Q. Rate of obsolescence is generally very high in the electronic business market, how do you keep pace with the ever changing market expectations and customer’s needs?
Time, tide and technology wait for no man. Our world, and particularly the technology world, is characterized by constant flux. In today’s world, change is not something that happens once in every 2-3 years. We are talking of rapid changes that occur every quarter or sometimes every month. From this perspective, today’s businesses grapple with constant change and continuous realignment.
One simple rule we follow is to avoid falling in love with our technologies and products. We phase out matured products and move on to cutting-edge technologies early on. Having said this, Matrix has been in the technology business for 25 years now and we have had our share of challenges in managing change.
Meeting ever-changing customer expectations requires all-round capabilities. Therefore, changes are not limited only to technologies and products. We are equally relentless in driving changes in other areas including our strategies, people, processes, and infrastructure. For example, recently Matrix R&D moved to being Agile; manufacturing shifted to being lean and we implemented SAP.
Q. The rise in attacks over the years, the government’s response has been inadequate & has failed to effectively counter terrorism with surveillance, intelligence, & first-response measures. In such a scenario, how strong do you think is Government in implementing Security & Surveillance solutions?
Government in any county is part of the overall ecosystem in the country. Therefore, instead of talking about what government should do, we should focus on role of technology in mitigating security risks. There are exciting possibilities. First, technologies are improving every day. There are significant enhancements in video resolution, image processing, transmission, displays, storage, analytics and biometrics. Second, overall infrastructure in terms of servers, cloud, network availability and bandwidth are much better. Third, product companies are building innovative solutions on these technologies. Last, people are realizing the importance of integrating different solutions to overcome real-life scenarios. We can design, build and deploy strong security solutions on these positive factors with more focus on prevention instead of limiting these solutions to only post-mortem analysis.
Q. What is the total size of the Security & Surveillance market in India? To what size do you expect it to grow by 2020?
The Security and Surveillance market is witnessing an immense growth from various sectors such as Airport, Railways, Education, BFSI, Hospitality, Oil & Gas, and Infrastructure. Video Surveillance, Time-Attendance, and Access Control are quickly becoming the norm in public spaces and industries. If we include various commercial applications and solutions, the Security and Video Surveillance market in India is about Rs 7,000 crore per annum. It is expected to grow at 18% CAGR between 2017 and 2020.
Q. Would you suggest some change in government policy to help Security and Surveillance business penetration in the country?
Government can boost security industry in multiple ways. One, government everywhere is big buyers. If Indian government insists on deploying video surveillance and access control in government and semi-government organizations, the industry growth would accelerate. Wide-spread deployment of security and surveillance solutions in government and public establishments could also improve quality and productivity of governance and services.
Second, government can speed up product standards and certification, ensuring products sold in India meet certain performance specifications. This will improve the quality of security surveillance infrastructure in the country.
Last but important, security surveillance is a very large and growing market. We cannot afford losing out on opportunity of creating manufacturing in India. The government should find ways to force/promote companies to manufacture their products in India.
Q. There is an ongoing debate among the stakeholders about increasing FDI cap in defense to 49 or to even 100 percent. How do you think it can impact the homeland security business and what could be its repercussions?
National defense is a very serious matter and I am not a defense expert. It would be irresponsible on my part to comment superfluously on such an important subject.
At the end of the day, this is about balancing security concerns against benefits from defense and manufacturing technologies. If we can somehow mitigate security risks, it looks sensible to allow higher FDI to foreign companies who are ready to invest in core manufacturing in India.
Q. The industry is now moving from analogue to IP-based solutions, what do you think could be the opportunities and challenges for customers?
Video Surveillance and Access Control solutions are evolving from age old bulk centralized panels to distributed architecture using IP based intelligent controllers. Software applications are web based and support mobile applications. IP, Wireless, Mobility, and Cloud are the technology trends driving innovation. More and more solutions are moving to IP and offer wireless connectivity. As bandwidth bottlenecks are being removed, enterprise applications are moving to the Cloud eliminating customer premise hardware, servers, and software. The major challenges for customers are their existing investments in legacy technologies, new investments, acquiring new methodologies and retraining and organization change management.
