Counterfeiting is growing on a monstrous scale. According to a report by Research and Markets, the global value of counterfeiting has reached a value of 1.2 trillion dollars. The report further states that as per the current growth rate counterfeiting will become a $2.81 trillion industry by 2022.
For the past many years, manufacturers have tried their best to curb the menace of fake products, however little progress has been achieved related to the same. The extra costs in fighting fakes have further deteriorated the problem. Manufacturers also suffer from a tarnished brand image due to the counterfeiting of their products.
Most importantly, in a highly competitive market, one bad experience for a customer can change his loyalty for a product or brand.
Amidst this grim scenario, anti-counterfeiting technologies can play a decisive role in preventing counterfeiting, tampering, and diversion. Holostik is a leading player in offering customized anti-counterfeiting solutions to different industries. With a legacy of 28 years, the company has provided anti-counterfeiting solutions to more than 10,000 clients in 75+ countries.
Holostik believes that with the proper use of anti-counterfeiting solutions manufacturers can prevent the following challenges posed by counterfeiting:
- Loss of sales revenue and profit margin: Sales and profit margins are the veins and nerves of any organization. A company’s success is determined by the number of sales it has earned in a specific time frame. A good number of sales is a visible indicator of a company’s wellbeing and vice-versa. The sale of duplicate items leads to a drop-down in the sale of a company’s products. If it goes unchecked, then it can lead to a complete downfall of the company. Due to multiple sale locations of the product, it is quite hard for a company to trace the manufacturing location of counterfeits.
- Poor brand and product image: No wonder, the sale of counterfeits lead to a tarnished image of the brand and its products. The sale cheap fakes lead to a false perception among consumers regarding the quality of the product and the brand. Unaware consumers often think that they are buying original products but instead, they receive fakes.
- The added cost of fighting fakes: Companies incorporate different strategies for fighting counterfeiting of their products. This comes in the form of added costs for the organization already facing the problem of duplication.
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Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing menace which has an evil impact on different industries. Organisations lose millions of dollars every year due to the sale of counterfeit products. The problem of duplication has sneaked in every sector. It is estimated that by 2022, the value of counterfeit and pirated goods will be around $1.90 -$2.81 trillion as per FICCI.
Most of the times the repeated attempts of organizations to fight the counterfeits have turned futile. A large amount of money and resources are spent on fighting fakes. However, it is not just the companies which are facing the wrath of counterfeit products, consumers also bear its brunt. To say it simply, there are many impacts of duplication on the consumers.
Duplication poses a significant risk to consumers. Counterfeit goods can lead to injuries, illnesses, death as in the case of counterfeit drugs. In cases where counterfeit goods cause no physical harm, consumers are harmed financially when they are duped into spending their hard-earned cash for a poor-quality fake.
Let’s discuss the negative effects of counterfeiting on consumers.
Fake products are harmful to the health of consumers: Whether it’s a counterfeit drug, counterfeit alcohol or a fake food item all are harmful to the health of the consumers. People who consume these items generally report of food poisoning, nausea, indigestion, kidney and liver ailments.
Duplicate products lead to the monetary loss of the consumers: Besides having a negative impact on health fake products also lead to the financial loss of the consumers. Every year it’s not just the companies but consumers also lose an enormous amount of money as they are duped due to fake products.
Consumers lose trust in the product and the brand: Many a time a product or a service is beneficial for the consumer but due to the sale of counterfeits original products and companies lose their credibility. This brings down the reputation of the brands in the long run and a company is not able to win the trust of the consumer again.
There are numerous instances when organizations can do nothing about situations like theft, robbery, fire, etc. All they suffer is the irreversible damage caused to them. It takes years and sometimes decades to recover from that loss.
However, companies can take different measures for security and safety. Besides they can also secure their supply chains. With the mammoth development in technology new cutting-edge measure is being adopted by the company across the world. Nowadays companies can effectively monitor and manage their supply chains and can look out for any loopholes with exact accuracy.
One of the major threats faced by organizations across the world is that of counterfeiting. Duplication or counterfeiting can take place at any stage of the supply chain. The supply chain of a company encompasses different stages; therefore, it is challenging to monitor each of them. In addition, it is not possible to check individual errors or problems in the supply chain.
Lately, different kinds of technologies are being used to fight the menace of counterfeiting or duplication along with the management of supply chains. The combination of IT technology and holographic technology is being used by organizations across the world. A recent example is the bar codes and QR codes along with holograms which helps to perform multiple functions including track and trace, supply chain management, reward management, inventory management, marketing management among others.
