Dr Mahesh Saptharishi, Avigilon’s chief technology officer (CTO), topped the 2015 rankings for our most influential people in security and fire.
But Dr Saptharishi has slipped eight places to ninth in this year’s countdown.
So who triumphed this time around?
Variously an entrepreneur, investor, marketer and senior executive this year’s winner has seen the security industry through a number of prisms.
He played a key role in propelling ASSA ABLOY to its current market dominance – the brand remains the biggest name in access control – as head of its global technologies division and later executive vice president. Our number one influencer then left the security industry for five years, taking up the role of CEO at Digital Angel Corp, which makes consumer applications and mobile games.
If you haven’t worked out who it is yet, his next move perhaps will give it away: he then founded investment vehicle ACRE LLC in 2012, and promptly swooped on Vanderbilt LLC in September of the same year.
Under his stewardship ACRE acquired Mercury Security in June 2013 and Siemens Security Products business in June 2015.
Step forward, Joe Grillo.
The most influential person in fire for 2015 has also slipped down the rankings, albeit he remains the second most influential in 10th place – congratulations again to Jonathan O’Neill, MD of the Fire Protection Association (FPA).
Leapfrogging O’Neill is BB7 Fire’s managing director, Ben Bradford, who jumps from 11th to fifth in the overall list.
Holding dual professional status as both a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Surveyor Ben Bradford brought a wealth of multidisciplinary experience when he founded BB7, a specialist firm of consulting engineers operating in fire safety, security and business continuity.
Now managing director Bradford specialises in auditing fire risk management systems and the development of policy, strategy and procedure for organisations with complex fire-risk management challenges as well as intepreting building legislation and fire safety codes and standards.
The top 50 rankings were decided by a combination of public voting and nominations from a panel of expert judges from across the security and fire-safety industries – including those with an interest in all sectors, not just access control, CCTV, intruder alarms and other physical security areas but also cyber security.
There were 14 judges in total. Judges were not permitted to nominate people who worked in their own business, and their nominations determined, along with public voting, the final rankings.
Judges for the top 50 who were happy to be named included:
- Craig Mason, senior security consultant, BB7
- Emma Shaw, managing director, Esoteric Ltd
- James Willison, who is taking part in a panel discussion on ‘how the relationship between physical security and IT is evolving’ at IFSEC 2016 (22 June, 10:20-11:10, Security Management Theatre) and another on ‘IoT security and protecting smart homes’ (21 June, 14:00-14:50, Smart Theatre)
- Lynn Watts-Plumpkin, director and general manager, IQ Verify Ltd
- Niall Rowan, technical officer, ASFP
- Pauline Norstrom, managing director, NetVu Ltd and chairman, BSIA
- Peter Houlis, managing director, 2020 Vision Systems Ltd
- Dr Robert Docherty, managing director, Flame Risk Solutions
- Simon Ince, head of business resilience, BB7
The list below features prominent thought leaders, pioneers in product development and entrepreneurs and executives who have overseen surging revenues, profits and market share.