Hologram Manufacturers Association of India (HoMAI), which was founded 16 years ago on December 1, 1998 as the world’s second and Asia’s only Association representing holography, has now been re-launched this year with a broader mandate as Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), according to a press statement. By helping check counterfeiting, ASPA will helps protect consumers, unlock revenue realisation for brand owners and governments as well as ensure steady growth of its members and the industry in general.
ASPA President Manoj Kochar said, “According to Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the impact of the counterfeit and pirated goods on the global economy today stands at a staggering USD one trillion. Like terrorism, counterfeiting is becoming a sophisticated and global menace that can have a crippling impact in any part of the world irrespective of its country of origin. We must develop a unified global strategy with powerful industry linkages and knowledge sharing platforms in order to stop this illegal trade effectively.
“ASPA is a call to unite various authentication solution providers across the world to galvanize our forces and strengthen this shield univocally. ASPA re-aligns our objectives to more accurately represent the transformation of products and services offered by our member companies. Our broader scope also covers a wide array of authentication technologies that have evolved over the years.”
Counterfeiting today impacts various industries including pharmaceuticals, FMCG, finance, electronics, automobile parts, entertainment, apparel, software, manufacturing, tobacco, liquor and others. ASPA members already protect over 10,000 brands worldwide through the identification of genuine products and documents. As the world’s first and only industry body of its kind, ASPA aims to comprehensively cover the broader interests of the entire authentication solutions industry worldwide, including, but not limited to, holograms, optically variable devices (OVD’s), taggants, security inks and substrates, watermarks, nanotechnologies, RFIDs, barcode/ QR code-based digital tracking and verification solutions, security and tamper-evident labels and any other brand protection and authentication solutions. ASPA’s tagline – ‘Diverse Technologies, Common Goal’– summarises its vision to become the global voice of the authentication solution providers that facilitate brand protection through anti-counterfeiting, anti-tampering and tracking and tracing measures.
Anil Rajput, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, ITC Limited, and Chairman of FICCI Cascade (Committee against Smuggling & Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy), said, “I am glad to note the re-launch of ASPA, which will represent an even broader interests of the entire authentication solutions industry. Counterfeiting and smuggling plagues almost all industries and leads to loss of trust, money, lives and livelihoods. Proper authentication solutions are a must to help validate genuine products. On the technology vendor side, ASPA complements FICCI Cascade’s consumer and industry efforts in curbing counterfeits, by bringing together all types of authentication solutions on one platform. I hope that this move will help in rapid adoption of anti-counterfeiting, anti-tampering and tracking and tracing solutions, which will yield significant direct and indirect benefits in the form of increased revenues, brand perceptions, reduced litigation costs, and greater customer retention.”
Welcoming the move, N C Saha, Director of the Indian Institute of Packaging, an autonomous body under Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India said, “It is heartening to note that HOMAI is reinventing itself as ASPA to take a higher responsibility to fight against counterfeiting in packaging. I remember when it was started in 1998 with an objective to promote the significance of hologram as an anti-counterfeiting device in the packaging industry. However, over a period of time, there have been rapid changes, and consumers’ behavior as well as their perception has become very complex in the modern marketing scenario. At the same time, the market has also become highly competitive which, too, leads to the demand of innovations in the field of anti-counterfeiting to protect the consumer interest. As a result, it will be a great move to amalgamate multiple authentication technology providers under a single umbrella to offer strong brand protection.
I believe ASPA is poised to play a much-needed and vital role in consolidating the entire gamut of authentication solutions, and catalyzing their adoption in various kind of packaging across all industry segments. Authentication of a product is invariably carried out through integration between the authentication technology and the packaging, and Indian Institute of Packaging welcomes this move. I am confident that ASPA will meet the demand of modern consumers to effectively fight against the counterfeiters.”
ASPA works closely with world-leading peers and authorities such as International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), Counterfeit Intelligence Bureau (CIB) and Interpol. It actively participates on matters on policy, and also plays a constructive role in ensuring that its members uphold a high pedigree of business ethics and values as prescribed by the ASPA Code of Conduct. ASPA lays down guidelines to encourage adoption of best practices, quality standards and usage of advanced technology to provide truly customised, cost-effective and consistently reliable solutions. It also actively analyses industry trends and provides updates on global news, knowledge resources and best practices to its members. Members are bound by to ensure that they observe high standards of integrity and business ethics at all times.
ASPA has also launched a brand new website – www.aspaglobal.com – which includes educational material on various types of authentication solutions, tips on selecting the most relevant and effective authentication solution, case studies, whitepapers, industry news, member profiles, details of activities being undertaken by the Association, reference material and access to ASPA’s quarterly journal, The Authentication Times.