Private security services turning into an industry
Security services industry in Nepal has come a long way to make itself a strong service oriented industrial segment with the number of service providers and serving seekers growing drastically.
Not only due to the security threat, but also the awareness for the need of security is a major reason behind the growth. Consequentially, the sector has also emerged to be a big employment generator, huge revenue contributor and milestone for the national development.
According Security Entrepreneurs Association Nepal (SEAN), there are around 3,000 security companies across the country.
Even though there was a time when the security industry witnessed tremendous year-on-year growth, the story is different today.
"The time followed by Maoists coming into the mainstream politics and disturbances created by cadres and trade unions was the boom of this industry with 20-30 percent annual growth," Bishnu Acharya, Chairman of SEAN says, "However with the economy shrinking and politics being stabalised, the industry’s growth is sluggish now."
According to industrialists, the industry currently is growing by some 5-10 percent annually which however for them is a healthy and sustainable growth. They believe with the people getting aware about the security need, the sector will soon experience its heyday.
Avisekh Karki, Administration Manager of Garud Securities believes that the security industry that pays billions of rupees worth revenue to the government is one of the key contributors to the national economy.
SEAN estimates that the sector alone contributes as much as Rs 1 billion revenue to the government every year.
Ramesh Thapa Magar, Operation Manager of G4S claims that the reason behind the success of security service sector is due to its ability to offer varieties in service. “Instead of providing security guards alone, the service providers these days offer number of services including VIP-escorting, transit security, patrolling, installing CCTV, alarm bell, smoke detectors.”
Industry insiders claim that the sector has been force multiplier to the government security wing. The fact that Nepal Police has strength of around 60,000 personnel while the private security industry employs 175,000 security guards alone proves that the sector is a complimentary to the state security.
Meanwhile, the sector has not only turned to be one of the biggest job providers with the sector being an easy and trustworthy to find work in especially for unskilled and low-skilled individuals who otherwise would not get any job in this competitive market.
The sector has also turned to be a lucrative field for anyone vying for foreign employment. According to foreign employment entrepreneurs, the number of Nepalis leaving for Gulf States and Middle East to work as security guard has gone up overwhelmingly. "Around 1,600 individuals at an average leave for foreign jobs a day,” Kumud Khanal, Second Vice President of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA) informs, "More than 30 percent of them leave to work as a security guard."