Building your security shield

Building your security shield

Dr. Diwan Rahul Nanda took over TOPSGRUP and turned it into a conglomerate with annual revenues of over Rs. 939 crore. He aims to keep the growth chart going by expanding its services globally and by capitalising on its strong security services and workforce strength of 93,000


After a lot of soul searching and research on other service sectors like PR and advertising, Dr. Diwan Rahul Nanda took over TOPSGRUP, the family’s security business, at the age of 22. From a high profile event in London to airports in India, TOPSGRUP delivers end-to-end security solutions to its customers. The company has grown from a small Rs. 0.40 crore security firm in 1993, to a global corporation with revenues in excess of Rs. 939 crore in FY 13. “In spite of inherent threats in the industry like lack of awareness amongst the customers, illiteracy issues with employees, corruption, and the looming presence of mafia in Bollywood, I took it up as a challenge to resurrect a sick company and make security a household name in India,” states a proud Nanda, the global chairman, who is credited with corporatising the private security industry.

The industry has also grown well in the last few years, especially since the Mumbai terror attacks. Nanda says, “Due to India’s large population, the country’s police forces are stretched with about one officer per 1000 people, and, hence the private security guards have stepped in to this vacuum and are becoming de facto police officers.”  Quoting a few numbers, he says, “The ratio of private security personnel to police in India is 2:1 and will soon reach 3:1, so, the government should consider utilising a private security force as an extended arm for enforcement agencies.”

It is no wonder that the country’s private security force is currently pegged to be at US $5 billion. It’s growing at the rate of 20 per cent year-on-year and is expected to double in the next five years. Some of the factors driving this growth are urbanisation, unemployment, terrorism and growing inequalities.  Operating in such an environment, Nanda is optimistic about the company’s future and expects his company to clock revenue of Rs. 1,110.76 crore in the current financial year ended March 2014.

Top Code: security

TOPSGRUP has a wide spectrum of specialised service verticals, which helps the company customise its solutions for clients, without compromising on their business risks. Apart from offering licensed security officers and risk intelligence investigation, it has partnered with global technology companies to provide technology infrastructure management systems, which will help manage buildings intelligently and economically. It offers emergency response service in India and practices rescue and evacuation processes as per international standards. Its group company, Taylormade Facilities Management (India) Pvt. Ltd., provides total outsourcing solutions to corporate customers throughout India.

“As topsgrup was the first mover in this space, the biggest impediment that i faced was that there was no industry per se.”

Top crew, customers and systems

“As TOPSGRUP was the first mover in this space, the biggest impediment that I faced was that there was no industry per se,” recalls Nanda. For him, the goal was not to sell the company’s services or increase its brand equity, but to educate and increase consumer awareness of the security industry at large, and to make them desire a professional, ethical and quality conscious security provider.

Tops Security, the flagship company of TOPSGRUP, secured private equity funding in 2007. The company received private equity investments aggregating to Rs. 145 crore from ICICI Ventures, Everstone Capital and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala & Associates. The group also raised debt, aggregating to Rs. 96 crore, from Public Sector Banks in India and the UK.

Today, with over 93,000 employees, TOPSGRUP is networked through 120 offices across India and the UK, with global headquarters in London. TOPSGRUP services 27,000 locations in India. The company serves multiple industry sectors, including government, manufacturing, hospitality, technology, science, and retail. It emphasises on security training throughout the year and covers cultural trends such as crime statistics, gang population and dressing fads.

Top acquisitions

In July 2012, TOPSGRUP completed the acquisition of The Shield Group, which was initiated with a 51 per cent controlling stake in 2008. “The Shield Group has become UK’s 10th largest business security company,” says Nanda. The company has an aggressive growth strategy in place for The Shield Group, which will help consolidate its market share in key geographies and services in the UK market.

In 2005, the company acquired Bengaluru-based Guardwell Detective Services and also acquired a 14.69 per cent stake in the Chennai-based security systems integrator firm, Adtech Systems.

Going forward, the company intends to do a series of acquisitions in India, to consolidate its market share. It plans to build its sales infrastructure and increase its investments in brand communication and customer engagement programs. TOPSGRUP also has plans to launch new business verticals. It has already launched a Total Security Solutions model in the UK, thus creating four new business lines.

Top Quality

Despite the economic downturn, TOPSGRUP has invested £1 million for the development of a Management Development Centre in the UK for The Shield Group.  In India, the company has a dedicated subsidiary called TOPSGRUP International Security Academy Private Limited (TISA) that has 22 training academies spread across Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Kolkata and Chennai.  It has contracted to mobilise 32,000 rural, below poverty level youth to impart training with job placements.

The challenges plaguing the sector are increasing population and the inability to provide human resource to support the demand. Various factors such as underdeveloped technology, lack of appropriate and strict training in sub-sectors of security also add to it. This is the reason why there is a need for continued education and right training of the security professionals.

Top Opportunities

The change in lifestyle in the last few years has boosted demand for private security services among corporate offices, hotels, malls, residential complexes as well as individuals. India is also currently making a lot of efforts to beef up security across sectors. For instance, the Indian government has recently initiated a grading system for malls and if there is any breach in the security, the owner will lose his license. This certainly puts pressure on not just the private security companies but also on the owner to take extreme measures to provide quality security to all the customers. Hence, systems integration, alarm monitoring, security consulting, and guard services, among others, are very much in demand and are expected to increase further. In this scenario, the company’s total security solutions, which is based on risk and a detailed understanding of the customers’ entire value chain – manned guarding, electronic surveillance systems, risk intelligence investigation, network-based integrated facility management systems, emergency response services and security consultancy and training – will help in its growth.

In the coming years, TOPSGRUP is poised to strategically enter other parts of the world, including the US, Australasia, South East Asia and Middle East. To achieve its national and international growth plans, TOPSGRUP has a clear roadmap of expanding globally. “Our edge remains our strategic approach to offering security services, customer satisfaction, a longstanding list of retained clients, and a dedicated workforce,” concludes Nanda.



Business Profile:  Security solutions company

Chairman : Dr. Diwan Rahul Nanda

Year: 1970

Turnover: Rs. 939 crore in FY13

What Next

Enter other parts of the world including the Americas, Australasia, South East Asia and Middle East

Work on a series of acquisitions in India to consolidate market share

Build sales infrastructure and increase investments in brand communication and customer engagement programs.

Launch new business verticals.

On a lighter note 


Appearing in the Sunday Times Rich List: Honour and prestige.

Security: An Imperative today

Fun: My Family, My Businesses

Holiday: Maldives with the family

Mentor: My father

Entrepreneurship: Intrapreneurship, the new mantra

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