Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Company Focus- Gunnebo

India contributes almost 9 per cent of Gunnebo’s global turnover

Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Gunnebo Security Group provides efficient and innovative security solutions to customers around the globe. It employs 5 600 people in countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America, and has posted revenues of about €610 million in 2014. Gunnebo focuses its global offering on Bank Security & Cash Handling, Safes and Vaults,Entrance Control & Perimeter SecurityIts growth in Asia, notably in India – the third largest market for the company - is a major driver for the company as it surges ahead in its relentless mission for a safer world.

SANDEEP DESHPANDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GUNNEBO INDIA PRIVATE LTD, offered SHRIKANT RAO aview of his organisation’s journey in India and its ambitions for the future.


Give us a sense of Gunnebo’s focus at a global level and in India?

The last 6-7 years have been extremely eventful for us as a global organisation. The philosophy of Gunnebo has for long been to grow via the acquisition route. Around 2008-09 Per Borgvall, who is Gunnebo’s President and CEO, decided that the organisation would now move on to the process of consolidation – in terms of brands, operations. Based on his directives we took a holistic view of our organisation and carried out restructuring. I am happy to say that we have seen very good results from 2011 onwards. In the first phase we focused on the concept of business areas – different verticals like banks, Entrance Control & Perimeter Security  and so on. In 2013 we further decided that we had consolidated through vertical markets and its associated products and so opted to go geographic. Gunnebo’s geographic structure is now one year old. Now we have the Americas, Europe, Middle-East,Africa and the Asia Pacific. For far too long we were restricted to Canada in NorthAmerica and a very small part of the US. That changed after we acquired a company in Brazil in 2011. The acquisition helped us not only to grow our footprint in South America but also over a big chunk of the North American region. Our next acquisition of Hamilton Safes in 2012 was fairly large and it gave us a strong footing in the region. With centuries of experience in the security sector, Gunnebo has unrivalled expertise in delivering safes and vaults, site protection, Entrance Control & Perimeter Security  and cash handling solutions. Our range of products extends from boom barriers to safes, from fences to blastresistant doors, from speed stiles to currency sorters. Our range of services are in the following verticals – Bank Security, Entrance Control & Perimeter Security, Fire Security, Global Servicesand System Integration . In the new scheme of things Entrance Control & Perimeter Security  is a very crucial area of our business. If you see the manufacturing plants and the operations within Gunnebo the majority of work is related to physical security, safe, vaults etc. Entrance Control & Perimeter Security  has three plants-. China and Italy. In the case of the third we just relocated the plant to China from UK where we manufactured speed stiles products for metros, airports and other areas of infrastructure. In 2012 our President & CEO gave a mandate that the centre of gravity had to shift from Europe to Asia in particular BRIC countries like India, even non-BRIC nations like Vietnam, where the focus is on infrastructure building. As far as India is concerned the growth story has been significant. Since 2011 a lot of efforts has gone into raising our business profile and also in terms of investments from the management.


I assume there was a certain urgency to get cracking at India’s requirements. What was the mandate from Gothenburg?

The urgency was owing to the market requirements and the existing capacity of the plants. There was a need to modernize plants, invest in high caliber resources to expand the business. The mandate was very clearly to kickstart growth and double turnover. We wanted new businesses to give us growth and profitability. It was necessary to benchmark ourselves as a multinational. In India we had two manufacturing units. One was at Chennai manufacturing fire extinguishers which we closed down and the other unit at Halol in Gujarat which manufactured physical security products. The first thing we did was to consolidate our manufacturing operations. We moved the production line of fire extinguishers from the Ambattur plant near Chennai to Halol, Gujarat. At the Halol plan, we have made significant investments and expansion to accommodate additional capacity.


Would it be fair to assume that the encouraging industrial policy in Gujarat  played a role in your movement? Tell us about the progress made since the consolidation at Halol?

That was certainly a point. Gujarat is certainly an ideal place to do business. The state has excellent infrastructure growth, water and electricity and almost no labour problems. We doubled our head count in from 400 to 800over the last year. Along with bolstering production at the Halol plant we have also carried out a lot of human resource activities such as skill development programs, leadership development programs for people in the plant and that has yielded very good results in the last three years. We are growing by 30 to 35 per cent CAGR and have doubled our business in less than 3 years. This year we will be a company touching Rs 450-500 crore. Along with Entrance Control we have added perimeter securityas a separate business. We have also launched the system integration business where we integrated all security systems on a common platform. In the System Integration business we are taking a more consultative approach where we give advice, design, install, commission and later provide services for the complete life cycle. Last year we invested on a small Remote monitoring station in our office. This does remote monitoring surveillance of our customers as well as remote monitor alarms. The set up is up and running we have started getting customers. In terms of locations probably by the end of this month we would have about 350 live site locations Pan India connected to the centre.




