The number of private security companies has jumped along with a rise in investment and crime rates. These firms employ nearly 100,000 registered security officers who guard business premises across Nepal. This figure is almost equal to the number of Armed Police and Nepal Police personnel.
Demand for security services has been growing with an increase in safety and security awareness among clients, particularly business houses, industries and private and public offices, said Mahesh Shrestha, Managing Director of G4S, a multinational security guard outsourcing agency. Demand has been swelling mostly in the banking sector. Similarly, demand for security services in diplomatic missions, industries, hotels, schools and colleges, residences, cinema halls and shopping malls has surged in recent years. “The industry has been making a big contribution to the country by providing employment,” said Shrestha.
Apart from G4S, domestically well known companies such as Garud Securities and Kalinchowk Securities provide services as per demand. According to the Office of the Company Registrar, 1,090 companies are registered under the security service category.
According to Shrestha, revenue has been growing at the rate of 20 percent annually at G4S. “The company posted a turnover of Rs. 970 million in the last fiscal year 2016-17. Transactions are expected to reach Rs 1.2 billion by this fiscal year,” said Shrestha. Currently, G4S has 5,700 employees in Nepal.
G4S plans to provide specialized security services especially for hospitals and hydropower projects. Beside manned and electronic security services, G4S offers earthquake, fire and natural disaster evacuation services. The company is also providing dedicated 24-hour distance surveillance security and standby response.
The security business is booming with the country’s business environment improving, said Sabal Shah, Managing Director of Garud Securities. “As the business and industrial sectors grow, the security sector is also expected to expand,” he said. Garud Securities has recorded an annual business growth of more than 25 percent for the last four years. “The company saw a turnover of around Rs 850 million in the last fiscal year while it is expected to reach Rs1.05 billion this fiscal year,” said Shah.
Even though the security business has been expanding rapidly, the sector faces various challenges due to lack of legislation. In the absence of a governing body and specific laws, unhealthy competition has grown, said security companies.