Phygital approach a potent weapon to combat counterfeiting: Manoj Kochar of ASPA

On the second day of IntraPac India 2024 on 15 March, a panel discussion was held on combating counterfeiting through innovative solutions. The discussion shed light on authentication, traceability, and secure sustainable packaging, drawing an audience of hundreds where industry stakeholders delved into combating counterfeit solutions.

18 Mar 2024 | By Aakash Mudgal

The panellists during the event

The panel discussion was attended by Manoj Kochar, president of ASPA, Ajai Srivastava, former director of SPMCIL, Honey Bhardwaj, deputy general manager of Dhanuka Agritech, and Pratibha Malakar, AVP at Chemanaylst, each offering valuable perspectives and insights.

Manoj Kochar highlighted various facets during the panel discussion related to combating counterfeiting and the implication of Authentication. He emphasised the paramount importance of the phygital approach. With a fusion of physical and digital elements, the phygital approach emerges as a formidable solution to the escalating challenges posed by counterfeiting. He also elaborated on how this integrated strategy, combining tangible features with digital technologies, enhances product security and authenticity.

“Phygital approach a potent weapon to combat counterfeiting, Embracing a phygital approach offers multifaceted protection, ensuring products remain safeguarded against illicit replication. The effective role of secure sustainable packaging must be in the focus and the reaching of awareness to all the stakeholders is a much-needed requirement in strengthening the brand integrity. There is a need for programs akin to Jago Grahak Jago to make the consumers more vigilant and aware of the threat of counterfeit products and be vigilant and educate the masses effectively,” he added.

The discussion underscored the significance of incorporating advanced technologies such as nano engraving, RFID, hologram, QR codes, and blockchain into packaging design. These technologies not only enable real-time tracking and authentication but also empower consumers to verify product authenticity effortlessly.

Ajai Srivastava, who is an honorary member of ASPA, underscored the importance of public awareness in combating counterfeiting, drawing parallels to the zero-tolerance policy for counterfeit currency. He also spoke about how the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) and Bhartiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt Ltd (BRBNMPL) units employ complete traceability right from the production floor to the release of the banknotes into the system after a 100% inspection system.

Bhardwaj also added the importance of upgrading the aim for the future and shed light on making the technology more difficult, so that it cannot be cracked by the counterfeiters.  

IntraPac India 2024’s conference served as a pivotal platform for industry leaders to exchange insights and strategies in the ongoing battle against counterfeiting. Kochar's compelling advocacy for the phygital approach resonated strongly with attendees, reaffirming its status as a transformative solution in the fight against counterfeit products. The discussions delved into the challenges posed by counterfeiting, notably the hurdle of achieving 100% inspection. However, with concerted efforts and innovative approaches like Phygital solutions, the collective aim is to mitigate these challenges and safeguard consumer interests effectively.