Q&A WITH JOHN BELLINGER, CEO OF GUARD DOG GROUP

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Services -

Se­cu­rity is one of the largest em­ploy­ers in PNG’S ser­vices sec­tor. Busi­ness Ad­van­tage spoke with John Bellinger, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the coun­try’s largest se­cu­rity com­pany, Guard Dog, to find out more.

Your com­pany is well-known not just for its guard dogs, but also for your se­cu­rity per­son­nel and the air­port shut­tle ser­vice in Lae. How wide is the scope of your ac­tiv­i­ties? The com­pa­nies un­der our um­brella pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive range of ser­vices, rang­ing from manned se­cu­rity, cus­tomised elec­tronic so­lu­tions, ar­moured ve­hi­cles, UPS equip­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and se­cu­rity train­ing. We ac­tu­ally have our own ac­cred­ited Na­tional Se­cu­rity Train­ing Col­lege, where train­ing is pro­vided by an ex­pe­ri­enced team of in­struc­tors and sup­port staff. With man­power now ex­ceed­ing 5000 men and women na­tion­wide, the Guard Dog Group is a ma­jor em­ployer, not just in the se­cu­rity in­dus­try but in PNG’S econ­omy as a whole.

Se­cu­rity is cer­tainly a ma­jor in­dus­try in PNG and you are the largest op­er­a­tor. What do you see as the com­pany’s key strengths? The com­pany was founded by Den­nis Bux in Madang in the early 1980s. That means we have three decades of ex­pe­ri­ence, com­bined with a truly na­tion­wide pres­ence and an out­stand­ing mix of lo­cal know-how and in­ter­na­tional ex­per­tise. As our name sug­gests, guard dogs are a par­tic­u­lar spe­cial­ity: we have around 400 trained dogs in PNG and one of the largest train­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the south­ern hemi­sphere.

What has the com­pany learned from par­tic­i­pat­ing in a world-class project like the PNG LNG project? Col­lab­o­rat­ing with one of the world’s big­gest com­pa­nies obliged us to re­view our in­ter­nal pro­cesses. We made a big ef­fort to im­prove our train­ing and op­er­a­tional man­u­als, as well as im­ple­ment a Qual­ity Man­age­ment Sys­tem. This was a big chal­lenge and I am pleased to say that we have suc­ceeded in meet­ing the high stan­dards ex­pected of us. You formed two ground-break­ing joint ven­tures with lo­cal landowner com­pa­nies to pro­vide se­cu­rity to the PNG LNG Project. How have those worked? While Guard Dog has pro­vided the ex­per­tise, train­ing and on­go­ing man­age­ment, our landowner part­ners have pro­vided the man­power. With the con­struc­tion phase at its peak in 2013, each joint ven­ture was em­ploy­ing in ex­cess of 500 staff.

On the one hand, the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop busi­nesses with Hides Gas Devel­op­ment Com­pany and Laba Hold­ings has been most re­ward­ing and sat­is­fy­ing. On the other, the ex­pe­ri­ence we have gained, to­gether with our long his­tory of pro­vid­ing ser­vices to oil, min­ing and gas projects, leaves us ide­ally placed to par­tic­i­pate in fu­ture projects.

Look­ing ahead, what are your ma­jor plans? Where will the growth come from in the af­ter­math of the PNG LNG Project? We want to be recog­nised as the best ser­vice provider in the se­cu­rity in­dus­try, such recog­ni­tion can only be good for growth. We ac­tively re­view our Cor­po­rate Strat­egy to en­sure KPI’S are achieved and com­mu­ni­cate with our key clients to en­sure ser­vice de­liv­ery is the best. The Group has es­tab­lished a sound plat­form from which it can con­tinue to ex­pand. With strong in­ter­nal gov­er­nance and di­rec­tion we ex­pect our growth to come from, with­out be­ing too spe­cific, on­go­ing ex­ist­ing mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion and new mar­ket devel­op­ment of ex­ist­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices, new prod­uct op­tions and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion into other ar­eas. In ad­di­tion, with more large projects in the re­source sec­tor be­ing a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity we hope we will be con­sid­ered as se­ri­ous con­tenders to pro­vide se­cu­rity ser­vices by the project own­ers.

Guard Dog’s John Bellinger

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