Digital authentication with a QR code or barcode takes place on the single product, pack, case and pallet level. Different and unique QR codes are difficult to copy and provide impeccable security on each level of the supply chain. Holostik is a frontrunner of anti-counterfeiting solutions and caters a plethora of holographic and digital authentication solutions for safeguarding the supply chains. The security holograms along with digital authentication solutions help in providing a multi-layered security approach to the product and the organization.
To get the best track and trace solutions call us on +91-7857857000 or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International law enforcement and market experts have established a close link between counterfeiting and other forms of criminal activities. It has been found that the counterfeiting business helps criminals to fuel other illegal activities and vice-versa. EUROPOL (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) has even warned that counterfeiting is an increasingly attractive avenue for organized crime syndicates to diversify and increase their illicit businesses.
It has also been found that counterfeiters use similar routes and modus operandi to supply counterfeit goods as they do to smuggle drugs, firearms and human trafficking. Profits from other crimes and illicit activities also help in the production and distribution of counterfeit goods. Many reports from different countries have established the fact that profits from crimes like drug trafficking and other crimes were used to promote the business of counterfeiting and, similarly proceeds from the sale of duplicate goods were used to promote the criminal’s other illicit activities.
One of the main reasons why criminals choose counterfeiting over other criminal activities is due to its favourable ratio between potential profits and possible risks. According to Executive Director, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Yuri Fedotov, “In comparison to other crimes such as drug trafficking, the production and distribution of counterfeit goods present a low-risk/high-profit opportunity for criminals. Counterfeiting feeds money laundering activities and encourages corruption. There is also evidence of some involvement or overlap with drug trafficking and other serious crimes.”
As per trade, reports counterfeiting is now placed amongst the highest income sources for organized criminal activities. Counterfeiting or duplication also helps in money laundering by providing a platform through which criminal organization can invest the proceeds of their illicit activities. In a nutshell, organized crime syndicates use counterfeiting as a medium to optimize their other criminal activities.
The local clothing industry is the second biggest supporter of the retail business after FMCG. It is valued around Rs 3 lakh crores. The popularity of global brands, changes in inclinations from non-branded to branded, a quickly developing economy and a substantial youthful purchaser base in has made India a profoundly lucrative market. The broad communications and web-based social networking infiltration, the young are getting to fashion conscious. This has opened uncommon doors for the retail showcase.
Market specialists say it is exceptionally hard to evaluate the extent of fake attire. There are numerous manufacturing plants situated at non-descript areas associated with fake items. A large number of them deliver duplicates of multinational brands as edges are high. The movement tricks shoppers as well as the state exchequer. As per insiders, Delhi is the centre of fake items as about 70% fake items start from the national capital.
It’s not a surprise that we usually see cheap grade apparels at different market locations and street shops. As per trade reports, apparels are the second most counterfeited products after footwear across the world. According to Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018, “The amount of total counterfeiting globally has reached to 1.2 Trillion USD.”
Apparels are one of most counterfeited products and counterfeiters have copied many famous and costly brands. It is usually difficult to recognise counterfeit apparels at one glance. Some of the best ways through which counterfeit apparels can be determined are its quality of the fabric, stitching, quality of packaging, discrepancies in tags and labels.
Counterfeit apparels can only be stopped with unified efforts of the manufacturers, retailers and consumers at large. Many big brands are using different anti-counterfeiting measures to prevent counterfeiting of their products. This will certainly help them in safeguarding their brand image and prevent further loss.
At the start of this year, two ill-fated hooch tragedies in the states of Uttarakhand, UP and Assam took more than 200 lives and shocked the entire nation. A big question was raised on the regulatory framework of the states’ excise departments and the government machinery. However, hooch tragedies have been happening in India for the past so many years.
Here are the number of people who died due to counterfeit and adulterated liquor in the last 10 years.
||No. of deaths
||UP & Uttarakhand
The disturbing figures
According to Illicit Markets- A threat to our National Interests published by FICCI and Thought Arbitrage Research Institute in 2015, the grey market loss to the alcoholic beverage industry stood at INR 14,140 crore in 2014 which had increased from INR 5,626 crore in 2012. This resulted in a huge tax loss to the government with an estimated revenue of INR 6,309 crore.
The figures are quite disturbing and have a direct impact on the alcohol and beverages industry in many ways. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Effects of counterfeiting on the alcohol and beverage industry
- Loss of tax revenue: Counterfeiters or forgers use different channels or means to sell illicit liquor which leads to evasion of taxes meant to collected by state and central governments.
- Promotes criminal activities: No wonder, the sale of counterfeit alcohol directly or indirectly benefits criminals and crime syndicates who use the profits incurred from it on other crimes.
