restaurants, and cinema halls were closed, metro and rail services were down, and the companies engaged in these businesses trimmed their security requirements heavily. Instead, companies started expanding their concern and finances towards hygiene, fumigation, safety, etc to thwart any potential risks to their businesses. All this meant that a revival in domestic investment was and still is likely to be delayed given enhanced risk aversion on a global scale, and the renewed concerns about financial sector resilience. That, in turn, meant that the surveillance and security industry, initially, had to suffer a lot as the business suddenly dropped to nominal levels. But in the face of such an unprecedented struggle, it became clear that to revive the business, the industry would have to grow hand-in-hand with the time and launch products that are the most relevant to keep people secure and safe against the currently prevailing threats.
The most widely used biometric technology in India is the finger touch biometric system, on the usage of which, though, the govt. has put restrictions now. This means that we will have to evolve through contactless technology. CP PLUS has been able to remerge itself as the nation’s leading brand by quickly and methodically launching products that made touch-less attendance management possible with the help of its T-Sense Range, TITM Series of thermal solutions, and the highly effective Attendance Management System, which is an application that the employees can download on their phones and which captures the live location and time of the employees when they punch in and out.
COVID-19 led not just CP PLUS but other top private security operators to start investing in new tech solutions that are comprehensively relevant for current times and this has been one element of growth within the industry after having been plunged by the pandemic. New tech tools make it easier for corporates and the general public to ensure compliance with the MHA guidelines. For example, CP PLUS introduced a number of thermal-imaging, facial-recognition, temperature-measurement solutions among so many others that have been playing an integral role in increasing the sense of security even amidst the most uncertain of times. The AI-and ML-based solutions by CP PLUS use the existing CCTV systems to deliver a slew of services such as face mask compliance, detection of crowding at the workplace, monitoring cleaning service frequency, assuring vehicle disinfection compliance, temperature screening, and data recording.
After having suffered through the downturn along with the rest of the economy for the major part of the lockdown, the security and surveillance industry was able to revive to greater levels than before by acting smartly and immediately launching new solutions that can prevent the public from new threats.
Remote monitoring is an integral part of our industry and I think the importance of remote monitoring will only increase over time. And artificial intelligence is going to play a very key component in COVID SOP compliance. While it is not physically possible to monitor hundreds of people working in an office or IT Park, neither is it possible to check if COVID-19 compliances such as face masks and social distancing are being followed by everyone. Henceforth, the reliability of remote surveillance will only increase with time as the quality of our AI-based solutions is ameliorating rapidly. And as most of the private security guards in big cities are migrant workers, the dependence on remote and effective surveillance rises further in such times of crisis.
And as according to PHDDCI’s latest report, India is emerging as the 2nd most resilient economy among the top 10 leading economies in the world, the resiliency of the nation’s surveillance and security industry will witness a new surge.
Which new tech are you betting on to be more relevant in the changed scenario?
There are a number of new and relevant technologies that we have developed recently and which are doing great in the market. The changed scenario has brought on changing demands and to meet them, we have launched those solutions which have immediately proven to be quite relevant for the current time. As the modern era of time and attendance management & facial-recognition is here, CP PLUS has launched the AI- Super-precision solution, which apart from recognizing faces with a very high accuracy rate, also measures the forehead temperatures and even recognizes those who are wearing facial masks and those who are not. It immediately provides fever warnings whenever it detects abnormal temperature in anyone. The AI super-precision face-recognition attendance solution has an embedded system and can be controlled using a mobile app. It also has the data query option, which enables the users to request the data or information from the database tables or a combination of tables.
The solution is perfectly suited for the current scenario where just such a product is of vital importance in every office, workplace, and institute. It is only through the help of such fantastic solutions that we can contain the pandemic from spreading further.
Another one of the most imperative solutions for the coming time is the thermal network solution with body temperature detection and face-recognition that is used in the professional TITM series by CP PLUS and has numerous advantages attached to it as it enables you to identify the problems even before they occur. Henceforth, it helps in preventing the damage from being caused and provides you with detailed thermal images of the situation such as the detection of missing or defective insulation, locates water infiltration in flat roofs, detects construction failures, etc. It notifies you on what exactly needs to be fixed and assists you in finding faults even before any real problems occur, saving you valuable time and money.
