Trent Boult
Yes, the crowds are away... but the IPL 2020 matches have delivered their share of instant thrills. But making all that possible was building a bio-secure environment for the teams, associated staff, officials, venues and other spots. Image Credit: IPL

Dubai: Who would have thought that an oil and gas project site will ever have something in common with a cricket match? Now, after the pandemic, we know there is a connection – of the ‘bio-secure’ kind.

And it’s what is helping UK-based tech firm Restrata drum up quite a bit of business, the latest being a contract from the Indian Premier League to secure the venues for the matches being played in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Making a site fit for work and play

An area is rated as bio-secure when precautions are taken to protect against the spread of lethal or harmful organisms. Be it an oil field or a cricket stadium, Restrata starts off each project with a security risk assessment.

Measures are then put in place after an analysis of the architectural build and business processes. Restrata will use Bluetooth technology along with allied software to manage the movement of people across all bio-secured spaces.

For the IPL games, the firm is managing the social distancing protocols and understanding the capacities in different areas. “Once all of that is in play, we have a central software that helps you manage the entire thing,” said Botan Osman, CEO.

“Ultimately what you end up having is the ability to manage end-to-end the risks you would be facing and also be able to ‘contact trace’.” (Contact tracing helps identify persons who may have come into contact with someone who is infected.)

Lessons from oil

Oil and gas project sites had been a big part of the Restrata business. “We were lucky enough to be able to help clients deal with critical infrastructure type risks that can include a gas leak,” said Osman.

“How do you make sure when there's a leak you are able to keep them safe?”

A pandemic-sized boost

When most companies are struggling to stay afloat in the economic aftermath of COVID-19, Restrata was quickly able to rebrand itself as the go-to firm to manage those risks.

“It was a moment of decision in March - we could either slow down and kind of watch the pandemic unfold and understand how it's going to impact us,” the CEO added. “Or instead of being bystanders, we will double down and invest in building on top of the technology we already had to help clients.

“The last six months have been extraordinarily busy because we have had to complete projects and build things in a shorter time than we ever needed to.”

IPL is just one of the sporting events Restrata has worked on. It helped design the main control center for the London Olympics in 2012 and, more recently, was involved in a project to renovate the iconic Camp Nou stadium, the home of FC Barcelona.

Restrata has been managing safety in these environments, whether it's a stadium, an office or an industrial site

- Botan Osman of Restrata

What next?

What has worked in the energy industry and sporting arenas will now be put to the test in everyday situations that businesses and individuals will find themselves in. All of which will happen with the threat of COVID-19 in the air.

“How companies manage that is the next part of our mission, and especially in the UAE because the environment is ready,” said Osman. “The biggest friend we have in this fight - apart from the frontline workers and medical professionals - is technology.”