As world is seriously affected by counterfeiting and fighting hard to stem it, ASPA (Authentication Solutions Providers’ Association) has made its commitment to provide a sustained solution for this menace. ASPA is the world’s first and only self-regulated nonprofit organisation that represents the entire physical and digital authentication solutions industry globally. Nakul Pasricha, President of ASPA, tells Shalini Kumar that his association is working to build a world-class environment that supports the advancement of the authentication ecosystem in India.

Give us an idea about the Authentication Solution Providers’ Association, its philosophy, its structure, scope & nature of work & geographical reach.

Constituted in 1998, Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) has a rich heritage of 21 years and is known globally as a self-regulated and ethical nonprofit organisation. As an industry association of anti-counterfeiting solutions providers, we are committed towards creating awareness. We support the government, industry and consumers in tackling counterfeit and building authentication eco-systems in the country.

We are working on four key areas, which are awareness, advocacy, research, and innovation. On the awareness front, we have conducted more than 15 workshops during the last 3-4 years under our campaign ‘Make Sure India.’

Subsequent to these, ASPA has recently organised the 3rd Authentication Forum; an international leadership summit on anti-counterfeiting and brand protection. The aim is to bring up the expert domains from across the globe to find new generation solutions.

We are facilitating awareness amongst brand owners, government authorities & industry associations. We have partnered with various sector specific industry associations such as FICCI, CASCADE, PMFAI, ACMA, Crop Life India, IBA and others to spread awareness against ill effects of counterfeit and sub-standard products. We have also joined hands with research institutions like CSIR-NIIST and are looking forward to support from other institutions.

We are trying to build innovative tools to help policymakers on the need for action and legislation in fighting counterfeiting. One such tool is the Counterfeit News Repository. The portal provides in-depth analysis and a single stop source for all counterfeiting incidents reported in India.

Q. Who are your major clientele?

A. Being an association we don’t provide any authentication solutions directly, but from time to time we come out with an advisory for the adoption of authentication solutions to various industries. Our strength is our members, providing physical and digital authentication & traceability solutions for the last three decades, and the rich knowledge base that we have created over the years. Few of our members have been providing these solutions for over a century. Together, our members are protecting more than 15,000 brands & products across the globe.

Q. What is brand counterfeiting, and how it can be comprehensively prevented?

A. Brand is the most valuable asset for a company. In today’s world, several brands are under attack from various angles. These attacks can be in the form of counterfeiting, tampering, pilfering, etc. Each of these can lead to erosion of brand value, loss of market share, loss of profit and above all dissatisfied customers.

We think proactive action is the first requirement to reduce these damages to brand equity. First and foremost, ‘Brand Risk Management’ should be treated as part of risk management under the direct responsibility of the board of directors/brand owners. The vision and mission statement should be communicated to all the stakeholders and customers to ensure that the brand protection concern is communicated to all concerned.

As an initial step government can make it mandatory for every company to incorporate ‘Brand Risk Management’ as part of its annual report, for the welfare of stakeholders. The brands implementing these steps must be compensated, motivated, and awarded by the government to build up
the ‘Make Sure India’ movement.

More insights by Nakul Pasricha, President of ASPA, in the March edition of Spiritz 

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