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Cash-rich Ajay Piramal Group eyes homeland security

Joe C Mathew  |  New Delhi 

The cash-rich Group has floated a new company, (PST), to spearhead the group’s foray into defence security business. The company has identified (GTS), a US based surveillance technology developer, as a collaborative partners in India.

Ajay PiramalPiramal-GTS is exploring the possibilities of supplying maritime and land-border security solutions to India’s central and state security establishments, sources said. It may include local production of defence, security and surveillance-related equipment using GTS technology at a later stage.

According to the GTS website, the company has among its customer base, US government establishments such as the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, US Navy and the Department of Energy. Last week, Piramal Group’s flagship firm, Piramal Healthcare, got shareholder approval to diversify into security and defence technology.

May test Mumbai waters
Piramal-GTS may treat Mumbai as a testing ground. The city has committed Rs 600 crore for a homeland security and video surveillance makeover to avoid 26/11 type terror attacks. Reliance, and are some of the in the running for this project. Piramal and GTS did not respond to the email queries.

Established in May this year, Pvt Ltd has two Piramal associates —Leonard Peter Dsouza and Rajesh R Laddha — as founder-directors. Both are directors in some of the Piramal group entities such as Foundation, Finance Co Pvt Ltd and Piramal Pharmaceutical Development Services. The financial commitment made by the promoter group in the new entity is not clear.

The Piramal Group, led by billionaire Ajay Piramal, had a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore in 2010-11 from its wide range of businesses that encompass healthcare, drug discovery & research, glass, real estate and financial services.

The group’s flagship company ,Piramal Healthcare, decided to invest in diverse ventures, after it sold the domestic formulation business to US drug multinational Abbott for about Rs 17,000 crore, last year.

The Piramal move comes in the backdrop of the Maharashtra government’s decision to shortlist seven consortiums for a project involving installation of 5,000 surveillance cameras, video analytics and management, data preservation centres and six command and control centres.

The shortlisted candidates are Wipro-Airtel, Schneider-IBM, Allied Technologies and Cisco, and Revmax Infotech, TCS with its subsidiary and MTNL, and Siemens, and Electronics Corporation of India partnering with Divitel and Acosta Electric.

First Published: Wed, December 14 2011. 00:59 IST