The thermal imaging solution has proven to be very useful as its applications vary from electricity maintenance and solar maintenance to construction and temperature management as well as plumbing and fire fighting. There is also a rising requirement to bring in more explosion-proof cameras into the market and we have been investing heavily in this segment to produce the most effective cameras that can deter explosion shocks.
Yet one more comforting solution that eases the life of the general public heavily in these uncertain times, is the CP PLUS T-Sense Range. The Integrated Temperature Screening Kit with Facial Recognition and Access Control is highly accurate in measuring temperatures and provides facial recognition with temperature metadata. It sends notifications and alerts for abnormal temperatures and quite efficiently detects the temperature of about 30 people every minute.
The wrist temperature measurement system works by placing the wrists of those passing by adjacent to the sensor, which then records the temperature information; it involves different reports retrieval; it is very cost-effective; and quite easy to deploy.
Ezytrack, the unique range of Kids’ Smartwatches, shortens distances as the watch allows individuals to effortlessly track, monitor, and connect with their children at any time, no matter where they may be. With this magnificent invention, CP PLUS has aimed to bridge the gap in matters of ensuring the safety and security of the kids.
The automatic number plate recognition technology is being widely used these days as this enables accurate and automatic reading of every vehicle’s number plate that is crossing a border or an entrance and then that reading is automatically run through the system to detect if the vehicle should be allowed or not.
CP PLUS believes in providing end-to-end solutions with all the necessary accessories and equipment to its customers. It is not enough to simply install CCTV cameras. A hi-tech and proficient surveillance system requires other accessories and added features to make a place truly secure. These range from PoE switches and industrial-grade switches, IR Illuminators to cables, protective shells, and lenses. We have a strong faith that in the coming time, the demand for customized end-to-end solutions is going to see a rapid hike where more flexibility and storage capacity is provided. Our integrated Video Management System is a platform that has been designed specifically to bring easier surveillance into our country. At the current moment, the market is flooded with different small vendors, each with its own protocols, which poses a challenge when it comes to the integration of a surveillance system. The VMS platform provided by CP PLUS aims at reducing those challenges by presenting a platform where devices from different brands can be integrated along with time and attendance control systems for easier and more efficient access control. The establishment of command and control rooms is another one of the most hyped ventures that we are relying on to grow with the help of the VMS platform, continually improving storage capacities, high-end intelligent network cameras, video-wall, and joystick keyboard controls.
On top of all these, we are constantly investing more money and efforts on our R&D projects to avail highly efficient and relevant surveillance and security solutions to the public at reasonable prices as all products are being produced within the country under the Make-in-India initiative, which we vigorously reiterate.
What shall be the focus areas for CP Plus in the year 2021?
CP PLUS, as a brand, has always been focused on securing every inch of the country with effective security solutions that both government institutions and the public can rely upon. This sense of responsibility to spread a feeling of security to every corner of the country has been weighing on our shoulders, as the leading Indian brand in the industry had a need to step up. Henceforth, ever since our inception, we have been vehemently working to develop new and improved products and to make them available to everybody across the nation and beyond at reasonable prices, so that no one has to think twice before deciding to secure their home or office.
An instigator for introducing new technologies to the Indian market, a well-trusted brand with quite a deep understanding and know-how of the security and surveillance needs of the current time, CP PLUS stands un-rivaled when it comes to conceptualizing best-suited and customized solutions for the troubles of corporates and public enterprises as well as educational institutes and entire smart cities.
We are ardently focused on developing those solutions that are beneficial to secure the country and the world against all the possible threats, whether unforeseeable or not. As technology is improving in many areas rapidly, our R&D team is working with a renewed passion to come up with products that truly ease life for people around the world. We have triumphantly introduced many products in the Indian market that are currently unparalleled and we are primarily aiming to keep bringing in such relevant and highly efficient solutions that can induce comfort into our users’ lives worldwide.
In the coming year, we are aiming to not just expand the concept of smart cities to other states in the country but also to develop more pertinent solutions that are very to the point and appropriately work in securing the public against all the foreseeable threats.
What kind of ‘Make-in-India’ initiatives is CP Plus undertaking to boost local manufacturing?
CP PLUS has been a pioneer Indian brand with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, in line with the PM’s Vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat under the Make-in-India initiative. Today 85% of our product line is being produced under 'Make in India' & we are further augmenting our capabilities & capacities to make 98% of products in India. The company is working towards 100% Localization and Indigenization, in the coming times, backed by its R&D capabilities; to make itself more & more Atmanirbhar in respect to the PM's dream of a self-reliant India.
