Jindal Stainless Limited takes action against counterfeit products

In order to curb the counterfeit products of Jindal Stainless Limited (JSL), the company has launched a nationwide co-branding initiative along with the pipes and tubes manufacturers. Jindal Stainless is one of the leading players in the steel market and looks forward to increasing its revenue in the coming years. According to industry experts, the current market size of decorative P&T segment is around INR  5200 crores.

Speaking on the issue of counterfeiting Mr. Abhyuday Jindal, MD, JSL said, “We have launched this mutually beneficial co-branding scheme in response to the needs of our customers. It is estimated that over 25% of pipes and tubes sold annually in India bear the counterfeit branding of Jindal Stainless Limited. We aim to curtail this counterfeiting and capture the growing decorative P&T market in the next 2 years.”

JSL co-branding move will help its MoU partners to make a clear distinction from the products of other P&T manufacturers. For this, JSL has created standardized seals for the products which include logos of the MoU partner & JSL, the grade of stainless steel & MoU number. The genuineness of the product can be checked with the help of the unique MoU number on the company’s website.

The co-branding initiative will offer enhanced visibility and penetration in the market for the company’s partners who were earlier struggling from the effects of counterfeiting. It will also ensure that only the right products reach to the consumers.

The stainless-steel grades used in the decorative P&T segment are 304, JT, J4 and JSLUSD. They offer higher strength, lower lifecycle cost, unmatched aesthetic appeal, low maintenance requirement, along with the advantage of being nearly 100% recyclable. These grades are also corrosion-resistant and ensure durability.

Source: Steelguru.com

How does counterfeiting affects consumers?

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.

How organisations can benefit from track and trace technology?

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 connect@holostik.com.

The link between counterfeiting and organized crime

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 impact of counterfeiting on the Indian apparel industry

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.

Counterfeit IMFL blending unit busted in Vellore

A few days back enforcement wing officials busted a fake IMFL (Indian-made foreign liquor) blending unit in Vellore. Police officials arrested five people including a supplier and a marketing executive for operating an illegal unit. Police also seized a car, a mini-van, fake labels of popular liquor brands, bottling machines, holograms and stickers.

The accused has been identified as Manoharan 25 of Kandili Kummudikanpettai village, Govindharaj 60 of Jannalapettai vllage, Saravanan 36 of Goundapanur village, Selvakuma or Tirupattur and Jayakumar of Krishnagiri district.

Police said that counterfeit IMFL was manufactured at an underground unit owned by Saravanan at Eriyur village. The counterfeit liquor was being supplied at different spots at Jawadhu hills in Tiruvannamalai and Krishnagiri district.

VMP Aasithambi ADSP Vellore conducted a surprise vehicle check at Natrampall village and caught three accused, after a getting a tip on the same.

Based on their confession, police officials seized the fake liquors and other equipment used for blending counterfeit liquor. ADSP Vellore said that many more people are involved in the crime and a search is underway to catch them.

Source: TOI 

High sale of counterfeits witnessed on Mother’s Day

According to the National Retail Federation, the shopping presents for Mother’s Day generated a whopping amount of $25 billion in sales. While many purchased gifts from genuine retail outlets, a lot of consumers bought a large number of counterfeit products. As per Red Points, 20% people bought fake products for Mother’s Day.

Laura Urquizu, CEO, Red Points says, “One out of three shoppers has purchased fake products intentionally”. The company surveyed around 1500 Americans and does not include any information on whether or not their mothers knew. According to Red Points, “Those who intentionally bought counterfeits mostly chose jewellery and watches.”

Urquizu says, “A counterfeit is an imitation of the genuine brand and uses its logo and packaging without permission. The intention of a counterfeit product is to deceive the customer into buying it. This is illegal and IP owners can take legal action against infringers.”

Global consumers spend about half a trillion dollars on counterfeit items every year, with more than 70% of goods being sold by online marketplaces, reports Medium. Among retailers accused in the past of selling fake goods are Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba and American online giant Amazon.

Source: Fortune

Hindustan Unilever takes a tough stance against counterfeiting

One of India’s biggest pure-play consumer goods firm Hindustan Unilever has on an average filed two cases of intellectual property rights and trademarks violations -weekly in FY19. This is considered to be the company’s tough stance against fake products that use identical logos or packaging.

With more than 90 such cases during March, HUL’s latest number is about eight times more than the cases in 2018 and twice the preceding two years combined. Most of the cases were filed in the Bombay High Court. The manufacturers of Dove soap and Lipton tea said that a higher number of such cases are a reflection of duplication that has grown over the past few years.

Dev Bajpai, Executive Director, Legal & Corporate Affairs HUL says, “We have shifted our focus on actions resulting in value impact and started directing our efforts more on curtailing counterfeits at manufacturing and filling points than on the retail trade alone. This has resulted in curbing counterfeit trade at the source.”

In March, HUL filed a case against Mahadev Soap in Bombay High court. The company based in Bardoli; Surat was involved in alleged trademark violation. HUL claimed that the company’s washing powder brand ‘Go-Win’ had an identical packaging to its highly popular washing powder brand ‘Wheel’. Similarly, HUL took action against Navi-Mumbai based Glint Cosmetics which was manufacturing brands like ‘Fasaline’ and ‘Fair & Life’ identical to HUL’s famous brands ‘Vaseline’ and ‘Fair & Lovely.’

Source: Economic Times

20% medicines sold in India are fake, says US trade body

India is one of the leaders in producing low-cost generic medicines due to high local demand and low-cost manufacturing. Despite being ranked as the third largest pharmaceutical market in terms of volume, it is ranked on 13th when it comes to quality. It has been discovered that even the most popular drugs like Crocin and Betadine are adulterated to a certain degree.

The rise of low-cost pharmaceuticals has come under the light of United States Trade Representatives under its ‘Special 301 Report’. The organisation has blamed India for violating the IP protection for its growing problem on fake medicines.

The report states that 20% of the drugs manufactured in India are adulterated. With its claim of being the home to most ancient medicine and one of the foremost pharmacy hubs of the world, figures like this can be disparaging for India.

Such fake drugs are not only affecting India’s local population but also the massive populations of Indian pharmaceutical exporters like Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, the E.U, South America, and the United States. The officials are looking seriously into the matter aim to combat it with the use of advanced anti-counterfeiting technology.

Source: Trak.in

What are the effects of counterfeiting on the alcohol & beverages industry?

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.

Year State No. of deaths
2009 Gujarat 136
2011 West Bengal 172
2015 Mumbai 102
2016 Bihar 13
2019 UP & Uttarakhand 99
2019 Assam 114

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Loss of brand image: The sale of counterfeit or spurious alcohol tarnishes the image of the company and its products.
  4. 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.

The solution

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.