PR: Authentication Forum targeting counterfeiting launched

In a strong move against counterfeiting and enabling the “Make-Sure-India” movement in the country, India’s first two-day conference authentication conference cum exhibition – The Authentication Forum 2017 opens today at The Taj Mahal Hotel, Man Singh Road, New Delhi. This forum is organised by Authentication Solutions Providers Association (ASPA) and Messe Frankfurt India (MFI) jointly.

A high-profile panel of experts including government authorities and technology specialists have come together in New Delhi to mark the launch of this important platform which was inaugurated by Mr. B K Prasad (IAS), Member – Secretary, National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic & Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment along-with Mr. P. V. Rama Sastry, Joint Secretary – Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Govt. of India, and Mr Chandrashekhar Ranga, Dy Drugs Controller (India), Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation.

At the occasion, Mr. B K Prasad (IAS), Member – Secretary, National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic & Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said: “I am happy that the industry has come together to deliberate on this important issue. This is a major concern which affects industries, government and the public at large and I am happy to be here at the Authentication Forum which can bring forward implementable solutions.”

Mr. P. V. Rama Sastry, Joint Secretary – Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Govt. of India said: “Even as industry revenues take a major hit by counterfeits, the biggest loss is to the consumer. All of us need to work together to address this growing concern and the panel discussion with various cross-sector stakeholders at this important forum will serve this purpose.”

Eminent experts including, Mr. Arvind Gupta, National President (Convener) – IT Cell, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Mr. Anil Rajput, Senior Chair – Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry – Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (FICCI CASCADE) & Vice President - Corporate Affairs, ITC Ltd, Mr. Rama Shankar Pandey, Co-Chairman, Consumer Affairs & Anti – Counterfeit Committee, Automotive Component Manufacturers’ Association of India (ACMA) & Managing Director, Hella India, Mr. Vivek Padgaonkar, Director – Project & Policy, Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), Mr. Pradeep Shroff, Noted Anti-Counterfeiting Expert, Author, Former President, ASPA & Former Managing Director – PRS Permacel Pvt. Ltd and many more shared their insight on this vital issues aimed at mitigating counterfeiting concerns.

At the occasion, Mr. U.K. Gupta, President, ASPA, said, “Our Governments seems committed to fight against black money and terrorism and we welcome the initiative of Government of India and the campaign “Made in India”. Today, “Made in India” product have great opportunity in India and overseas market. However, with the increase of counterfeiting in various sectors, there is a constant need to ensure that these “Made in India” label product are of highest quality, genuine and secured till its deliver to the end consumer. We offer the various authentication solutions which will ensure that “Made in India” label product are of highest quality and can be easily identified as genuine products by brand owners, Government authorities and consumer by large with the help of IT and digital solutions such as mobile app, SMS and web based applications. This summit will have positive step on our existing Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream country campaign “Make in India” & ASPA’s campaign “Make Sure India”.

Mr Arun agarwal, General Secretary, ASPA said, “Our industry can help Government in plugging these loopholes. A brand owner that employs an authentication solution is likely to increase his business by cutting down the counterfeiter’s share. This increased business will consequently bring in in more revenue to the exchequer in form of higher collection of taxes and duties. It is a well-known fact that money earned from counterfeiting is often used to fund transnational criminal activities. Therefore, reduction in counterfeiting will lead to curtailment of such criminal activities also. Plugging counterfeiting can help Government in increased tax revenue approximately INR 26,190 crore which is currently goes to counterfeiters and to black economy. There are proven studies that adoption of authentication solutions can help curb this menace, minimize black money as well as increasing tax revenue.

“For example, the most successful case study is of usage of authentication solutions by various State Excise Department’s which provides them an authentic tool to differentiate illicit liquor and helps in fighting against counterfeiting. In India, more than 22 States are already using approximately 2000 crores security hologram (tax stamps) on liquor bottles per annum. The usage of authentication solutions in these States like Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry, Chhattisgarh etc. etc. has not only minimized the tragedies due to spurious liquor but have also substantially increased the excise revenue collection by more than 15-20 per cent on year to year basis”.

At the occasion, A K Datta, packaging expert and former head, packaging at Jubilant Life Services, said: ‘Of the $800bn USD global pharmaceutical industry, approximately 10 per cent is believed to be counterfeit.’ Sumantra Mukherjee, director, Forensics Practice at KPMG, pointed out that the FMCG market in India was valued at $49bn in India in 2016 and is expected to reach $104bn by 2020.

Addressing the concerns of FMCG counterfeiting, he said: ‘Counterfeit products are growing at a staggering rate of 44 per cent, 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. Brands lose up to 20 per cent of market share and companies face roughly 10 per cent losses on revenue and profit due to counterfeit products in India.

Day one of the summit through its focus on these sectors will initiate a panel discussion on reviewing counterfeit menace in country and push the debate to understand the problems of counterfeiting across various sectors including medicines, FMCG, Auto parts, Liquor, Mobile Phones and others. Part two will cover role of Global standards, perspectives of legal and law enforcement agencies in anti-counterfeiting strategy.

Day two of summit will provide insight to delegates about authentication solutions and trends from global experts through a series of sessions on Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies beyond solutions will give a 360 degree integrated approach against counterfeiting, ISO 12931 2012 - Performance criteria for authentication solutions, Successful Execution of Raids, Legal and Law Enforcement Perspectives, Insight into New Generation OVDs, Security Labels and Strategic Consulting among other key themes.

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