From 50 to 50,000: How Transguard evolved from a small homegrown company into the region’s largest business support provider

By Greg Ward, Managing Director, Transguard Group 

Evolution of Transguard’s portfolio
Transguard Group began as a security manned guarding company 16 years ago, with 50 employees and since then we have evolved into a full business support services and outsourcing company with a workforce of over 57,000.
In the early years, we started to build a large client base and it was our banking customers that pushed us to move into the Cash Services industry. We saw a gap in the market for a high-quality local offering in Cash Services.
As our client base grew we found increasingly that our customers were looking for outsourcing solutions for their complex business needs, so many of the changes in the company’s portfolio were driven by our customers’ requirements.

Total Service Solutions
Transguard’s services can be categorised into four main areas: Security Services, Cash Services, Manpower Services and Integrated Facility Services, and within each of these services we offer a number of sub-services.  We can, therefore, tailor our service offering to meet the specific needs of our customers whereby they can opt for a single or multiple service solution across all four areas of the business.
This ‘Total Service’ solution is becoming increasingly popular with our customers as they are looking for a consistently high quality of delivery across all their outsourced services and at a reduced cost. This can be achieved by simply reducing the number of vendors and moving towards a partnership model of working where clients and their outsourcing providers work strategically together to deliver increasingly complex business requirements.   
One of our biggest banking clients who had traditionally outsourced our cash solution is now outsourcing our manned guarding, security integration, manpower and facilities management as part of our Total Service solution model. This has reduced their costs by 15% whilst also retaining a consistently high quality of delivery across all their outsourced services.

Managing a fast-growing workforce
There are logistical, CSR and HR challenges in managing a workforce of this size.  We have experienced teams working in each division and then those teams work closely together to ensure the needs of the workforce across the entire Employee Lifecycle are met.
We have been rolling out major employee welfare initiatives over the past few years including upgrades to our accommodations, the introduction of a dedicated CSR team and an enhanced recreation and welfare team. We have opened two medical clinics inside our employee accommodations in 2016 and 2017, and created the new Centre of Excellence which delivers practical, vocational and managerial training courses to the entire workforce.
Transguard’s new Centre of Excellence is an important initiative and one close to my heart as it gives every employee the opportunity for promotion from within, by identifying gaps in skill levels and providing the relevant training.
In addition to managing the personal and professional needs of 57,000 employees, it is important that a thriving culture is embedded in the company and communicated across the entire organisation, and at every level. The culture at Transguard is about supporting each other to succeed, so in turn, we can support our customers to succeed.  We place a lot of importance on attracting and retaining the best possible talent the world over and we each have a common desire to keep growing, keep innovating and keep achieving great things, collectively as a company and as individuals too.

The changing landscape of Security in the region
The security industry has changed a great deal over the last decade. It has had to evolve with the changing landscape of the region which has undergone monumental growth across every sector.
To put it in perspective, when Transguard was created in 2001 the population of the UAE was 3 million. The estimated population size of the UAE is three times that today. This rapid population growth has caused our cities to transform into global capitals and presents our customers with completely different security challenges. This combined with an evolving risk profile in the region means that the security services that we offer our customers are continuously evolving too.
The regulation of the security industry in the UAE is critical. The authorities in the country have implemented a list of comprehensive standards which security companies must follow. The level of training and regulation of the security services industry in the UAE is second to none.
It can be challenging at times to enforce the regulations and this challenge comes from the sheer number of security companies that operate in the UAE. We see the number of security companies in the UAE decreasing in the long term making regulation easier.

Bespoke recruitment and training of security personnel
Our Security personnel are recruited in close consultation with our customers. We deliver a bespoke solution to each of our customers as no two security requirements are the same. One customer may require a much more ‘behind-the-scenes’ security solution with customer focused personnel, while another customer may require a very visible security presence, with teams that can handle complex and difficult situations.
Transguard security staff undertake a standard induction training on entry to the UAE. Manned guards go through the standard Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CISPA) or Private Security Companies Organisations Department (PSCOD) depending on the deployment location. For example, all manned guards working at the Airports go through AVSEC (Aviation Security) training.
A few years ago, we also introduced the mandatory training of all manned guards in Fire and Safety. Guards are often the first responders to fire and safety related incidents so this training is essential.

Trends and Technology
We are seeing a major move towards new technologies as the specifications of cameras and access control solutions improve exponentially, and in the cash services industry, Smart Cash Deposit Machine (SCDM) technology is building considerable momentum in the market, especially with retailers and banks.
There is a greater focus on technology that sits on top of the traditional security solutions and augment these solutions.  Transguard uses GuardTec Solution which allows us to capture data on our guards’ patrol routes, optimise and set routes and allows our guards to feedback through the system when reporting and managing incidents.
Trend analysis solutions that provide real-time scene analysis and big data analysis is currently very topical. We have also seen an increase in the requirement for cyber security solutions.

Transguard’s aspirations for the future
Transguard is currently growing at over 30% year-on-year and we aspire to continue this rate of growth. This will be achieved by increasing market share across each of our four business units as well as enhancing our services.
We have been working on a strategy to expand in the GCC and 2017 is the year that we will be able to announce some very interesting developments. We are very excited about replicating our success in the UAE across the GCC region and beyond.
We will continue to develop new services to stay ahead of the market and provide our customers with an unrivalled business support and outsourcing experience.

For everything Transguard visit www.transguardgroup.com or to find more about each of our services follow these links:

Cash Services

Security Services

Manpower Services

Integrated Facility Services

Transguard Living