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Ten years after 26/11: Measures that can keep your business safe

Ten years after 26/11: Measures that can keep your business safe

By - Sanjay Kaushik, Managing Director, Netrika Consulting India Pvt Ltd

Ten years after the terrorist attack that let the country in a state of shock, there are few in India who may have forgotten the terrorist attack on the night of November 26, 2008. The group of 10 terrorists had caused mayhem in the city and it was soon clear that they wanted to disrupt the businesses in India’s commercial capital.

Memories of the attack still send shivers down the spine for many people, several of who seem of have memories which they would like to forget.

The terrorists had arrived at Mumbai on a small boat and attacked the Taj Hotel and nearby Oberoi Hotel. The indiscriminate firing at different locations around Mumbai’s plush Colaba and Marine Drive areas, had left people scurrying for cover. For nearly three days after the daring attack, they held people hostage. On November 29, India’s National Security Guards flushed out the terrorists. 164 people, including business leaders and ordinary citizens, died in the incident and one of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab, was captured alive. In the months that followed, Kasab’s interrogation confirmed that the attack was planned by a terrorist group from Pakistan.

Taj Hotel and Oberoi Hotels, two luxury hotels in Mumbai, bore the brunt of the attack and their business was disrupted for several months after the incident. There was extensive damage to their property and, besides the time, it needed a large sum for the entire hotel had to be restored.

As more and more businesses get transacted online, they cannot overlook such incidents. Online businesses too have backend operations which rely on data centers, warehouses and a large backend team. How can businesses protect themselves against such unfortunate incidents that can cripple their operations?

Here are some options which businesses can consider and evaluate, depending on their need. Here are at least three options which they may want to consider.

Terrorist incidents can harm business interests in ways that can only be imagined. Several businesses prepare for that by training their employees against terrorism. While a one-time training may not always suffice, it can help prepare the employees against the unwanted eventuality. With the basic training by the experts who have dealt with such situations first hand, emergency response training can add to the preparation for employees.

Netrika Consulting has carried out Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist (CATS) training and over 100 heads of security from companies across India have undergone the training. Accredited by CIISCM (Chartered Institute of Security & Crisis Management). The CATS programme provides in-depth understanding into the strategic, operational and tactical awareness on international terrorism terrains. It also unveils anti-terrorism measures with considerations for the development of preparedness, plans with mitigation and practices in the face of imminent terrorist attacks.

CATS training can only help better prepare against an unwanted eventuality. But when calamity strikes, it can prepare employees to follow and emergency response protocol so that the organisation gives a measured response to a situation like that.

For businesses in sectors like pharma, airports, ports, malls, SEZ, facilities management companies, US and European MNCs, IT and business process management companies, it may be prudent for companies to carry out an annual threat risk assessment so that risks to their operations can be evaluated. A regular exercise to evaluate the risk keeps the top management updated about the ground situation and keeps them better informed about the business. Know More.

Companies may also want to consider having background verification of their employees. While a basic background check can help when an employee is joining the company, a detailed check of his antecedents can help de-risk the business. It can help the business by, occasionally, uncovering risks that were completely unknown earlier Know More.

A little perspective here will be in order. Terrorists are people who are determined and their aim is to disrupt normal life and business. Taking them on is not possible for ordinary citizens but a measured response to an unforeseen attack may be an early preventive step to contain the damage.

Companies that are looking to excel in every business metric need to ensure that their operations can be run without the fear of being harmed by any unfortunate incident.

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