- Loss of brand image: The sale of counterfeit or spurious alcohol tarnishes the image of the company and its products.
- Loss of consumers: One of the biggest threats of counterfeit alcohol is its effect on the health of the consumers. Besides serious conditions like liver or kidney failure, counterfeit alcohol can also take away their precious life.
One of the best solutions against illicit liquor is the use of tax stamps which include both physical and digital security features. For example, tax stamps must include bar codes or QR codes along with a hologram for enhanced two-step security. This helps in checking the counterfeiting of liquor to a large extent as fraudulent are not able to copy the holographic features with ease. Moreover, the digital security feature also helps in tracking the product in the supply chain along with a host of other IT-enabled supply chain management features.
Counterfeiting or duplication is not only harmful to the consumers but is equally detrimental for the companies. Moreover, counterfeiting not just affects big brands- assumed by many but, also decimates the business growth of small companies.
According to a report by Research and Markets, “The total amount of counterfeiting has reached to 1.2 Trillion USD in 2017 globally and is bound to reach 1.82 Trillion USD by the year 2020.”
This monstrous growth of counterfeiting is a testimony to the fact that it is badly affecting the business growth and market image of companies. Counterfeiting leads to serious problems which may even in some situations lead to a complete shutdown of businesses. Let’s discuss the major impacts of counterfeiting on businesses.
1.Drop down in sales
Counterfeiting brings down sales of genuine goods. Consider a scenario in which the counterfeit of your genuine product is sold in the market at half of its price. This will attract many consumers who are willing to buy fakes and will negatively affect the sale of your genuine products.
New research from Mark Monitor, the world leader in enterprise brand protection, has revealed that almost half (47%) of brands lose sales revenue to counterfeit or pirated goods, with one in three reporting a loss of more than 10%.
With the growth of online shopping, it has become difficult to recognize fake products. Forgers usually copy the branding and packaging of genuine products making it difficult for one to recognize fake products. The infestation of e-commerce space with counterfeits has brought down sales of legitimate companies.
2.Loss of brand reputation
Brand reputation is critical for companies across the world. A piece of negative news involving the companies name can hit its reputation badly. Similarly, a counterfeit purchased by a consumer in place of the genuine product may fail to work or worn out in a few days. This will create a wrong impression in the minds of consumers about the poor quality of the brand’s products.
It takes years of hard work and consistent consumer satisfaction to create an iconic brand image for companies.
Since word of mouth publicity plays an important role in the brand image the consumers affected by fakes will provide negative feedback on the brand. Customers may also leave negative reviews on forums and websites which further ruins the brand’s image.
3.Loss of time and money in fighting fakes
When a company finds out that they are being impacted by counterfeiting they take certain measures to fight back. However, this can be time-consuming and involves a lot of money and resources. This leads to diversion of company’s money for fighting fakes instead of investing it in other developments.
Companies suffering from counterfeiting invest a good amount of money in hiring costly legal experts and fighting legal cases for securing their products and brand from IP infringements.
E-Commerce major Amazon has taken a new initiative for fighting fakes. The online company has initiated an anti-counterfeiting move known as ‘Project Zero’ which will allow brands to directly flag and delete fake listings themselves.
Counterfeiting is a global problem which is growing on a rapid scale devouring economic growth and affecting the society badly. According to a report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office, “The value of imported fake goods rose to $509 billion in 2016, up from $461 billion three years ago.”
The report also states, “Global sales of counterfeit and pirated goods have soared to $522 billion a year, amounting to a whopping 3.3 per cent of world trade.” Different experts cite different reasons behind the growth and expansion of counterfeiting but there are a few main reasons which are responsible for its monstrous growth.
The trend of knowingly buying fakes: One of the biggest reason behind the rise of fakes is that there is a big market for it. The rise of luxury brand value has deeply steeped in the heart of millions and the only possible way to afford it is to buy a fake luxury product which satisfies one’s obsession for costly goods and is affordable at the same time. There are a large number of people buying fakes compared to the ones who unknowingly fall victim to counterfeit products. Moreover, counterfeits offer a high-profit margin for distributors and retailers compared to genuine products.
Poor IP laws and weak monitoring of supply chains: The governments in different countries need to make stringent intellectual property laws and should equip authorities with advance mechanisms to monitor supply chains. Perhaps one of the reasons behind the flourishing counterfeit business is due to the absence of these two steps. In the presence of strict IP laws, the chances of copyright violations come down drastically and curb the practice of counterfeiting. Besides, government authorities should also be equipped with advanced monitoring technologies to look out for any loopholes.
