Holostik to exhibit its anti-duplication solutions at indiapack pacprocess 2018 in Mumbai

Holostik which is one of the pioneers and undisputed leader of hologram manufacturing and anti-counterfeiting solutions in India will display its wide range of anti-duplication solutions at the indiapack pacprocess 2018. Considered as one of the most awaited events of the processing & packaging industry, it will be held from 24th to 26th October 2018 at BCEC, Goregaon East, Mumbai. Around 212 exhibitors will be present at the 3-day exhibition with more than 10,000 visitors.

Holosti­k’s presence at the event will be a boon for the processing and packaging market which is infested with counterfeiting. Indiapack/pacprocess addresses relevant target groups from the following industries: packaging and allied sectors, food safety, beverages, pharmaceutical and chemicals, confectionary and bakery, personal care – cosmetic and toiletries, retail, label, converters and printers, automotive, dairy and meat, plastics, sport goods, textiles, co-operative societies, spice board, coir board, tea board, APEDA, training institutions, exporters, retail chain managers and others.

Holostik aims to secure various kinds of products from the menace of counterfeiting and help companies achieve their targeted growth. Participants at the event will witness and understand the uses and benefits of different kinds of anti-duplication solutions.

The anti-duplication products displayed by Holostik at the event will include security holograms, security pouches, holographic wads, shrink sleeves, security labels, wide web films and much more.

Counterfeiting in Indian electronics industry and the way forward

It’s no surprise that you can easily purchase fake electronic products in India from prominent markets like Nehru Place and Ghaffar Market in New Delhi, Manish Market and Linking Road in Mumbai, Hong Kong Bazar in Hyderabad, and Kasimedu Street in Chennai. In fact, there are many similar hotspots in different cities for buying counterfeit electronics goods. In addition, there are many little shops, which sell fake versions of earphones, USB cables, chargers etc.

According to reports the electronic counterfeit products and their market is growing twice as fast as general goods. This alarming trend was published in the year 2014 in different newspapers and news websites and must have changed during years, but it still shows the seriousness of the situation.

The menace of counterfeit electronics has also forayed into the e-commerce space. A recent article by Quartz India cited a report according to which everyone in three Indians have received fake products in the e-commerce space, of which the largest share (45%) is of mobiles and computers and (16 %) is of TV, appliances and other electronic products.

A joint report by ASSOCHAM and E&Y has revealed that the Indian electronics and hardware industry is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13-16 % to reach $112-130 billion in the current year. The growth between the years 2013-18 is due to rising demand, growing disposable incomes, wider broadband connectivity and e-governance programmes.

Fake electronic products or components can have negative impact on the health of the consumer, brand image of the manufacturer and economy of the country. A duplicate USB stick can lead to loss of important data whereas, a fake IC in a medical device can be potentially fatal for the patient. Moreover, fake electronics can also pose a risk to national security and defence establishments. For example, military technology requires high-grade electronic products to function at their best. In case of a fake microchip, the results can be disastrous, the same applies in the case of nuclear reactors which cannot afford a fake electronic device or a component in any case.

There are two different types of counterfeit electronics products available in the Indian market.

  • The first type includes completely fake product (not manufactured by the original component manufacturer but have laser markings)
  • The second type are known as partial fake products (manufactured by the original component manufacturer but are remarked to show different functions). In this type, the counterfeiters use fake packaging instead of remarking the product.

To tackle the onslaught of counterfeit products in the electronic sector the Department of Electronic and Information Technology had notified ‘Electronic and IT goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) order in the year 2012 under compulsory registration scheme of Bureau of Indian Standards. The order maintains that no person shall manufacture or store for sale, import, sell or distribute goods which do not conform to the Indian Standard specified in the order. Although the order has proved to be a big milestone in curbing counterfeiting, still there are measures which need to be followed strictly to completely eradicate fake electronic products from the market.

Here are they:

  1. Creating stern policies for procuring and selection of suppliers which will bring down the number of counterfeit products in the supply chain.
  2. Proper disposal of electronic waste so that it cannot be used in manufacturing fake products.
  3. Propagating consumer awareness about fake electronic items.

