According to a 2016 International Criminal Court Governmental (ICC) report, the total value of pirated and counterfeited goods will reach between $1.9 and $2.81 trillion by 2022 (). It is, therefore, not very surprising to see the entire world engaged in an unending battle against counterfeit goods that not only impair the economy but also impact the health of individuals adversely.
However, it seems that the situation could soon turn around as companies such as Counterfeit IQ foray into the market, leveraging blockchain technology to eliminate the issue of counterfeits.
Ganesh Faterpekar, Founder, Counterfeit IQ believes that the issue of counterfeiting needs to be resolved urgently. “The losses due to counterfeiting stand at 1.7 trillion dollars; and, in India, it is estimated to be around 16 billion. The primary industries that are affected are manufacturing – drugs, pesticides, FMCG, spare parts, to name a few. It is not only about money, but there are around 700,000 deaths worldwide, each year, due to counterfeited drugs; an issue that must be addressed to save human lives,” says Mr Faterpekar.
Speaking about the solution introduced by Mr Faterpekar, Counterfeit IQ offers a unique system of eliminating counterfeits by using blockchain technology. The startup integrates anti-counterfeit technology at the manufacturing level for its clients, tying it up to the supply chain using blockchain, enabling the end-users to verify the products with a simple scan.
To make the process watertight, the company has developed a three-step process to establish the authenticity of products and documents. The first step is authorization where the app validates the manufacturer. The second step is authorization. Here, the app verifies that the content on the packaging has not been altered or tampered with. Finally, the last step is personalisation where the app matches personalised content such as store information, location and user data, etc. to establish the genuineness of a product or document.
According to Mr Faterpekar, Counterfeit IQ is a unique solution to the problem of counterfeits as it can verify the authenticity of products or documents in seconds. He explains that the end-consumer simply needs to scan a product with the app to ensure its genuineness. In case the user detects a fake product, a report is instantly sent to the concerned authorities and companies. The app also includes sophisticated analytics to generate heat maps of areas with high counterfeit activity that can be helpful in fighting the battle against counterfeit suppliers.
In addition to eliminating fakes, Counterfeit IQ enables businesses to gain better control over their supply chain and boost sales with integrated analytics to track sales and customer demographics.
The road ahead
Counterfeit IQ offers an innovative solution to a serious problem in the market. At a time when most businesses and individuals rely upon logos, holograms and even gut instincts to establish the authenticity of products, the startup offers an advanced solution based on reliable technology to eliminate fakes in seconds.
Counterfeit IQ aims to expand its footprint to Australia in the next few months. The startup is currently bootstrapped and incubated by CIBA (Centre for Incubation and Business Administration), Goa. As per Mr Faterpekar, founder of Counterfeit IQ, the infrastructural support and mentorship provided by CIBA has been quite instrumental on their journey. He feels proud to be associated with CIBA that has helped several startups take off from the sandy beaches of Goa.
Currently, CIBA has two incubation centres in Goa and one in Mumbai where it offers world-class infrastructure, thought-leadership and technological support to foster fledgling startups into successful businesses.
List of Awards bagged by Counterfeit IQ:
· [CIQ] 2016: KBU Top 10 finalist
· 2017: CM Startup Top 10 finalist
· 2017: Winner of GMA Startup of the Year
· 2017: Pulse The Venture - Selected as one of the top 24 ideas that will change India
· 2018: Smarty Fifty by IIMC top 400 out of 15000 startups in India
· 2018: ET Power of India, phase 2
· 2018: 2nd Place in Retail Challenge at Seaside Summit Goa
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