Mirsad Ćatić, General Manager of Alarm West Group
B&H Private Security has its Perspective
With an intention to analyze the state of the private security industry in BiH, as well as in the Adriatic region terms, the talk turned to Mr. Mirsad Ćatić, General Manager of the largest private security subject in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Alarm West Group. Under its authority AWG gathers seven companies, which has built their businesses based primarily on the continuous monitoring of the situation on the market, market trends analysis and high quality of services offered to their end users. Only in Bosnia and Herzegovina AWG employs about 1,300 employees and about 350 more in Serbia, Romania and Kosovo. From the replies that followed our questions, it is more than clear that we have turned our questions to the right address.
Asked to comment on the company's metamorphosis from a company with only one employee to the most powerful private security group in BiH, Mr. Catic claims that the answer relays in constant effort to complete each task in the best possible manner, as well as to make the company be distinctive in the market as a partner that can respond to all of the requirements of its customers. He also added that today AWG is present even in Serbia, Romania and Kosovo, and that 30-40% of its clients belongs to the banking sector and the rest of them belongs to retail stores and shopping centers, forign countries embassies and other companies. As his most advantageous business step from the past, Mr. Ćatić mentioned his decision from 1996 to enter the security business, as well as purchase of shares in Gama Security Ltd and proficiency in that time to enter into the business of securing of the Raiffeisen bank. Asked to comment the lack of the uniform law on the BiH State level, that would systematize the whole private security sector under one legal framework, Mr. Ćatić stated that, as a professional in security branch and a legalist who respects the governmental structure and constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also a person who highly respects the Organic law in BiH. According to that, Mr. Ćatić stated that if the Police forces are organised to act as a 3 entities, than it should not be such big problem for the private security sector to be organised in the same manner. He also added that there are some obvious problems, as companies that operate in the area of private security are working under two different Law acts, but also added that anyone who truly wants to do the job in the private security market, and who really cares that it works on clear market principles; there are no obstacles to it. Mr. Ćatić highlighted that this lack of the uniform law for private security on the BiH State level can possibly express negative on the interest of some global players planning to enter this market, but he also mentioned that, on the other side, all that could be understood as an advantage for the local private security companies, because it gives them some more time to consolidate.
Mr. Ćatić ends this interesting topic with the statement that the Law for private security sector on the State level will most probably appear together with some other Laws, which also have to be designed on the State level. Asked where it is necessary to seek for the balance, which is necessary for creation of optimum conditions for significant progress of the private protection industry in BiH and Adriatic region, Mr. Ćatić stated that mentioned balance and creation of optimal conditions for the private security industry progress is something what can not be resolved without a comprehensive resolution of global market opportunities, what primarily means the formation of security awareness at the client side. In addition, he stated that security professionals, as people who work in the industry, can do everything what is up to them, they could move much more progress than today, they can develop ideas and offer advanced solutions, but if market does not have capacity to recognize all that and ability to pay that, then all mentioned loses its meaning. Comparing the state of the standard salaries payed to the employees in the private security companies in BiH with the situation in Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania, Mr. Ćatić stated that employees in BiH are beter payed and with higher working conditions standard. Comparing the age structure of the employees in all regional countries, Mr. Ćatić said that even that result goes in favor of the private security industry in BiH, and that it however clearly shows that the security as profession is still very interesting and attractive for young people in BiH. During this interview we have also discussed the lack of the private security association on the State level, which could represent BiH private security in COESS as well as the consequences of such lack. Mr. Ćatić stated that it is a kind of disservice that the private security companies do not understand the mutual benefit in having one common solution of associating. The over bridging of this problem Mr. Ćatić sees in possible creation of three associations, which could that offer the personal and other resources for one State level Association of the private security companies. Mr. Ćatić also mentioned that BiH private security already have its connection with COESS through few companies which are regularly paying all membership dues and invited to any important COESS events. Asked how wide is BiH security market opened for big global players to enter in, Mr. Ćatić said that although legislation hampers the world's respectable companies to enter the BH, we are still not out of their interest. He also mentioned that he has some contacts in that way with some different fonds and large companies, and it is clear that they have intention to enter BH and Croatian security market as well, but how and when it is going to happend, he stated that it is still to early to predict this. Speaking about the increased number of cases of attacks on financial institutions, in which the perpetrators were successfully recognized using videosurveillance systems, Mr. Ćatić stated that in the most of such cases the perpetrators were actually successfully recognized thanks to the videosurveillance cameras installed on the surrounding buildings. So, taking in consideration the increase the usage of videosurveillance systems in the public security applications in BH, Mr. ćatić added that increasing number of public videosurveillance systems has a very positive impact on the general state of public safety. He also added that the high particular attention should be paid to the quality of the equipment for such applications, because only high quality equipment is reliable and economic pay-out solution.