Portugal’s Prime Minister says goodbye to India with visit to tech company

  • Lusa
  • 20 December 2019

António Costa has said goodbye to India with a trip to New Delhi where the Portuguese company "Vison Box" is developing a pilot project.

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, has said goodbye to India with a trip to the site of the international airport in New Delhi where the Portuguese company “Vison Box” is developing a pilot project to install biometric facial identification technology.

During this brief visit on Thursday, António Costa was invited by the heads of the Portuguese company to simulate the few steps in the security control that a passenger has to take to get on the plane if the airport is equipped with this facial recognition technology.

In this simulation, Costa arrived at the airport door and passed his boarding pass in a facial and data reading machine. And until the end, he did not have to go through passport control.

“This is a great message for companies and Portuguese engineering. A technological company can win tenders in India,” he said, leaving an appeal to the entire national business sector about the opportunities opened up by the Indian market.

India is one of the five fastest-growing aviation markets in the world in recent years and is expected to reach 442 million passengers by 2035.

In this incentive that he passed on to Portuguese companies to invest in the Indian market, Costa addressed the technological sector – where the scale of the country, or the geographical position of origin, are not important factors.

“Vision Box” is based in Lisbon and is considered one of the reference companies in the supply of electronic identification solutions, intelligent security management and automated control systems. In 2018, according to the company’s data, it had a turnover of around €35 million.

In India, it first won a contract at the beginning of 2018 to supply registration and face recognition equipment for Bangalore airport – a project that will be completed in the first months of 2020. In New Delhi, at the site visited by Costa, it is already developing a pilot project and has on the horizon the possibility of extending operations to two more airports in India: Cochin and Hyderabad.

In a statement to Lusa, Pedro Pinto, chief director of the “Vision Box” for India’s operations, rejected the idea that his company was making a risky investment in this subcontinent.

“At first there was some concern about the size and complexity of the market, but with patience it was possible to get into business in India, winning tenders and putting technology without having high associated risk in these projects,” he said.

According to him, until now, the experience of the Portuguese company in the Indian market has been very positive, both in Bangalore and at Delhi International Airport, the tenth-largest in the world.