The ASPA Strategic Plan 2022-2027 outlines six goals. These include advancing the research and development, promoting the adoption, increasing the awareness of Authentication and Traceability solutions (ATS), developing tools to measure the impact of counterfeiting and its scale, encouraging, and adopting professional ethics and best practices within the Association and enhance the global reach and footprint of ASPA and its members.
Founded in 1998, the Association urged the usage of authentication and traceability technologies as an essential tool for socio-economic empowerment in India's fight against counterfeiting, which is eroding Rs 1 trillion in the Indian economy.
As the country celebrates 75th Independence Day, it is reinventing itself and getting future-ready. The transformation will not be complete until the government addresses undercurrent issues that have plagued the country’s economy and threatened citizens’ well-being. The menace of counterfeiting and falsified products has been a constant threat to the economy, the brand equity of India and the overall well-being of Indians. The Indian Authentication and Traceability Industry is capacitated to provide customised fortification for varied industries against counterfeiting.
Nakul Pasricha, president, Authentication Solution Providers' Association (ASPA), said, “As we reach the landmark 75th Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, our hearts swell with pride on the progress of our nation, At the same time, the urgency towards fulfilling the responsibility of making our nation future-ready has increased. As we move forward in the technology-enabled era, it is time that the country also employs intelligent technology to solve the problems of counterfeiting that is damaging the economy from the inside. The circulation of substandard and falsified products attacks us on multiple levels — threatening human and animal well-being, hampering brand profits, obstructing government revenues, robbing consumer faith and damaging brand India in the global market. We have been the country’s leading voice against counterfeiting and illicit trade. As per our plan for the next 5 years, we aim to become the voice of the global authentication and traceability solutions industry. We have set out on a mission to drive the development, promotion, and adoption of authentication and traceability solutions as effective tools to curb counterfeiting and illicit trade.”
He added, “The return on investment on authentication solutions is much more significant, and the other countries' positive impact of using the anti-counterfeit solutions is proven. We are confident that India, too, will adopt it. We are seeing steps taken towards tackling counterfeiting, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, by directing 300 top brands to introduce QR Codes on their packaging. In addition to making QR Codes mandatory on APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients). But these are small steps while the problem is complex. A strategic all-around plan and action are required to curb the massive menace of counterfeiting in the country with both authentication solutions and robust track and trace infrastructure in place."
The menace of counterfeit, substandard and falsified products has seeped deep into the ecosystem, but unfortunately, the magnitude of the issue is still underestimated and undertreated. The country needs to nurture positive consumer behaviour, good brand practices, knowledge sharing in enforcement and sensitisation in regulatory bodies to make a considerable dent in illicit trade.