Indian company behind Africa’s citizen ID project

April 11th, 2011 - 1:19 pm ICT by IANS  

State Bank of India New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) Madras Security Printers, an Indian company which specialises in security printing, is a known name in Africa. It is engaged in printing passports, visa stickers, stamps and other official documents for over half a dozen countries in the 53-nation continent.

The company is now looking at “preparing citizens’ identity cards and we have responded to preliminary inquiries from two Africa countries”, a top company official said.

With its experience in printing securitised cards, the company has participated in expressions of interest (EOI) from the governments of Rwanda and Tanzania in preparing national identity cards.

It would involve setting up the entire project from enrolment to printing of the identity cards as well as online solutions.

The two nations have a combined population of over 50 million.

M.S. Gopinath, marketing manager (international business) of Madras Security Printers Private Ltd, explained that the company has a good deal of experience in India.

“It is an approved UID (unique identity card) vendor in India. We have the achievement of implementing the Tamil Nadu Government Health Insurance Scheme, issuing 10 million smart cards covering a population of 50 million in a short span of four months,” he said.

The firm provides “end-to-end solutions for national identity cards”.

Madras Security Printers’ main customers in India include prominent corporations like the State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Airtel and Aircel, while its major overseas market is in Africa.

Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Uganda are some of the countries that use securitised documents such as passports, visa stickers and excise stamps printed by the company.

The firm is part of the Eagle Press group, which is the largest printing business conglomerate in India and is a pioneer in security printing.

Madras Security Printers has ISO 9002 accreditation for printing of cheques, postage stamps and other high-value security documents. It produces products such as SIM cards in a fully automated production unit, as also ATM cards, scratch cards, pre-paid scratch cards, smart cards, driving licences, magnetic cards and tickets.

The company has a significant share in the global market for smart card printing technology and security-related solutions. It also makes scratch cards for mobile phone operators and magnetic tickets for Metro railways and toll-gates.

It provides lottery management services and gaming solutions, instant lottery tickets, and online lottery and mobile lottery solutions that are in use in several African countries.

“Scratch cards, lotteries and online lotteries are big business in most African countries except in the northern region,” Gopinath said.

(Shubha Singh can be contacted at shubhasingh101@gmail.com)

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