Our Bureau

Chennai, Aug 12

Zicom Electronic Security Systems is scouting in the UK and the US to acquire companies in complementary areas of the security business such as fire protection and intelligent building management systems, Mr Rathin Kumar Banerjee, Chief Executive Officer, (Building Solutions Group), Zicom, told

Business Line

on the sidelines of a press meeting.

The company is looking for firms with a large customer base and significant investments in research and development.

Mr Banerjee said there was no budget earmarked for the acquisitions and that the company would fund them through a combination of internal accruals and foreign currency convertible bonds FCCBs, recently approved by Zicom’s board.

Through these acquisitions, Zicom plans to position itself as an end-to-end security solutions provider. It provides CCTVs, fire alarms, smoke detectors, wall mounted video security systems with hand phone, building and parking management solutions under two categories for home, retail and industrial use. The domestic security market is estimated at about Rs 1,600 crore is and is growing at about 30 per cent every year.

Through its recent 49 per cent stake purchase in Dubai-based UNISAFE Fire Protection Specialists, Zicom is now present in West Asia.

The company has started providing intelligent building management systems and commissioned a Rs 1.2 crore project for UB City in Bangalore, where this system will control water and energy consumption besides monitoring security and parking.

It will also set up similar systems for Taj Hotels in Bangalore and a resort in Kochi and is in talks with other companies, Mr Banerjee said.

Zicom is also talking to the management of Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam and Shirdi Sai Baba temple to set up security systems on the lines of its Rs 2 crore system deployed at the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai. After putting CCTVs in the Central Railways’ stations in Mumbai, the company will install cameras with built-in software in each compartment of Mumbai’s local trains, primarily to detect baggage that is left unattended for long periods.

The company expects to see revenues touch Rs 250 crore this fiscal, compared to the Rs 154 crore last year.

The company is spending about Rs 40 crore on brand building activities this fiscal and has tied up with the Future Group and Spencer’s chain of stores to distribute its security products to consumers.

These tie- ups will expand Zicom’s reach to cover 220 outlets in over 64 towns.

Demand from TN robust

Zicom Electronic Security Systems is in talks with the Chennai Traffic Police to install CCTVs at arterial points in the city to monitor traffic. Zicom designed a similar 100-CCTV system for the Mumbai Traffic Police for about Rs 3 crore.

The system not only helps clear traffic but also sends tickets to traffic offenders directly by capturing their vehicle number plate and face on the CCTVs.

This eliminates the need for the traffic police personnel to issue tickets to offenders in person. On receiving the tickets (via mail or email), offenders can directly approach the court to pay off their dues. The Chennai project is likely to be smaller and the cost of the project would be fixed depending on government funding, said Mr Banerjee.

The company is also seeing demand for its projects from IT companies in the state, particularly those located on the Old Mahabalipuram Road and in Mahindra City.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 13, 2007)
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