Monday, January 2, 2017

Why India needs Zero Tolerance towards Counterfeits

In last few years, the diversity of counterfeit goods has expanded drastically. No industry has been spared from its aggression. Right from handbags to health care supplies, counterfeiters have left no product category untouched. Buying fake products at lower prices has grown severely worldwide and can be seen as a serious threat to global economy.

India is not new to counterfeiting either. According to one FICCI report, Indian government incurred loss of INR 392 billion as a result of growing counterfeits in 2014. These illegally imported goods not only cause loss to the national exchequer but also force small and medium industries to suspend their operations thus affecting numerous families’ livelihood.

A report by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), too, names Nehru Place (New Delhi), Palika Bazaar (New Delhi), Lamington Road (Mumbai), Chandni Chowk (Kolkata) and Burma Bazaar (Chennai) as markets that need to be watched out for such high volume counterfeit trade. This throws some light on the present scenario of the counterfeit market and its spread throughout India.


How Brands get affected 
This continuing problem poses threats to brand owners, retailers and definitely end users. Unlike counterfeit fashion and jewelry products, use of counterfeit automotive parts, drugs electric cords or pharmaceutical products may lead to physical or psychological damage. These products simply tarnish brand’s intangible assets by erosion of the equity, which leads to the loss of consumer’s trust and confidence in the company.

Why government needs to worry
Counterfeiting can certainly be labeled as an economic problem as it puts a nation’s economy at risk with no investments by multi-nationals due to unfair competition with counterfeited products. 

Rapid diffusion of technology has improved the ability to produce duplicate products in an easy, quick, and inexpensive manner. This way, governments lose out on unpaid tax and incur large overheads in enforcing intellectual property rights. This is not it; there is also an increasing concern that counterfeiting may be linked to organized crime and terrorist activities. Take first bombing of World Trade Center (1993) for an example. The prime suspect of this bombing - Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman was among 20 alleged counterfeiters who sold fake t-shirts in New York and New Jersey area. 

Due to rapidly growing counterfeiting crimes, companies and government need to seek different ways to deal with this issue, not only to prevent the losses but to also regain brand repute and consumer’s trust. 

What makes Anti-Counterfeit Solutions effective
Someone rightly said – “Prevention is better than cure.” By investing in anti-counterfeiting solutions, brands can prevent manufacturing and selling of counterfeit products. Solutions like Security Holograms, Paper Security Labels, Holographic Transparent Laminate, Tax Stamps, and 3D Holographic Stickers empower brands and government to fight with this problem on grass root level. 

These solutions help in maintaining the brand goodwill and prevent branded products from being replicated by any unauthorized party. Take 3D Holographic Stickers for an example, which are designed with 3D image of the brand that enforces product copyright, preventing imitation and replication. And, there is good news too. These solutions can be further customized to serve different client requirements.

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