We understand that investing in the research for better technologies and easier ways to provide the current technology holds the predominant role under the Make-in-India initiative as it is the focal point to boost local manufacturing. Relying on foreign technology to produce devices in India is a step in the Making-India direction, but the integral role is played by the technology that is used. India is on the road to excellence and with the right amount of vim, vigor, and undivided focus to ameliorate the Indian capabilities, we can not just produce world-class products but also integrate those products with world-class technologies that have been crafted within the nation.
As a leader in the surveillance industry, we aim to take the country to unprecedented levels and that can be done by magnifying our efforts until we reach the true, uninhibited potential of the country.
Which are the key industry verticals that you’re going to target with your innovative security solutions?
We, at CP PLUs, are committed to bringing forth technologically advanced and affordable products for all the electronic surveillance needs of our time. We believe in driving performance and innovation while adhering to all the varied global requirements. Today, our products and services are broadly used in many different sectors:
- Safe and Smart Cities - As the whole world is transcending into matchless smartness with time, the need for turning our cities safer and smarter is also rising alongside. CP PLUS has satisfyingly been able to turn a number of major cities in the country into safer and smarter ones. We strive to broaden this safe-and-smartness to other parts of India as well.
- Oil and Gas Vertical - Oil and gas sites are often remote and isolated with assets spread across large areas and multiple locations. Such challenging locations, require an intelligent, robust and proactive approach to security. From onshore refineries, plants, and pipelines to marine vessels and platforms offshore, the oil and gas industry represents some of the most hazardous environments. CP PLUS is a leading provider of solutions that are apt for the oil and gas industry and the brand aims to develop and introduce more effective solutions as the need arises.
- Railways, Airports, and Transport Vertical - India’s transport sector is large and diverse as it caters to the needs of 1.1 billion people. Since the early 1990s, India’s growing economy has witnessed a rise in demand for transport infrastructure and services. India has an extensive network of transport through ports, highway networks, railways, and airports, all of which require proficient surveillance measures that we aim to keep on providing.
- Education Vertical - Educational campuses pose many unique challenges when it comes to security. College campuses feature a variety of buildings, each with its own security needs. Our past experience in securing multiple campuses across India with varied sizes and demands has built a deep understanding for us as to what exactly these modern campuses require. We are going to be targeting our innovative tendencies towards finding better solutions to keep our students secure at every step of the way.
- Defense Vertical - Ensuring the security at borders and other defense-related segments is of the utmost importance. We have been working zealously to provide enhanced solutions to implement better and more stringent security and surveillance for the country’s defense.
- Law Enforcement Vertical - Managing a bustling population can be a daunting task; be it ensuring that the traffic rules being abided by or nabbing the accused, or simply enforcing laws. In all of these cases, surveillance plays an imperatively vital role. We aim to keep on introducing new effective solutions as we have been doing to make life easier for law enforcement agencies.
- Banking Vertical - The face of Indian banking has changed over the years. Banks are now reaching out to the masses with the technology that facilitates greater ease of communication, as transactions are carried out through the internet and mobile devices. All this has created the need for banks to meet their customers’ requirements for security in a special way on many levels.
- Smart Traffic Vertical - Over the years, the number of vehicles on the road has increased along with the expansion of routes, and thus, there is a serious need for creating active systems to manage the flow of traffic and ensure road safety. We have been developing such solutions for major cities, but in the coming time, we want to focus on small cities as well.
- Real Estate Vertical - Real Estate is one such industry, which faces a dire need for security and surveillance but is mostly neglected. Not just finished structures, but under-construction sites too can be at risk of theft, burglary, harassment, intrusions, etc. Henceforth, builders need to be prepared for all the risks. With CP PLUS surveillance solutions specifically designed for 360° perimeter protection, these threats can be efficiently addressed. We aim to increase our product range further by spending more on innovative solutions to mitigate risks in the real estate sector.
- Industrial Vertical - Manufacturing facilities and warehouses are always stocked up with raw materials, WIP, or finished goods at all times and therefore require round the clock monitoring and protection.
- Retail Vertical - To secure the future of the retail sector, one critical element is surveillance. That not only captures or deters pilferage - but with modern technological advancements, can also provide shopper logistics, market intelligence, employee monitoring across formats like large malls, multi-brands/branded showrooms, and traditional retail stores.