Ankush Kumar

IFSEC Global India Correspondent, IFSEC Global

January 1, 2014

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How has the security camera market evolved over the past few years and how do you see its future in India? 

The camera market in India is very fragmented and is full of low cost manufacturers from Korea, Taiwan, and China etc. However our focus is on the top end of the segment and we see the industry is growing in a very healthy rate despite of the slowdown that happened earlier. 

It’s still been a decent double digit growth as far as our overall video surveillance performance is concerned. In the last two years the market has grown 15-17 percent and if you look at the IP-camera within that, I think it has easily grown 25 to 30 percent with all the infrastructure boom and improvement in macro economy. Due to the continuous boom in the country’s infrastructure the next three years can easily see a growth of 30 to 35 percent year-on-year in the security camera market and as an industry leader our aim is to match this growth in the coming years. The security camera market in the last two years has not been able to perform as per the industry expectations. But it still grew between 25 to 30 percent despite of all the slowness and lot of decision been delayed in various infrastructure projects at the government side. 

We are educating the customer to purchase the right product which will build his confidence. Even if he does not purchase an “Axis” product then also at least he is contributing to the overall progress of the industry. So I think we have got lot of work to do within this space and I am really optimistic that the market is really going to grow with double digit margin for all of us who play a crucial role in it.

Please elaborate with examples, on some of the successful deployments of your products in India? 

One of our successful installations was with Cafe Coffee Day. CCD has deployed a surveillance system at 500 Cafes in the first phase of installation, with an average of two cameras per outlet. AXIS M3011, AXIS M3004-V and AXIS M3203 Network Cameras have been deployed in the dispensing and the billing counters for monitoring. These cameras were specifically designed for Cafe/restaurant business as these are high definition vandal proof cameras with edge storage best suited for this purpose. 

The installation has been successful and enabled CCD to centrally monitor all the stores, especially to ensure consistent customer service across locations. Real time monitoring has reduced the need for senior authorities to travel to remote locations to monitor the stores. This has led to reduced costs and dependency on manual monitoring. 

We have successful installation even in the hospitality industry. Taj Hotels is one of our biggest customers. We have also done projects for Hilton, ITC and Crowne Plaza and these are still ongoing. We have also done a number of city surveillance projects. We did one such project in Junagarh, Gujarat which is a terrorist sensitive area because of dams and other critical infrastructure. Some of the other projects are traffic monitoring, number plate recognition, CCTV installation for Sabarmati jail, installation in Mysore palace, installation in Seaport at Vizag seaport, BPCL, Indian Public School in Coimbatore.  

Please share some of the successful projects that you have initiated for the government? 

In the Government segment, traffic monitoring and CCTV projects which is for the safety of the city and monitoring the traffic violation systems, is picking up. The other crucial projects that we have successfully undertaken in the Government segment are on safeguarding the historical sites, mainly the archaeological sites. After the “Akshardham” attack in Gujarat, all the main monuments like Somnath temple was put under surveillance system. The famous “Mysore palace” in Karnataka is under our surveillance system. We have done projects for Forest inner department to monitor animals slaughtering and their going out of boundaries. These kinds of projects are mainly executed through a nodal agency as they work with lot of government bodies and eventually do the tendering process. We have also done projects on Jails and some of the critical infrastructure like highway, tolls, ports etc. 

What are your expansion and modernization plans for the next five years? 

We are looking for a long term investment in the country in terms of the people, in terms of the processes and in terms of streamlining of our operations. In fact last two years we have opened small offices in Delhi and in Mumbai. Earlier this year the “SAARC” region has also been brought under the India region. So now even our official based in Colombo looks after countries like Srilanka, Maldives, and Bangladesh and therefore the expansion is happening. 

In the next three to five years we will be present in more geographic region as today we are physically present in only four locations. So there will be improvement in man power and in infrastructure related to man power, we will also invest in beefing up our support center as well. We want to bring in more knowledge into the country in terms of churning out most from our Bangalore facility. We need to regularly beef up our ability so that we remain world class in terms of customer support. 

Investment will keep on happenings in these areas, and the other investment is obviously educating the fraternity by various forums related to end users, related to consultants etc. We will also focus a lot on trainings through webinars, where we constantly get the message across, so that people helping them make a well informed decision while they buying our solutions. I think these would be the primary areas where we would keep investing in the next three years. 

What are some of your newly launched products for the Indian market? 

We have done a lot of innovation in camera itself and it is getting better and better every day. Earlier it was believed that human eye is better than any camera, but now surveillance camera has proved it wrong because you can get very good image quality even in low lighting condition. Seeing in difficult light conditions has always remained one of the biggest challenges in the surveillance sector. This problem has now been overcome by our light finder cameras, which was revolutionary when it was launched and we are beefing up its portfolio this year by introducing an upgraded version of it. 

The second thing we did is we have launched a whole range of “PTZ Camera” which is pan tilt zoom camera. This is typically installed in the outdoor environment and sometimes in large lobbies in indoor environment. I think we are the first in the industry to install this camera. In PTZ camera there is a belt that helps in the rotation of the camera but it becomes weak in 2-3 year time. Therefore, to make our product more strong, we did direct shaft engagement and replaced the belt which was the cause of failure. You can even set the camera to suit the environment as all the camera components are painted in one color. Another innovation we did is that we have come out with a specific range of cameras which can work in extreme weather conditions i.e. on a highway under extreme weather conditions. Therefore, under such weather the camera is equipped with an internal cooling mechanism, which regularly maintains a certain temperature, and protects the camera from internal damage. I can proudly say that we provide the best quality camera when it comes to working in very low light conditions or very difficult light conditions. 

The other unique product that we have launched is the dual camera. As the name suggest it is a set of thermal and an optical camera. The thermal camera has a range of up to five kilometers and uses thermal imaging, which allows users to detect people, objects, and incidents in complete darkness and difficult conditions such as smoke, haze, dust, and light fog. These cameras are mainly used in defense or in coast line where the thermal camera detects the intrusion and optical camera identifies the intruder. We have also launched a discreet camera series for retail billings and bank ATMs. These are HD pin-hole-cameras that give good quality pictures and help in times of fraud. 

How important is analytics in Video surveillance?     

Video surveillance is moving beyond just monitoring. Apart from just recording and storing the information, the data that is captured using video surveillance solutions has in store a lot more business intelligence information that can be used. Mining all this data to extract information such as consumer behavior is very useful and video analytics helps to do this. Video analytics can be used from simple applications such as traffic monitoring, left baggage identification, criminal identification, etc. Video motion detection, people counting, cross line detection are embedded applications that are becoming a part of video surveillance solutions. Even more advanced applications previously only possible on a dedicated PC or server, such as license plate recognition, facial recognition and full VMS suites, are also possible through video analytics.

 

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