Besides the above-mentioned points, a single window mechanism should be made by the government in order to check the quality and compliance of an electronic item before it enters the market. With no counterfeit products in the electronics industry, it can dynamically prosper to new heights with no losses.

Counterfeiting- a global pandemic

Counterfeiting is a global pandemic. The statement is a gospel truth – a reality which regularly haunts governments, businesses and consumers. No wonder, everyone is suffering from the menace of counterfeit products which is regularly confirmed by news and reports coming from different parts of the world. So, whether you buy a luxury handbag from a mall in Dubai or a costly sports watch from a store in Madrid or even something as simple as a pain-relieving pill from a pharmacy shop in India – the genuineness of each of the items lurks in uncertainty.

Counterfeiting has spread like a disease affecting every industry and rarely any product stands a chance against it. But, long ago, counterfeiting was just limited to currency. Some of the earliest reports of counterfeiting date back to 18th century when counterfeiters tried their best to copy currency coins and later switched to paper currency bills.

Many experts believe that rapid globalization is one of the reasons behind rampant counterfeiting. They claim that in a bid to increase profits corporate giants shifted their manufacturing facilities in countries with cheap land and labour. However, they did not realised that the countries did not had regulations and laws in place, to counter duplication. This loophole paved way for counterfeiting of original products. It was usually done with the help of employees or workers who sold the manufacturing process and technology to forgers. With the passage of time, as technology became accessible organized crime syndicates got involved into the business of counterfeiting on a much larger scale.

Since there were no stringent IP (Intellectual Property) regulations counterfeiters were able to sell them locally with ease and even smuggled them to other parts of the world. Gradually, cheap grade goods were welcomed by the masses, all over the world, as they were affordable and visually appealing – just like the original products. This dealt a severe blow to the profits and image of legitimate companies and brands. According to a report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) United States, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan and Germany are the hardest hit countries, with the majority (83%) of fake goods originating (not surprisingly) from China and Hong Kong. European brands are among the most impacted, with an estimated 5% of all goods imported into the European Union (EU) being fake. This represents as much as $118 billion.

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.

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? What is the credibility of the website? How to determine the genuineness of the online product? Despite the uncertainties, we fall into temptation and buy those products, without thinking about the repercussions. According to 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.”

Governments across the world are taking strict measures to curb the menace of counterfeiting. New regulations and laws are being implemented. International brands are spending millions on creating awareness about their counterfeited products. Most importantly, the anti-counterfeiting industry has witnessed a significant growth as more companies are using different kinds of anti-counterfeiting solutions to secure their products against duplication. Finally, the global problem of counterfeiting must be addressed on multiple fronts with collaborative efforts of the government, industry players and anti-counterfeiting solution providers.

shobhit gupta holostik

By Shobhit Gupta
Group Director, Holostik Group

Think twice before buying a fake- it could fund terrorism

It may sound strange but, the gruesome Charlie Hebdo terror attacks which claimed 17 lives in January 2015 were financed by selling counterfeit Nike sneakers. Back in 2004, Interpol seized worth US$1.2 million of fake brake pads which had links with Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah. Even the Madrid train bombing was funded by the sale of counterfeit CDs. There are many similar reports, from across the world which establish a direct link between counterfeiting and terrorism.

According to OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Deputy Secretary-General, Doug Frantz counterfeit goods are the largest contributor to the world’s underground economy.

There has been a close link between counterfeiting, organized crime and terrorism. While organized crime directly draws money from the sale of duplicate products, terrorism gets it funding indirectly mostly from notorious crime syndicates located in different parts of the world or directly operating on a micro level.

According to a report by EY (Ernst & Young), “Individuals who may not be involved in large-scale counterfeiting and piracy are engaging in small-scale counterfeiting of FMCG goods, software piracy etc. It is no coincidence that members of sleeper cells are involved in counterfeiting of such goods. This highlights the fact that such small level of counterfeiting and piracy activities are in line with the capabilities of small individual members who are self-financed and do not depend on funding from core terror networks.”

A different model which finances terrorist activities is based on monetary support from criminal organizations. The EY report states that a significant share of counterfeiting activities is under the control of criminal organizations who have indirect links with terrorists.

