The British multinational security firm has been providing its Nepal clients with optimal level of security services over the last two decades.
--BY NIKEETA GAUTAM AND GAGAN SHRESTHA
With an average annual turnover of Rs 850 million, G4S Nepal is seemingly the largest security company in Nepal with a comprehensive market share in the country. Headquartered in the UK, the multinational security firm which entered Nepal in 1996 has upped its market presence and areas of coverage here since then. Currently, the company commands 90 percent of the market share in the high-end segment, 30 percent in the mid-end segment and 15 percent in the low-end segment, according to Mahesh Shrestha, Managing Director of the company. "G4S Nepal not only provides services from the security perspective but also from the customer care point of view," shares Shrestha.
The company's high-end segment customers include big banks, offices and other facilities of corporate houses, MNCs and large factories, among others. G4s Nepal has been offering integrated security solutions including manned security, cash security services, modern electronic safety security systems and technology for security purposes. Totally owned by G4S Public Limited Company (PLC), it has no Nepali shareholder so far. The scientific, procedural and systematic way the company functions in any situation is the reason behind its success, says Shrestha.
The security services provided by G4S Nepal match international standards. The company provides security workforce for the personal protection of VVIPs and premises protection during special events. The company also has its presence in the hydropower sector which requires security for hydropower equipment and power stations as well as the people working there. Similarly, cash in transit service is another important service provided by the company. Under this service, the company carries highly valuable materials such as bullions and cash from one place to another. For this service, the company utilises bullet-proof armored vehicles.
G4S Nepal has its corporate office in Kathmandu and its branch offices in Hetauda, Biratnagar, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, and Bhairahawa. The liaison offices are located in Birgunj and Chitwan. "We have branch offices in all commercial and industrial towns of Nepal with skilled managers, good communication set-up and all kinds of arrangements," Shrestha shares. The company provides its services throughout the country and has long-term expansion plans in terms of specialised security services.
The clients of the company vary from diplomatic missions, embassies, VVIPs to government institutions, BFIs, hospitals, five star hotels, commercial complexes, educational institutions, private residences, to telecom service providers and industries.
Response from clients
"Most of our clients believe that G4S Nepal can meet all their security needs," claims Shrestha. He cites the example of an INGO in Rasuwa that had asked the company to deploy security personnel just 12 hours before an event. "We were able to do that, covering the five-hour distance from Kathmandu to Rasuwa. It became possible due to the presence of branches all over the country. That is the plus point of having services from G4S Nepal," he shares.
Some clients, however, complain that the services of G4S Nepal are expensive. But Shrestha disagrees. “This is not true. We need to take into consideration all our costs including what we pay to our security guards and other staffers, social security bonuses, insurance related costs and allowances. G4S Nepal is always committed to providing cost-effective solution to its clients,” he says.
Shrestha claims that G4S Nepal brings security services of global standard which the domestic companies cannot offer. "Having an international company like G4S here is itself an opportunity for the Nepali government as it has been contributing to the country's economic development directly or indirectly. Also, many local people are getting trained and employed in such a big company," shares Shrestha. He says G4S Nepal is always competing with itself to provide better services to its clients. "For us, the true competition is to perform better today than yesterday," he says.
Shrestha credits the prolonged political transition for the slow growth of this sector full of potentials."Many skilled security personnel are taking care of houses, companies, premises, asset and companies of government. Private sector security companies are helping government security agencies and this has given an opportunity to the government security agencies to focus on strategic issues," thinks Shrestha. He points out the lack of proper policies related to the private security business. "We also don’t have the private security act and we are simply guided by the general Companies Act," he notes.
Shrestha shares an example of the United States-Mexico border where patrolling is done by G4S security personnel. "Even in the UK and in India, G4S is part of the judiciary process. In the UK, there are several prisons where G4S provides security through multi-year contracts. In this way, the governments there are saving the tax payer’s money coming up with optimum results, promoting the private sector to do the service and creating employment," shares Shrestha. According to him, the government should introduce policies so that many national and international companies invest in the sector. He views that long-term contracts will help the industry to expand in terms of equipment and vehicles. "Even the trade unions are not independent. They are the sister wings of political parties and they always follow the interest and instructions of those parties.”
• Can provide security solutions to local clients as well as big MNCs
• Highly trained and skilled staff, well-shaped not only for national level security service but also for international levels
• Driven by quality of services and doesn’t compromise excellence no matter what
• Retention of employees who want to go abroad for higher income
• Presence of such an MNC in Nepal is itself an opportunity for the economic growth of the country
• Local clients are more price concerned
• Price war among the security companies in Nepal
• The company faces difficulties due to labor unions
• No policies regarding the security of companies with foreign investments