Counterfeiting is a growing worldwide problem and India is no stranger to it. According to one report, one in five FMCG products in India is either fake or smuggled. Not just this, one report by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) goes on to suggest that the counterfeit market is growing faster than the overall consumer market. These stats are staggering and pose a huge threat to the booming Indian economy. First let us try to understand what counterfeiting is and why it is bad for trade.
Counterfeit products or “knockoffs”, as they are often internationally called are fake goods of lowly quality often carrying fake logos of a brand to fool the customers into buying them. At times, manufacturers of these fake goods copy the outside appearance of a product without copying its brand name or logo. This is also illegal since the intention of the manufacturer is again to befool the buyer. Counterfeit products harm the customer adversely as reports of fake lipsticks containing human urine, baby formulation with no nutrients or medicines having rat poison in them are common.
Counterfeiting in India in the form of fake handbags, apparels or watches is commonplace like the rest of the world. But the most shocking case of counterfeiting came from Punjab in June 2016. The counter-intelligence department of Punjab found over 21,700 packets (around 7,600 litres) of fake ‘blood plasma.’ Blood plasma is a yellow-coloured liquid when isolated and also happens to be the largest component of blood. It was being marketed to various city hospitals by a notorious group of five.
According to a 2009 report published on the FICCI blog, a considerable number of Indians confessed to buying counterfeits in one form or the other like DVDs/CDs (63%), apparels (62%), perfumes (49%), electronic gadgets (26%) and luxury items like purses, jewellery, leather products etc. (52%). Thus the business of counterfeiting in India is a highly lucrative one, with lots of consumers ready to buy fake products willingly since they are cheaper and easily available to them. But what escapes the knowledge of these unconscious consumers is that the effects of counterfeiting are far- reaching. They affect big businesses and discourage them from spending much on research and development. Counterfeiting in aviation or automobile parts causes accidents on a widespread scale. It also funds terrorism and other criminal activities like drug and human trafficking.
As such it has become important for brands to adopt anti-counterfeiting solutions to protect the authenticity of the brand.
Therefore, counterfeiting good are not only perilous to the economy but also to the individual consumer. It is imperative to understand the problematic nature of counterfeit goods; its popularity and wide-spread availability on the internet, its effects on the economy; its ramifications on the worlds order and its ill effects on the health industry. This has led to the development of various anti-counterfeiting solutions like Holographic Paper Labels, Security Holograms, Holographic Strip, Holographic Hot Stamping Foil, Holographic Tax Stamps, etc.
It should also be realised that counterfeiting can only be eradicated by creating awareness about its ill effects and initiating an end to the purchase of these products.