It has also been found in some cases that organized crime syndicates have transformed into terrorist organizations. Such crime syndicates have years of experience in selling fake products, smuggling, illegal arms dealing and illegal drug trade. With enough expertise, they do not take much time switching into a terrorist organization.

A few days back, Alastair Gray who is a popular counterfeit investigator gave an incredible speech on the link between counterfeiting and terrorism at a TEDx session. Here is an excerpt from his speech mentioned on tinyTed.com, “Counterfeiting is set to become a 2.3- trillion-dollar underground economy, and the damage that can be done with that kind of money, it’s really frightening because fakes fund terror. Fake trainers on the streets of Paris, fake cigarettes in West Africa, and pirate music CDs in the USA have all gone on to fund trips to training camps, bought weapons and ammunition, or the ingredients for explosives.”

He further points out, “Despite the evidence connecting terrorism and counterfeiting, we do go on buying them, increasing the demand to the point where there’s even a store in Turkey called “I Love Genuine Fakes.” And you have tourists posing with photographs, giving it five-star reviews. But would those same tourists have gone into a store called “I Love Genuine Fake Viagra Pills” or “I Genuinely Love Funding Terrorism”? I doubt it.”

Despite strong evidence against the link between fakes and terrorist activities little has been done to curb the same. We can still see counterfeits being sold on a large scale in different parts of the world which are growing every passing day. Spreading awareness regarding it and strict government measures can bring down counterfeiting and its direct or indirect role in funding terrorist networks.



Tripura government identifies more than 60,000 counterfeit ration cards

Tripura’s Law Minister Mr Ratan Lal Nath recently revealed that the Tripura government has identified more than 60,000 counterfeit ration cards during digitization of PDS (Public Distribution System).

The e-government drive came into execution just after the BJP-IPFT came into power. This was meant to end corruption in government functioning.

Mr. Nath said that during digitization of PDS it was found that more than 60,000 ration cards were counterfeit. Besides these 2 lakh consumers on PDS were also found to be fake.

During the left front, government more than 9 lakh ration cards were registered with state food department but the current government found only around 8 lakh cards as genuine. The number of beneficiaries also came down significantly.  Nath commented that fake beneficiaries were busted in more than thirty security schemes which were operational.

Just after coming to power the Biplab Deb government announced to stop the process of including new people in the list of social security beneficiaries. Nath also said that more than 4.19 lakh beneficiaries were registered with the state government for social security pensions.

Source: Indian Express


How to determine if your mustard oil is genuine or fake?

Mustard oil or ‘sarson ka tel’ has been one of the favourite cooking oils in India. Of late, many other types of edible oils are also being used but, mustard oil is still consumed predominantly by a large population, that inhabits the rural India – particularly in the north. For years, our forefathers thrived on food cooked in pure mustard oil which was responsible for their great health. Time and again researches have proved that mustard oil has numerous health benefits that are hard to find in refined oils.

But, as expected just like other food items mustard oil is also being adulterated and sold as a counterfeit in markets. This leaves our health in jeopardy as the effects of consuming duplicate mustard oil can be fatal. The government of India has issued strict guidelines and there are specific laws to punish people who practice adulteration of food, though, little has been achieved to curb the same.

Recently, KS Pannu, Commissioner Food and Drug Administration Punjab said that unscrupulous dealers and manufacturers are using cheap palm oil, crude rice bran oil, crude soya bean oil, colours and chemicals as adulterants in mustard oil. Another toxic adulterant Argemone oil is also used which causes dropsy and has been the reason behind many deaths in the past. The spurious oil is packed in tins and packets bearing the branding of the original product which makes it difficult to differentiate between the fake and an original.

If you are buying mustard oil from the market, then you can perform some easy home tests to determine its genuineness. Let’s discuss some of them in detail.

1.Freezing test: Take some mustard oil in a cup or bowl. Keep it in the fridge for a few hours. If the oil is freezing and having white spots, then there is something added in it and it is a counterfeit.

2.Rubbing test: Take some oil in your palms and rub it properly. If it leaves any trace of colour and smells like a chemical, then it has been adulterated with spurious substances.

3.Nitric Acid test: Take a tablespoon of oil and mix it with 5 ml of nitric acid. If the mixture turns yellowish orange or crimson colour, then it has been mixed with Argemone oil.

