Every year, businesses spend billions of dollars in the battle against counterfeit goods, but the results are not as anticipated. The counterfeit industry in India has crossed Rs 40,000 crore. If we speak of the global economy, the figures will reach up to $1.6 trillion and are projected to grow to $4.2 trillion by 2022. Brands in India would need to introduce modern technologies to combat counterfeit goods. Companies such as NeuroTags are working to tackle the counterfeit problem with the help of smart algorithms and AI.
Founded in 2017, NeuroTags provides foolproof anti-counterfeiting solutions and creates digital communication channels between brands and their consumers. Currently, it works with over 40 enterprises and mid-size clients across India and the US. “While watching a documentary on the counterfeit industry and how life is adversely affected, we were very certain that we wanted to solve this problem by using technology, particularly AI,” says Abhishek Agarwal, co-founder and head of India, NeuroTags. “It took us about a year to develop the technology and run the pilots, and NeuroTags was introduced in January 2018. Later, responding to consumer needs, we extended our capabilities by incorporating a host of other technological solutions, such as the collection of Offline Customer Data using Incentivisation, paperless warranty processes,” he adds.
NeuroTags provides AI-backed anti-counterfeiting technologies that help remove cheap imitations. It has seen great acceptance in the market; enterprises such as Syska LED, JCB, Escorts, Kapila Agro, Raymond Group and Portronics are using advanced technology to not only fight counterfeiting but also in on-boarding and engaging with consumers and retailers by running QR code-based incentive/ reward schemes.
“Our technologies can be implemented by any industry that sells physical products on a very economical budget. Anti-counterfeiting solutions would be effective if they are correctly applied, grasped and counter the assault on the brand,” says Agarwal. A perfect mix of physical and digital technologies still works well as existing anti-counterfeit solutions—barcode, QR, 2D code, RFID, etc., have certain limitations. AI would be used to spot online fraudulent product lists, as well as anti-counterfeiting solutions that authenticate the goods, in order to avoid counterfeit products to the fullest degree possible,” he adds.
E-commerce, pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronics, food, auto parts, clothing, toys and nursery products, luxury goods (designer handbags, jewellery) and alcohol brands are some of the most targeted counterfeiters industries. “We are seeing a 5x contribution out of the box of digital loyalty relative to traditional solutions. In certain segments, 25% of the goods are being screened, and 8% and 15% of product loyalty and warranty are being reported. Every day, we connect thousands of customers and suppliers to the brand’s index,” says Agarwal, adding, “We recently collaborated with SAP to co-innovate and offer this AI-backed anti-counterfeiting solution to established customers.”