• July 5, 2024

Beyond padlocks and guards: Brinks India CFO blends tradition and innovation to transform Secure Logistics

Beyond padlocks and guards: Brinks India CFO blends tradition and innovation to transform Secure Logistics

India’s secure logistics sector is poised for robust growth, fuelled by a unique blend of traditional cash reliance and rapid digital transformation. The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.7% from 2024 to 2030. The nation’s expanding economy and large population are driving demand for secure solutions to transport valuables.

Innovation is key to the industry’s future, with a focus on advanced technology to optimize cash management. As India evolves, the secure logistics landscape will play a critical role in ensuring the safe and efficient movement of assets across the country.

CFO India spoke with Rashim Mehta, CFO & Board of Director, Brinks India, to delve deeper into this evolving landscape.

Q. How do you balance risk mitigation with evolving technology? In particular, how do you financially assess the cost-benefit of implementing innovative solutions within your company, considering the potential initial risks they might carry?

Rashim: Integrating technology is crucial in our industry. As we are a leading global service providers of Cash and Valuables Management, Digital Retail Solutions (DRS), and ATM managed services for our various customers segment including financial institutions, retailers, government agencies, mints, jewellers and other commercial operations, we have actively engaged innovative solutions to optimize routes and enhance operational efficiency including balancing the risk mitigation. Our goal is to bring every employee home safe every night. Our “Wider and Deeper” program focuses on implementing lean principles and maximizing resource utilization and used several technological solutions for monitoring of operations effectiveness We find ways to streamline our processes and improve performances.

Being CFO, on the finance side, we are introducing automation into our accounts payable function. By implementing specialized tools, we are transitioning away from manual invoice approvals at our branch level. This online platform will enable vendors to submit their invoices directly to us, so we can review them in real time and expedite the payment process. We value our vendors as they are critical partners in our success, and they help us in streamlining the whole process which will benefit both them as well as our organization.

Q. Do you encounter any particular financial challenges or advantages when navigating regulations across your company’s global operations?

Rashim: From an Indian regulatory standpoint, the government is interested in job creation. An important change within the secure logistics sector which is mandatory as per the Ministry of Home Affairs in which it is required that ground operations are to be conducted with a defined crew composition only. The motive s to increase employment opportunities and enhance the safety of individuals who are involved in such operations. The crew composition consists of two armed guards, two custodians, and a driver.

With such regulations the country’s youth are benefited as more job opportunities are generated for them and also helps organisations like us to run secured operations across the country. As per the nature of our business we often face challenges while recruiting labour for such operations. Globally, several countries often employ only one or two-person crew. Considering India’s secured environment, this regulatory requirement may seem less streamlined.

Q. Many economies, including India to some extent, are shifting towards reduced cash usage. How do you foresee this trend impacting your core business model in the long term? What challenges and opportunities does it present for your company?

Rashim: I want to highlight two key points. First, as India’s GDP expands, the volume of cash in circulation remains robust, if not increasing. GDP growth is certainly beneficial for our industry.

Second, our company is actively developing Digital Retail Solutions (DRS) that can empower our customers to manage their cash more efficiently. For example, our DRS machines allow retailers to deposit cash and access real-time reports, reconciliations and also reduce their manpower counting, depositing the cash in their bank. Not only this, but there are also options to manage their treasury operations effectively by using Brinks. We are also exploring a range of other digital products as well, considering both the opportunities and potential challenges that this shift may bring.

Q. How do you anticipate and adapt to the changing cash management needs of your clients? Are there any upcoming services in development that you can share?

Rashim: Our product offerings remain similar to our current cash pickup solutions, but with a significant enhancement: we are incorporating more technology into every aspect. Our route operations now utilize advanced tools like Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), real-time reporting, and seamless integration with customer systems. This means our customers receive immediate updates on cash pickups and get valuable insights into the amount of cash being managed at their retail locations. Ultimately, our goal is to create better, more cost-effective solutions that address our customers’ core needs.

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