4.Barometer test: Pure mustard oil gives a barometer reading of 58 to 60.5. If the reading is more than this then the oil is fake.

5.Acidified petroleum ether test: In one millilitre of mustard oil mix 10 ml of acidified petroleum ether. After two minutes add one drop of molybdate. If the solution turns muddy then it has been adulterated with castor oil.

With advances in anti-counterfeiting technology, brands are utilising anti-counterfeiting solutions for their products and edible oil industry is no exception. Holostik – a pioneer in anti-counterfeiting solutions has successfully catered different kinds of anti-duplication solutions to the edible oil industry, which falls under the FMCG sector. It has secured one of the prominent players Gokul Refoils and Solvent Limited (GRSL) with the cutting-edge anti-duplication solution. The move not just stopped duplication of its products but also increased its profits.

Your pair of Levis jeans could be a counterfeit-check for the red flags

A pair of Levis denim jeans enhances our style statement and provides optimum comfort. Considered one of the best denim jeans in the world, it has ruled our closets for a long time. Levis jeans is a product of Levis Strauss & Co. which received the patent in the year 1873. Surprisingly, back then, United States was going through industrial progress and jeans became favourite apparel of the working class due to its unmatched strength and cosiness. With time the scenario changed and Levis became the ultimate fashion choice of young and the old around the world.

However, numerous counterfeiters operating from little backyards and spurious factories have spoiled the Levis jeans market with production of its cheap copies. No wonder, the apparel industry suffers from counterfeiting and loses a huge amount of profits every year. A consumer not only loses his money after buying a fake he or she also loses his trust in the brand.

Here are some ways through which you can differentiate between fake and original Levis denim jeans and save yourself from getting duped.

1.Check the number behind the button

Authentic Levis jeans always come with a style number which is mentioned behind the tack or donut button- the main button of the jeans. Forgers always miss to copy such minute detail, a fake pair of Levis jeans will never have such minute details.

2.The labels with markings

Style symbols, this is for what brands are known for. Levis jeans have print markings on three different labels which come affixed with a new pair. One marking will be on the price tag, another one will be on the label tag attached on the right back pocket and the third one will be inside around the waist. Counterfeiters will always miss such details and will have only one or two labels. Many times, there will be no label at all.

3.Check the abbreviation on rivets

You will find LS&CO-SF mentioned on the rivets of an original Levis jeans. The abbreviation stands for Levi’s Strauss and Co. San Francisco. You may notice a mistake in spelling or a typo error in such kind of details, minutely observe for any kind of mistakes.

4.The label at the back

An original pair of jeans will always have worn out leather label at the back. Counterfeit jeans will always have a label made of synthetic material with usually dark printing.

5.Colour and alignment of text

The text mentioned on an authentic pair of Levis jeans will have proper alignment and is black in colour. This is not the case with a fake pair which will have misaligned or poorly printed text.

6.Red tabs

Red tabs are like visual certifications for an authentic pair of Levis jeans. Red tabs in an original pair of jeans will always be neatly stitched and cut whereas red tabs in a fake pair of jeans will be roughly stitched and cut. With a little attention, you can easily mark out the difference.

fake products

EU customs officials confiscate worth 31 million euros of fake products

According to a recent report by the European Commission, EU (European Union) customs officials have seized fake products worth over 31 million euros. The products have a street value of over 580 million euros.

The fake items seized by the officials include food items which were 24 % followed by toys 11%, cigarettes 9 % and clothing 7 %.

Europe’s Commissioner for Taxation and customs said that the EU customs union is at the forefront when it comes to protecting people from duplication. He further emphasized that their campaign will protect consumer health and business from any kind of violations.

Around 65% of the confiscated goods came in the EU through sea routes and around 14 % arrived through air cargo. Counterfeit items which came through postal and courier services were 11 % which included shoes, bags, clothes and watches.

Turkey was the largest provider of fake clothing and was the worst offender. China and Hong Kong were top suppliers of fake phones, accessories, printer inks and CD/DVDs. India was the largest provider of harmful pharmaceutical products.

