Monday, September 21, 2020

Interview-Pramoud Rao (Zicom)

The government should set up a benchmark standard for sports security

You’ve got to be a sport fanatic, or an adventurous daredevil, if you ride a Harley Davidson to work. PRAMOUD RAO, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ZICOM ELECTRONIC SECURITY SYSTEMS LTD is that and more if you also consider his Rs 484-crore electronic security firm’s ubiquitous presence across the country, notably at sports stadia. CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES presents excerpts of his assessment of security infrastructure at India’s sports venues…


Briefly can you assess the demand supply gap in ‘security’ at sports infrastructure venues in the country? Could you identify the deficiencies and tells us how is Zicom looking to fill that gap?


There is no supply gap in providing security at sports infrastructure. If any gap exists, it is in the capital cost of investment. Most of the sports stadium in our country approach security with a budget mindset instead of the value mindset. Technology gets compromised on account of capex investment and the end result in most cases ends up with an ordinary or average security system being installed.


A relevant question in today’s context is does India have enough of sports infrastructure to secure - and how important is security in the current scheme of things?


India’s sports infrastructure is normally scaled up when there is a large event example The Common Wealth Games. Otherwise, the number of sports infrastructure does not keep pace with the growing need of our country. Security is installed due to pressure from the Police department and for obtaining the NOC for commissioning the stadium. In many cases its my experience, the initial plan is to have a comprehensive security system which finally gets scaled down to average or below average investment.


Tell us about Zicom’s association with sports infrastructure in the country?


One of the landmark projects where Zicom was involved in was the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010. We were entrusted to provide security to 9 stadiums due to the good offices of ECIL (Electronic Corporation of India Ltd.) We provided IP based CCTV cameras together with turnstiles and gate management in the stadiums.


Give us an idea of the gadgets and technologies that go into the making of security infrastructure at stadia?


With technology updation, to secure a stadium today there are many alternatives – high definition CCTV cameras, facial recognition analytics, mob analytics, command and control software monitoring every inch of the stadium, wireless video feeds being dispatched to different security personnel etc. That makes security in the stadium highly robust and reliable. Zicom has recently built command control software called 20-20 imaging focused on providing high quality analytics with remote management of stadiums.


Could you enumerate the key problems and challenges associated with ‘securing’ sports spaces?


There are basically two challenges:
one is the budget; and the other, the mindset of the stakeholders. Security is often seen as an expense instead of investment which makes the investment go through multiple levels of scrutiny and approvals.


What is the average cost of securing a stadium?


The cost of securing a stadium depends on the area, size and the investment on technology. We don’t have a ball-park figure since it is a solution selling and not a box selling.


What are your recommendations to the government?


Our suggestion would be the government should set up a benchmark standard for sports security. This template should be the minimum requirement for any security system installed in a sports stadium. Our second recommendation would be that the approach should be an investment and not an expense. And lastly, Indian sports stadiums need to have a much more organised and a disciplined approach to security.            

Leave a Comment

Email Address
(will not be published)