TOPSGRUP is a leading ISO 9001:2008 certified, Total Security Solutions group offering bespoke security and safety solutions to thousands of delighted customers across the world and employs over 93,000 trained human capital assets. TOPSGRUP offers a holistic approach to mitigating enterprise continuity risks across India and the United Kingdom and has ambitious plans of expanding to other corners of the world including Australia, Asia, China, Africa, Europe and USA. TOPSGRUP operates out of 120 offices around the world and is globally headquartered in London, United Kingdom. -from their brochure.
This is a great article on a company making some moves in the world of security. India’s Topsgrup is definitely growing, and ever since the Mumbai attack, private security has been a boom over there. For some background on the company, here is an older ‘company spotlight’ post that I did on them. –Matt
India’s Topsgrup: appetite for risk
November 23, 2012
by Neil Munshi
Not every company would be happy to have a prominent right-wing extremist on its roster of clients. But for Topsgrup, India’s largest private security company, Bal Thackeray – leader of the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena political party and one of the most powerful men in Mumbai before he died this month – was just an ordinary Joe.
Thackeray, a man who in life – and, it turned out, in death – could pack the streets with fanatical multitudes at short notice, entrusted his travel in his waning days to ambulances provided by Topsgrup.
He was one among the company’s 8,000 private and corporate clients, which include other leaders of India’s elite and many of its biggest companies such as the Tata Group, ICICI Bank and the Times of India. Topsgrup also provides security at events including Indian Premiere League cricket matches. In July, it completed a £19.5m acquisition of the Shield Guarding Company of the UK, in which it bought a 51 per cent stake in 2008.
Rahul Nanda, CEO of Topsgrup, which has 90,000 employees in India, says the Shield acquisition was a sign of the company’s commitment to growth in the UK – along with India – and a testament to its changing ambitions since the global financial crisis in 2008.
“Before the recession, we were looking to acquire an American company, a $600m company. We signed a memorandum of understanding and raised the funds but the recession happened and everything fell apart,” he told beyondbrics. “Our aim earlier was to do business of £10bn in the next ten years, but after recession the world has changed – our objectives have been reduced.”
The company now hopes to consolidate and grow its UK and India businesses and, in the long-term, Nanda said, become a truly global business.
In 1992 when Nanda joined Topsgrup – which is privately held and controlled by his family – it was generating revenues of just £2,000 a month. In the fiscal year ending in March 2012, it reported revenues of £106.8m. It expects to turn over £133.7m in the year ending in March 2013 and is aiming to become a $1bn group by 2016.
“If we can achieve that kind of sustainable growth – both organic and inorganic – then we can see what happens,” Nanda says, referring to the prospect of an IPO. “We’ve been thinking about listing in the past, but markets have not been conducive.”
For now, the company has three main investors on board. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, a billionaire often referred to as ‘the Indian Warren Buffett’, was the first, picking up a 10.4 per cent stake for $18m seven years ago. Later, ICICI Ventures, the private equity arm of India’s largest private sector bank, picked up a 13.7 per cent stake, along with Everstone Capital, which acquired 7.1 per cent.
If the company does decide to go public – providing a strategic exit for those investors – it could well be successful, says Deven Choksey, managing director of KR Choksey. Its top-to-bottom approach – providing everything from security guards and security systems to ambulances, private investigations and disaster training – makes Topsgrup unique in India.
“It would be a one of its kind listing in India. I don’t know how much interest it would evoke but the fact is that the industry is growing, and the growth is exponential,” says Choksey. “However, the business model needs to be better understood, because they’re not just providing private security, they’re providing full-scale solutions to enterprises.”
In India, Nanda says, that usually involves manpower. The ‘man-guarding’ sector is set to grow steadily over the next few years because of the low cost of labour. Meanwhile, in the UK – where Topsgrup’s 2,500 employees handle security for the Corporation of London and auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s, among others – Nanda sees security systems and technology offering more growth.
“UK customers are much more tech savvy and more adept at using and living with technology all of the time,” he says. “If you go to Mumbai, and you go to a mall, you’ll see 10 or 20 security officers frisking you, walking around. In the US and UK, you’ll hardly see one.
“If you look back 20, 30, 40 years, they were just like we are now – and India will be like them at some point, but we just need some time.”