Source: neweurope.eu

The use of RFID technology in anti-counterfeiting

Every year, industries lose millions of dollars due to counterfeiting. Due to the growing threat of duplication, companies whether big or small have incorporated different kinds of anti-counterfeiting technologies with their products. The anti-duplication technologies include security holograms, security labels, track and trace, barcodes, QR codes, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), blockchain, artificial intelligence etc.

Out of the above-mentioned technologies RFID has become quite popular and is being currently used in different industries to secure not just products but entire supply chains. RFID basically includes the use of a microchip containing a unique information. This unique information is used for the authentication process and secures the product from any kind of duplication.

RFID has been successfully amalgamated with track and trace technology and is working wonders in battling duplication the across the world. According to a report by Strategy MRC, “RFID technology is used extensively in the packaging industry that includes tags, readers, and software services. Moreover, RFID technology is growing tremendously and is opted by many industries as it reduces manual costs and improves visibility and planning.”

What is RFID?

RFID which stands for radio frequency identification is a technology in which an encoded data is embedded in an RFID tag or a high-tech label. The encoded data is captured by a reader via radio waves. RFID system consists of three parts which includes a RFID tag, an antenna and a RFID reader.

The RFID tag or smart label sends an encoded message through the antenna which is captured by the RFID reader. The reader converts the radio waves into useful data which is used by a computer system. The computer system then creates a database which can be further used according to the requirements of an organization.

RFID tags can be classified into two forms, the first one is known as active RFID tag while the second one is known as passive RFID tag. Unlike, active RFID tags which run on their own power source like a battery, passive RFID tags are powered by a RFID reader.

Advantages of RFID

Here are some factors due to which RFID technology has occupied a good market share in the anti-counterfeiting technology market.

  • RFID technology can collect information without the need for human resource.
  • RFID requires no line of sight for authentication and thus saves a lot of time.
  • Last but not the least, RFID systems are highly accurate.


By Ritesh Rupramka
Director, Production & IT

Counterfeit electrical cables

Counterfeit electrical cables electrocuting both life and money

According to media sources, the electrical products industry suffers a loss of $600 billion annually, due to counterfeiting. This is huge and worrisome at the same time. Electrical products include a wide variety of items. Some of the highest selling electrical products include electric switches, electric wires and cables, electric lights, plugs, fuse, condensers, motors, fans and a long list of other items.

Out of the above-mentioned products electric cables are widely used in our daily lives and are highly susceptible to counterfeiting. Counterfeit cables have made it to headlines countless number of times for all wrong reasons be it monstrous fires caused due to poor quality cables or electrical shocks that kills us in instants. Counterfeit electrical cables occupy second place after fake pharmaceutical products. According to Technavio research, the global power cable market is projected to reach USD 107.5 billion by 2021.

Is there a way through which you can save yourself from being duped by duplicate cables? But, before that let’s understand what is a duplicate cable? Electrical product experts say that most of the counterfeit cables are sold by showcasing them as original. This simply means the specifications mentioned on the product do not sync with the product at all.

The maximum use of electric cables is at the time of construction when big bundles or spools of cables are purchased for laying out electrical connections across the building. Most of the people who are not aware of the distinction between a counterfeit and original electric cable may find it hard to differentiate between the two.

Identifying a counterfeit cable is not easy and may require an eagle’s eye. Counterfeit cables often come in poor packaging, have poor quality of casing with cheap quality of printing which is difficult to read. Reputed manufacturers will always print the specification of the label according to the contents of the package whereas, counterfeit cables will always show discrepancies. Always check the required ISI markings and security holograms on the product. The absence of these could be a giveaway of a counterfeit product. Also, abstain from bulk buying and it’s better to purchase and test a limited quantity. Showing it to a professional technician will also work wonders.

Nowadays, it has become difficult to counter duplication of products as it can be done at any stage of the supply chain. So, it’s better to use products affixed with security features like holograms, barcodes, QR codes, track and trace functionality etc. One such company which secures products of different industries against counterfeiting is Holostik. The company offers a range of niche anti-counterfeiting solutions for the electronic and electrical industry. So, if you are manufacturer from the electrical industry always make it sure to safeguard your products with a range of solutions offered by Holostik and if you are a consumer better buy products affixed with security holograms and markings.