Countering knockoffs

Counterfeit goods hamper sales and brand reputation. RushikeshAravkar speaks to packaging technologists and anti-counterfeiting experts to find out how packaging can fight back the menace.

Counterfeiting is common in India across various sectors, most notably in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. On 11 January 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) busted a racket and seized fake cosmetics products worth Rs 2.39 crore from a shop at Crawford Market in Mumbai. According to reports, the FDA team found an elaborate set-up in a dingy room complete with machinery and packaging equipment along with products belonging to brands such as L'Oreal, Lakme, Revlon, Olay, Elle 18, Nivea, Fair & Lovely and several others. 

Counterfeiting causes sales losses of 21.7% (USD 11.9 billion) for Indian companies, and it steals around 25% of their market share, according to a whitepaper published by NetNames. Indian counterfeiting has a market size of Rs 55,000 crore (USD 11 billion), and drains around Rs 5,000 crore (USD 1 billion) in exchequer revenue annually.