Industry: Security

Headquarters: Gothenburg, Sweden

Area Served: Worldwide - Subsidiaries in 33 countries

Products: Cash handling, Physical security, Electronic security, Entrance Control

Revenue: €610 million (2014)

Employees: 5600 (January 2014)

Production Units:

  • 12 Baldenheim(France)
  • Bazancourt (France)
  • Bekasi (Indonesia)
  • Cincinnati (USA)
  • Doetinchem (Netherlands)
  • Halol (India)
  • Kunshan (China)
  • Lavis (Italy)
  • Markersdorf (Germany)
  • Trier (Germany)
  • Uckfield (UK)
  • Wadeville (South Africa)


Key People (Global): Per Borgvall, President & CEO

Key People (India Operations): Sandeep Deshpande, Managing Director, Gunnebo India Private Ltd



Indian Brands

  • Steelage: Safes
  • Chubbsafes: Safes and vaults
  • Minimax: Fire protection
  • GILPRO:Fire protection


Global Brands

  • Alltech: Turnstiles, Speedstile, flap barriers,
  • Fichet-Bauche: Safes and vaults
  • Gateway: Electronic article surveillance for retail
  • Hamilton Safe: Safes and vaults
  • Rosengrens: Safes and vaults
  • Safepay: Closed cash handling



How important is India from business perspective vis a vis China?

We established our presence in the China market in 2011, several years after successful operations in India. We believe that China offers a huge opportunity for Gunnebo and remains a crucial market, however currently Indian market assumes strategic importance given its high performance.  Over the last year 3-4 years, our Indian operations have seen tremendous growth, making India one of the top three markets globally amongst 33 subsidiaries in terms of revenue. India contributes almost 9 percent of the global revenue and is infact the number one profit contributor amongst various countries. 


India is planning industrial corridors and smart cities. What is the role you expect Gunnebo to play in that domain?

All our verticals - Institutional Business, Entrance Control & Perimeter Security, followed by System Integration - will I am sure have a role to play in the development of smart cities. We will examine what the areas in which Gunnebo can prove to be useful and then respond to therequirements. Our idea is that take a consultative approach. We go to customers, understand their needs, define a solution and then talk to them about it. This is what you need to do .If the client is comfortable with the idea he will give a nod. Then it is for us to demonstrate the efficacy of the concept on a small scale before moving on to the actual project. Currently we are doing an interesting project for a Precious Metal Refining Plant (gold refining) which is about to be inaugurated We have given them a complete security solution starting with vehicle intrusion, perimeter control, under vehicle surveillance, baggage scanners, Entrance Control & Perimeter Security , CCTV and access control, physical security like vault doors, blast proof door. We have offered them the complete combination integrated from end to end. Apart from system integration we offer service solutions. For example a school in Mumbai faced a threat perception and the authorities wanted some monitoring to be done for school children. We have put a CCTV system in all their buses which gets connected to the GPRS system and things get monitored.  Similarly there is a fairly large manufacturing complex in Sriperambadur which wanted to a solution which could bring efficiency in their project management. The plant works predominantly on contract labor. The issue is if you have  contract labour coming each day you cannot really allocate  work to them unless they are physically present in the campus. The first one hour was expended by the company only in allocating work which was completely unproductive. When we came into the picture we gave all the contract workers access control which was connected to  GPRS. The moment they entered the bus they would have to swipe their cards and immediately the company would get an idea of how many people would be available for work even before they actually reached their place of work. By the time they reached their respective work would have been assigned to them. .


Tell us about the main areas of Gunnebo operations in India?

Banking is our biggest strength and is the biggest contributor. Fire extinguishers, Institutional Business, Entrance Control&Perimeter Security, system integration and very special solutions, service solutions. We are also into Annual Maintenance Contracts, Operational & Maintenance Contracts, retrofits, remote monitoring services. All this is not just for Gunnebo products but also for 3rd party products. We have the capability and competence  to manage, install and maintain products. We have trained resources. Because of this we are present everywhere. More than 80 per cent of the banks are our customers.

We started institutional business with the Delhi metro. Now we are doing the Chennai metro.. Now things are coming up so we are talking to a few more players. In the fire extinguisher business we are connected to important players in the industrial segment right from manufacturing to hospitality who use our Minimax extinguishers. On the perimeter side are doing interestingprojects withcorporates for large industrial complexes. We are also present in malls in a big way.


What are the challenges of operating in India? Can you identify the problem areas?

From the business side we do hope that taxation gets streamlined. Another is Labour reforms and bureaucracy. The new government has given positive signals in the first 100 days. We expect in the coming days these challenges would get addressed.


There is so much on the anvil. Are there  specific projects you would like to be engaged with?

Financial institution is one area in which we are already actively associated with – we would like to see more work there. Also we look forward to more engagement in areas of infrastructure like metros, airport modernisation etc.


Are there other geographies that you are looking to expand to?

This is just a beginning. We have to do a lot of work. Geographically we could be looking at the SAARC region, countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We have started some activities there. In 2015, Gunnebo is planning to add cash handling solutions to the retail segment in India.






