One fine evening, I came out of Landview building, at Gulshan-2. I stood at the stairs while I saw a group of roving RAB officers parking their bikes. One of them came up the stairs while the others took time in anchoring their vehicles. As if I had found a long lost friend, I asked the officer standing next to me, “ei je RAB bhai, apnader gorom lage na? ei je kalo jama pore rodey ghora ghori koren...” (Yo RAB bro, you don’t feel hot or what? Wearing this black outfit and out there in the sun…). The officer looked at me with his sun-glassed eyes, scanned me from top to bottom and replied after a long silence, “No…we are used to it”. By the mean time, I have realized that I had put hand in a tiger’s mouth and asked if the teeth were sharp or not. The other officers starting appearing, I gave the RAB bhai a dry smile and immediately disappeared into thin air.
These RAB officers, I thought, have surely created a brand image for themselves. For their heroics, the headlines (right or wrong) or because of the mere black gears they were, have certainly helped create a sense of trust and security (for some), awe (for some) and fear (for some). However the same cannot be said regarding our ‘supposed to be custodians’—the police. They are however, government servants, mostly ill-paid and ill-fed. Talking about what the government should do to uplift the police’s image is beyond the scope of this blog. So we turn our focus to the private players who are playing in the fields of providing security—G4S and Securex. We talk about G4S here.
First and foremost, I ask to the wiser amongst you, do you have any idea about this industry? What is their market size? How many players are there other than the ones I know? What is the number of employment they are generating? Do they have any association or something? (I bet they do, any more than two Bengalis are supposed to form a political party, association, council, committee etc.). I would love to know more about this service sector which seems to be growing in leaps in bounds.
Big private corporates, embassies, clubs, NGOs, banks—I guess the major clients who are provided security by companies like G4S. I guess they are the market leaders, just assuming, as I see their security personnel around most often. I believe they are doing a good job, their employers have lot of room to do even better for them. Other than providing them with clean uniforms and caps, other than installing discipline into their lives (through parade/P.T. conducted by ex-defence personnel), the employers can orient them with self-dignity as well. No doubt that the general public don’t give as much ‘patta’ to the G4S folks as much as they give to the RAB Bhais. The elite black force has created a ‘brand personality’ for themselves, as coined by Shahriar in his recent post. But due to some common reasons, private security personnel are yet to create that brand image for themselves. Why is that?
Education could be a reason. Self-confidence could be another. Behaviour, conduct, attitude can be other. All these seem to be tacit knowledge but very important in a crucial service sector like security. I hope the management of G4S does not become too complacent of the fact that we are a labor-intensive nation and we can ‘cheap-bargain’ manpower to accomplish our own corporate objectives. The circumstances are such in