Thousands of young men throughout India begin each day in uniforms that closely resemble that of official police officers, and often armed with little more than batons and radios, they patrol, survey, search and check guests and clients of some of the largest multinational firms in the country.
These young men are escorting VIPs, checking luggage and bags with bomb-sniffing canines, surveying landscapes with binoculars and night-vision goggles and even using hi-tech electronic equipment to scan for cyber invasions and other network threats for a multitude of private clients.
The company they work for is busy assessing security risks for elite multinationals doing business in India while providing them with personal, private security. In the event of an emergency, the company claims it will deploy a “quick response team” dispatched through a 24-hour manned security control room.
In an increased blurring of the lines between security guard services and the private security personnel of companies that often raise eyebrows in media, several Indian firms are preparing to earn their spot in the global private security industry.
But even as the industry grows, some critics maintain that much of India’s private security companies are still unprepared to respond to threats terror attacks. Part of the reason could be the time it takes to prepare employees of these countries to adequately respond in the wake of a crisis. And in the industry’s rapid growth over the last year, private companies are recruiting India’s youth to begin careers that might quickly become India’s first line of defense against unconventional attacks.