On the growth trends on the Indian fire security market: The Indian fire safety market is growing at a significant pace especially due to the strengthening of the compliance rules. The recent change in the standards of portable fire  extinguishers to IS15683 and subsequent awareness creating activities are also facilitating growth. Today Indians are more aware of their safety and security needs. A recent report titled “India Fire Safety Equipment Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2017” anticipates that the fire safety equipment market in India shall cross $ 4.26 billion. Given the vast potential we anticipate the sector to witness robust growth in the coming years. Over the last one decade since Gunnebo has taken over, the group has placed over a millionMinimax range of fire extinguishers in the market. On the range of fire products offered: Minimax is the most preferred brand in fire extinguishers and hydrants. We have customers in all areas like commercial buildings, banks, cement, metals, minerals, mining, power,ports, hotels, hospitals etc. Under this brand we provide a variety of mobile, portable and thermatic (modular) fire extinguishers to suit the needs of industrial, commercial and domestic customers. We have recently received two of our biggest orders from prestigious enterprises like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Shobha Developers. We have launched a new brand under the fire-fighting solutions vertical – GILPRO which is designed to cater to the commercial and retail segments. The brand will offer a range of fire extinguishers, hoses and couplings, sprinkler hoses (UL & FM approved), Kitchen Hood protection system and automatic fire suppression system. On business opportunities in the Indian market: With cities getting more crowded and with the commercial establishments coexisting with homes, there is an increased need to protect our individual homes as well as commercial establishments against fire. This could be the next big opportunity knocking on the doors of the fire safety equipment manufacturers.





On the range of product and solutions offered by your vertical: Against the background of growing crime, burglary and theft, the banking space increasingly needs to equip itself with latest solutions and products based on superior technology. In order to meet the growing security needs of the banking industry, Gunnebo recently launched a new variant of safes equipped with better, improved and efficient features withstanding stronger physical attack and using intelligence systems. Secure storage is the biggest product offering Gunnebo has in the market. We are the world’s largest manufacturer of secure storage products. Our product portfolio includes safes, vaults, lockers, cash/ currency safes and bullion safes. Of the top 10 global brands, Gunnebo owns 3 brands including Chubbsages, Fichet-Bauche and Hamilton Safe. On the whole the physical security business constitutes 65 per cent of the global business while the banking business contributes more than 80% -of to business in India. Majority of the physical banking and fire safety products  are manufactured at Halol. On the Security Solutions offered for the BFSI sector: There are various Security Solutions for the BFSI sector which are being proposed, assessed, implemented and commissioned at various stages of their maturity cycle. The major ones include Physical Security Products to protect Cash, Gold, Jewellery from fire and burglary on one hand and paper from fire hazard on the other. The physical security industry is further divided into: Secure storage which is the biggest segment for security which has a total market size of `1,100 crore; Electronic Security which constitutes CCTV solutions. Alarm Control Systems, Alarm monitoring Systems, Video Surveillance (Real-time and Remote) and Fire Alarm Systems and Armed Guards which is the largest in terms of volume, size and money.; Parking Management, Entry and Egress Management of Visitors and Critical Area Control Systems; Entrance Control & Perimeter Security  Systems including Flap Barriers, Full Height and Half Height Turnstiles, Traffic Management (Visitor based) Software.




On the line up of entrance control products and solutions: Gunnebo is the world’s leading specialist in entrance control solutions and we provide turnstiles, interlocking doors and high performance doors, windows and partitions for a wide range of applications. From simple Tripod Turnstiles, Entrance Gates, Full-Height Turnstiles to advanced Speed Gates, Security Revolving Doors; Interlocks ranging from classic access control up to certified equipments with burglary, blast and bullet resistance; andPerformance Doors, Windows and Partitions offering high-performance physical protection to resist burglar, ballistic and explosive attack. We offer various solutions for boarding gates at airports, automated systems by which passengers can pass through immigration without having to go through manual checks. We also provide perimeter solutions such as certified and non- certified bollards, road blockers, tyre killers, boom barriers as part of vehicular access solutions for building applications This enables secure and smooth experience for passengers. On the opportunities you are looking to tap: Backed by government impetus and significant investments, the infrastructure sector today has emerged as one of the highest growth sectors in the country. Within the vast sphere of the infra domain, the rapid transportation systems especially the metro rail projects offers great potential for players like us. As far as opportunities are concerned we are providing access solutions for the metros which are our main revenue generators. The flap gates mechanisms in the first phase of the Delhi Metro were done by Gunnebo. We have won a contract for barriers, our gates mechanism on the new metro system in Chennai. We are offering solutions for BRTS in Ahmedabad. We offer various solutions for boarding gates at airports, automated systems by which passengers can pass through immigration without having to go through manual checks. Airport projects in India, however, are yet to generate business volumes because Indian airport infrastructure is still at a construction stage by private bidders. The projects are yet undergoing various clearances. The government has as part of its plan to develop transport infrastructure is further planning new metros in several cities. Many of the projects like Hyderabad are coming up in PPP mode. That surely offers us an additional opportunities.