Against the backdrop of the domestic e-commerce market growing exponentially with more and more people shopping online through smartphones, the perils of counterfeits have also multiplied in the same proportion. Uttar Pradesh is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in North India and is estimated at Rs 10,000 crore annually. It is projected to touch Rs 40,000 crore by 2020. “However, consumers have no way to verify the genuineness of products bought through e-commerce sites.
The lack of awareness is making gullible people, unknowingly buying fakes at the cost of original products,” Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) president UK Gupta told the media here this evening.He further said buying fake medicines or baby food could result in serious health issues or even loss of life. ASPA has urged the UP government for mandating use of authentication marks, such as holograms in products, before they hit the shelves or are sold online, to counter the menace of counterfeits and fakes. The Association has also launched its industry and consumer centric ‘Make Sure India’ campaign to educate brand owners over the benefits of authentication solutions to curb counterfeiting. This would ensure sale of genuine products and preserve the reputation of brands. ASPA claims its member companies protected over 10,000 brands globally. According to industry body Ficci-Cascade, the central government had incurred a loss of Rs 26,190 crore during 2011-12 due to counterfeiting. This loss increased to Rs 39,239 crore in 2013-14, a rise of almost 50% in two years. Meanwhile, the Association has planned to hold ‘brand awareness seminars’ in major industrial hubs of UP, including Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Agra, etc. ASPA vice-president Nakul Pasricha said global trade in counterfeits was estimated at $461 billion in 2013, according to a report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). ASPA works closely with global authorities such as International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), Counterfeit Intelligence Bureau (CIB) and Interpol.