The rise of counterfeit business on the web: Nowadays, counterfeiting has intruded the online marketplace. We regularly encounter spurious websites and social media links on the web which showcase alluring deals on different kinds of products. But do we really know how the product actually looks like? According to the International Trademark Association, “Criminals prefer to sell counterfeits on the Internet for many reasons. They can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet with the Dark Web even their IP addresses can be hidden. The Internet gives them the reach to sell to consumers globally-outside of the national limits of law enforcement.”
The growth of free trade zones: Another factor behind the growth of counterfeiting worldwide is the rise of free trade zones in different parts of the world. Free trade zones provide tax advantages and other exemptions which helps to boost the economy of the host country. However, it also leads to a rise in counterfeiting and piracy as there are little checks and easy transport facilities available in these zones.
Lack of use of anti-counterfeiting technologies: Many organisations do not take counterfeiting seriously and they ridicule the use of anti-counterfeiting technologies. However, the fact is that duplication eats their business from within like cancer and at times the financial damage is huge. It is high time that organisations utilise the power of anti-counterfeiting technologies to deter counterfeiters from sneaking into their profits.
Pharmaceutical products are of vital importance to the healthcare system of every country. However, high incidents of counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical business has hampered the growth of the pharma industry and has wreaked havoc on the healthcare systems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10 to 15% of the global drug supply is counterfeit and Africa accounts for up to 30% of the counterfeit medicine in circulation. A per another statistic it is estimated that 1 in 10 drugs sold worldwide is counterfeit.
One of the worrisome situations created by counterfeit medicines is their threat to human lives. According to a news published in The Guardian, “A surge in counterfeit and poor-quality medicines means that 2,50,000 children a year are thought to die after receiving shoddy or outright fake drugs intended to treat malaria and pneumonia alone.”
Lately, the problem of fake medicines has grown manifolds with the rise of e-commerce platforms. This has led to a growth of illegal online pharmacies as well as online marketplaces distributing them. Amidst this grim scenario, pharmaceutical companies must take product and brand protection seriously due to the following reasons:
To protect their consumers
An estimated 116,000 deaths have occurred in Sub-Sharan Africa due to counterfeit malaria pills. Whether the counterfeit is a placebo containing sugar or has been laced with cheap and dangerous chemicals, it is putting human lives at risk.
To secure their return on investments
The global pharmaceutical industry loses millions due to the sale of fake and sub-standard medicines every year. The EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) estimates that the EU pharmaceutical industry loses the equivalent of nearly 7% in sales per year due to counterfeit drugs which accounted for 26,9 billion Euros annually. No wonder, the pharmaceutical industry invests billions in R&D and counterfeiting badly affects their return on investments.
To safeguard their brand reputation
Counterfeit drugs ruin the image of pharmaceutical brands. Fake medicines also affect the reputation of generic medicines which are meant for the masses. Pharmaceutical companies must strictly ensure that their products are not being counterfeited.
Counterfeiting, tampering or adulteration can take place at any part of the supply chain. Counterfeiters can sneak in at any stage and can make counterfeit copies of the genuine product or can tamper with its packaging and contents. A supply chain is the network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product, from the delivery of source materials – from the supplier to the manufacturer, and the final product delivery to the end user.
Organisations and company owners can take the necessary measures to secure their supply chains. Different technology tools can be used as effective solutions to secure supply chains. Since the supply chain encompasses different stages, therefore, it is difficult to individually monitor each of them. Moreover, it is manually not feasible to examine loopholes or any errors in the supply chain.
Of late, different kinds of technologies are being used to secure and monitor supply chains. The amalgamation of IT-enabled authentication technology and holographic authentication technology is being used by companies worldwide. A good example is the use of barcode or QR code technology which not just digitally authenticates the products but also links it with different IT-enabled solutions like track and trace.
Track and trace system is one-of-its-kind technology which helps in tracking and tracing the product throughout the supply chain. The technique provides a unique identifying code (bar code/ QR code) onto each product after it has been packaged. This enables individual products to be tracked from production to the end consumer and helps manufacturers significantly reduce counterfeiting by ensuring products can be easily identified.
Digital authentication through a QR code and barcode take place on the individual product, pack, case and pallet level. Variable and unique QR codes are difficult to copy and thus provide security on each level of the supply chain. Holostik is a pioneer of anti-counterfeiting solutions and provides a range of holographic and digital authentication solutions for securing products and supply chains. Its security holograms enabled with digital authentication solutions help in providing a multi-layered security approach to the product and the company’s supply chain.