Most progressive organizations are aware about the bottlenecks of their existing legacy solutions and the benefits the new technologies offer such as superior performance, better control, seamless integration, faster decisions, quick response, incidents prevention, improved productivity, higher safety/security of human and physical assets, and better compliance.
Q. What are the other trends that are gaining popularity in the Indian Security & Surveillance Market?
In video surveillance, organizations are moving to IP by replacing their Analog solutions. With this, Analog DVRs are being replaced by IP Network Video Recorders. Image resolution is increasing to 2MP and 3MP. Video codec H.265 is also becoming the norm. Video is storage hungry and storage was always a constraint. But now, higher capacity hard disks are increasing storage capacity. Another big trend is more and more multi-location organizations are investing in VMS to integrate and centralize their existing isolated legacy solutions installed, maintained and used separately. Video analytics is another exciting area where analytics are becoming more reliable and therefore useful for real-life applications. Moreover, we are also seeing new-generation analytics bringing opportunities to solve previously unsolved problems. Some of these analytics such as face recognition are erasing the boundaries between video surveillance and biometric technologies. Users are moving from desktop and laptop to mobile as their choice of device to use their video surveillance applications, fueling the need for innovative mobile apps.
Need of automating the security and enhancing productivity by smart identification are gaining popularity. We have gone a step forward and allowed complete flexibility to customers for creating real-life scenarios by using IVA and integrations to automate identification as well as notifications based on scenario.
In biometric and people mobility space, more organizations are realizing limitations of their existing RF card based solutions and moving to biometric solutions based on finger, palm, face or iris. Customers are demanding innovative solutions on integration with ERP, CRM, Google Maps, etc. Again, customers are demanding integration with Video Surveillance, Building Management (BMS), and ERP. Moreover, Cloud based SaaS model is also gaining popularity in security solutions.
Besides automating the processes, organizations are also shifting from scattered and localized monitoring to centralized monitoring. Centralized control helps synchronize the organization, gives higher control to management besides providing enhanced data security. These also improve processes and increases efficiency manifold.
Q. What are the most lucrative customer segments in terms of demand for your company?
We live in an era where all aspects of our life are technology enabled and technology driven. Security and safety are the most fundamental motivators, and therefore, of prime importance for all organizations. Matrix SATATYA is a family of video surveillance solutions including IP cameras, NVRs, VMS, mobile apps, etc. Matrix COSEC is a family of People Mobility Management solutions including biometric readers, controllers, panels, centralized application servers, mobile apps, etc. Both these portfolios offer modular architecture, allowing customers to pick and choose applications relevant to their business.
The significant sectors are Infrastructure, Manufacturing, BFSI, Transport, Retail, and Hospitality. Both Matrix SATATYA and Matrix COSEC are designed to meet Video Surveillance and People Mobility Management (access control and
time-attendance) of any organization irrespective of its size, locations, layouts, and time zones.
Q. What are your plans for the next 5 years? Is there anything new in the pipeline?
Matrix is focused on three technology domains – IP Video Surveillance, People Mobility Management solutions (Access Control, Time-Attendance, Visitor Management, etc.) and Telecom. All these solutions are targeted to the same customers – modern enterprises, SMEs and SMBs. We are busy developing cutting-edge technologies and solutions and taking them to the international and domestic markets. It is a journey we started 25 years ago and are enjoying it so far. We are investing in our people, processes, products, infrastructure, and culture to build a world class organization.
In Video Surveillance domain, Video Analytics play a key role in foreseeing and identifying incidents, dangers and threats. There are three advancements we look forward to happening in our Security and Surveillance domain. Cognitive Responsive Engine with Automated Monitoring (CREAM) will help humans in automating surveillance that will not just analyze the events but also monitor and instantly respond to the events.
With increasing vehicle population, Vehicle Tracking and Management is a must to ensure end-to-end security. For this, we have developed a Parking Management solution which covers areas like Unauthorized Parking, Wrong Way Detection, Empty Parking Spots Guidance, etc. We plan to bring more of such analytics that solve day-to-day challenges faced by organizations.
People mobility is another domain we are focusing on. We are building multiple solutions to take care of various people mobility scenarios in organizations such as Crowd Management, Field Movement, Cafeteria, Work Flow and Job Processing, Time-Attendance, Visitor Management, etc. We plan to integrate new technologies in biometrics and access to respond quickly in crucial times.