Securex, a security service company, started its journey with only two guards in 1988. Not many people sought the agency's services at that time and many others laughed at the initiative.
But now the company with around 6,000 workers has garnered reputation in the security service industry.
Currently, about six lakh people work in some 600 security service companies in the country.
Among them, Securex is the first to introduce "Electronic Guarding" or e-guarding services in Bangladesh, with an aim to improve the security service sector by adopting latest technologies.
The security guard agency hopes that e-guarding will decrease cost and ensure foolproof security for their clients.
Electronic guarding service is based on intrusion detection and prevention technology, which uses latest intelligent security products like motion sensors, glass break and seismic sensors, heat, smoke and shock detectors. It also uses closed circuit cameras along with a security protocol managed by remote central monitoring station manned by professional operators to monitor incidents in real time.
Manned guards are vulnerable to fatigue which can lead to missed threats. They cannot be everywhere at the same time and may take long time to respond to threat. They are also in risk of injury or death during an intervention, said, Farhan Quddus, managing director of Securex.
"An e-guarding solution can be invaluable for augmenting or even replacing the existing manned guarding system and deliver a proactive threat-prevention on a campus or facility," he said.
Securex has started providing the e-guarding services this year. Two institutions - IPDC Finance Limited and Chittagong Fashion – are taking their services currently.
Elite Force, the largest security service company in the country, is also trying to launch the e-guarding system for their clients.
Elite Force now oversees its offices and cash-carrying cars from its control room. The company is now able to take any step from their control room if needed.
Brigadier General (retd) Sharif Aziz, managing director of Elite Force, told The Business Standard, "It is a demand of the time to turn our focus to e-guarding as the clients want best service for low cost. So, e-guarding is the best option to meet the demand of the clients.
"The service is also safe. Now we depend on the security guards, but sometimes they cannot perceive the real scenario and provide correct information," he said.
He also said that huge investment is needed to introduce the e-guarding services. So, it will take more time.
This correspondent on September 16 visited the control room of the Securex and Elite Force. Their control rooms are equipped with the advance technologies that enable them to monitor all the activities at the clients' offices.
When this correspondent was on a visit to the Securex's premises, an emergency alarm was triggered at the 5th floor of the building and the control room responded immediately. Later it was found that an unauthorized official tried to enter a room mistakenly.
"We are able to respond to any problem at any corner of our clients' premises. Our team is ready to serve the client 24 hours," said Asif Ahamed, solution manager of Securex.
Farhan said, "Measures can be taken from both sides (service providers and client). But the responsibility goes to service providers. Any company interested in providing the service will have to form an emergency response team, which will work following the direction of the control room. If the control room thinks that the problem is massive, they will inform the police. So, every problem is solvable within a short span of time."
Managing Director of Securex Farhan Quddus said, people are benefitting hugely by using electronic devices for security.
Farhan also said that he is planning to focus more on e-guarding services than the existing manned guarding services provided by his agency.
"We are trying to expand the e-guarding services. But it is still not popular among people. I think eventually the clients will appreciate the system more and the demand for e-guarding will increase," he said.
"The demand of manned guarding service will decrease after e-guarding gains popularity, but it will not vanish completely," he added.
The fourth industrial revolution is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work.
Electronic guarding system is already popular in the developed countries. Even in India many industries and institutions have been adopting e-guard services.
Securex officials said, "The present surveillance technology detects unauthorized loitering in a specific zone, even if the intruder remains static for a long period of time. The intruder may change their position after seeing a guard approaching, but the latest technology can provide the guard with a full picture of the suspect's behaviour and whereabouts for a defined period, and then alert the guard and control room about potential threats.
"Electronic guarding system is convenient and it will help decreasing the clients' worries. The clients will also feel good as they could supervise their institutions' security even from home," said Farhan.
Ajkoy Ray, supervisor of Chittagong Fashion, told The Business Standard that the number of the security guards has decreased by one-third after introducing the e-guarding system in their company.
"The cost for ensuring the security of the company has also decreased. We are also happy because we can monitor our security system form home. As a result, we can sleep without worrying about the security," he added.