Drivers of growth in the private security industry
Due to the emerging security issues in Kenya private security services have increased over the years. While a number of reasons such as increased crime, vandalism and terrorism on the back of the state’s diminishing capacity to contain the same can be attributed to this, there hasn’t been a dedicated study to prove or otherwise disagree with such anecdotally held evidence. Given the emerging rise of the private security industry, we found it necessary to carry out a study to find out the drivers of growth of the private security industry. Using a cross-sectional design and census of the target population of registered members of KSIA, the study findings based on collected primary data from 37 firms (24 registered with KSIA and the rest either aspiring or already in the process of registration) shows that the evolution of security roles has risen beyond manned guarding to more complex services which include consulting, training, alarm response services, vehicle tracking, security systems and technology, cash management and investigative services among others. Besides, the private security firms are growing at a significant rate with increasing annual profits of more than 1 billion Kenyan Shillings on average every year. This increased profit can be attributed to a sound regulatory environment that has allowed the firms to take more of a center-stage in providing security solutions to the people. Also, dispute resolution mechanisms available in the country are helping improve consumer confidence in the procuring of private security services. The implication of these findings is that we can never take for granted the private security industry and despite the regulation of the same provided for in the Private Security Regulation Act in 2016, there are key lessons that can be forwarded for a more sustained growth within the precepts of the law. Firstly, private security firms should diversify their service provision to encompass a wider scope of service delivery. Secondly, there is opportunity to continue investing in the industry particularly in security services to individuals in their homes and offices with more diversified products to address the needs of the rising middle class. Finally, there is need for continued effort in ensuring a sustainable regulatory environment and full implementation of the dispute regulation strategies in Kenya.
A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Masters of Business Administration at Strathmore University Business School
Kenya private security services, Terrorism, Private Security Regulation Act