The Authentication Forum well attended

By Aakriti AgarwalRead later

The Authentication Forum attracted more than 200 professionals to New Delhi on February 7-8

The inaugural The Authentication Forum, which addressed counterfeiting concerns in India, attracted more than 200 professionals to New Delhi on February 8-9.

Jointly organized by Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) and Messe Frankfurt India, the forum featured a full conference program targeted at segments including FMCG, auto, pharma, healthcare, electronics, pesticides, alcohol and tobacco, amongst others.

This included speakers such as A K Datta, packaging expert and former head, packaging at Jubilant Life Services, who said: ‘Of the 800 billion USD global pharmaceutical industry, approximately 10 percent is believed to be counterfeit.’ Sumantra Mukherjee, director, Forensics Practice at KPMG, pointed out that the FMCG market in India was valued at 49 billion USD in India in 2016 and is expected to reach 104 billion USD by 2020. Addressing the concerns of FMCG counterfeiting, he said: ‘Counterfeit products are growing at a staggering rate of 44 percent, as opposed to 30 percent a couple of years back.’ The increase, he said, was due to online business where it is easy for counterfeiters to sell fake products and dupe customers. It is, therefore, important to locate the real source of the product before making a purchase.

While discussing issues of counterfeiting in the automotive sector, Gajanana M Gokhale, brand protection manager, Automotive Aftermarket, Bosch, said: ‘Old auto parts get reconditioned and are being sold as genuine new products. We have started getting some products back to our factory and destroying them, but we can’t possibly get all products from across the country. Another problem is lookalike names that fool customers. Some products, such as HID kits, shock absorbers and clutch plates, being sold in the market with Bosch branding are not even manufactured by the company. We don’t have registration for these products but they are available with our branding in Delhi and Mumbai.’

To tackle this, Bosch is introducing new packaging for its products with 13 overt and covert features. The company aims to change the packaging of all its products by 2018. ‘Changing packaging of some products in the initial phase has helped the business grow in the group,’ said Gokhale.

Pradeep Shroff, anti-counterfeiting expert and former ASPA president, suggested that brands look at counterfeiters as competitors, do a SWOT analysis and understand their strategy. ‘Make a business plan against counterfeiters and measure lost sales and business opportunity to act against them,’ he said.

‘The need of the hour is to become security partners, not just a supplier to brands,’ concluded ASPA president U K Gupta.

The Authentication Forum also featured an exhibition showcasing authentication technologies by suppliers.

Read an exclusive review of The Authentication Forum here