ASPA rolls out five-year strategy at annual general meeting

Aims to become a global industry voice in the authentication and traceability solutions

ASPA AGM Meet 2022. Photo ASPA

The Authentication Solution Provider’s Association (ASPA) rolled out a five-year strategy from 2022-2027, to become a global Industry voice in the authentication and traceability solutions. The strategic plan was launched on 29 July at ASPA Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi. 

The ASPA Strategic Plan 2022-2027 outlines six goals. These include advancing the research and development, promoting the adoption, increasing the awareness of Authentication and Traceability solutions (ATS), developing tools to measure the impact of counterfeiting and its scale, encouraging, and adopting professional ethics and best practices within the Association and enhance the global reach and footprint of ASPA and its members. 

Founded in 1998, the Association urged the usage of authentication and traceability technologies as an essential tool for socio-economic empowerment in India’s fight against counterfeiting, which is eroding Rs 1,00,000 crore in the Indian economy.  

As we celebrate 75th Independence Day as “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,” the country is reinventing itself and getting future ready. The transformation will not be complete until the government addresses undercurrent issues that have plagued the country’s economy and threatened citizens’ well-being. The menace of counterfeiting and falsified products has been a constant threat to the economy, the brand equity of India and the overall well-being of Indians. The Indian authentication and traceability industry is capacitated to provide customized fortification for varied industries against counterfeiting. 

Sharing his thoughts during the meeting, Nakul Pasricha, president, Authentication Solution Provider’s Association (ASPA), said, “As we reach the landmark 75th Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, our hearts swell with pride on the progress of our nation, at the same time the urgency towards fulfilling the responsibility of making our nation future ready has increased. As we move forward in the technology-enabled era, it is time that the country also employs intelligent technology to solve the problems of counterfeiting that is damaging the economy from the inside. The circulation of substandard and falsified products attacks us on multiple levels – threatening human and animal well-being, hampering brand profits, obstructing government revenues, robbing consumer faith and damaging brand India in the global market. We have been the country’s leading voice against counterfeiting and illicit trade. As per our plan for the next 5 years, we aim to become the voice of the global authentication and traceability solutions industry. We have set out on a mission to drive the development, promotion, and adoption of authentication and traceability solutions as effective tools to curb counterfeiting and illicit trade.”

He added, “The return on investment on authentication solutions is much more significant, and the other countries’ positive impact of using the anti-counterfeit solutions is proven. We are confident that India, too, will adopt it. We are seeing steps taken towards tackling counterfeiting, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, by directing 300 top brands to introduce QR Codes on their packaging. In addition to making QR Codes mandatory on APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients). But these are small steps while the problem is complex. A strategic all-around plan and action are required to curb them massive menace of counterfeiting in the country with both authentication solutions and robust track and trace infrastructure in place.”

The menace of counterfeit, substandard and falsified products has seeped deep into the ecosystem, but unfortunately, the magnitude of the issue is still underestimated and undertreated. The country needs to nurture positive consumer behavior, good brand practices, knowledge sharing in enforcement and sensitization in regulatory bodies to make a considerable dent in illicit trade.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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