Counterfeit Auto & Motor Part Sales Booming in Pakistan

Fraud protection company, Sproxil partners with Briter Engineering Company to protect Pakistani consumers from purchasing dangerous counterfeit parts for motorbikes & cars.

Boston, MA (23 June 2016) – Sproxil®, a mobile-based fraud prevention platform and consumer engagement technology, has partnered with Briter Engineering Company. Briter Engineering is a manufacturer of motorcycle parts and this partnership is to help eradicate counterfeiting of motorcycle and automotive parts in Pakistan.

The global counterfeit auto part industry alone is valued at about $12 billion a year, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Criminals target unsuspecting consumers who don’t have a deep knowledge of auto parts and small repair shops that see the cheaper parts as an asset to their bottom line.

The market for counterfeit auto and motorcycle parts is booming in Pakistan and around the globe,” says Omar Farooq, CEO of Briter Engineering. “Unless you’re an engineer, it’s incredibly difficult to discern between knock offs and genuine parts.

Counterfeit parts may appear to be cheaper, but they end up costing customers more, because often they do not last as long and can even put people in danger,” says Sproxil founder Ashifi Gogo. “By ensuring that genuine motorcycle parts are present in the Pakistan market, we’re not only saving consumers money, we’re helping saving lives.”

As one of the leading suppliers for motorcycle assemblers, Briter is a prime target and has seen counterfeit versions of their parts penetrating the market rapidly. They partnered with Sproxil to put a stop to the circulation.

Pakistani consumers will now be able to verify a product they have purchased as a Briter original. They will do this by sending an SMS, using Sproxil’s consumer verification mobile app. They can also verify online at sproxil.com/verify. (An estimated 80 percent of Pakistani consumers use mobile devices.)

This is Sproxil’s second auto-related fraud prevention project in Pakistan. In August 2015, they partnered with Western Exports (WE), a manufacturer of high-quality automotive parts, to help differentiate their piston and ring products from counterfeited parts.

“We established the Pakistan operations in response to the growing demand of consumers who want assurance that the products they are purchasing are genuine,” explained Ashifi Gogo, CEO at Sproxil.

In India, as much as 45% of motor bike parts and accessories sold are fakes, according to The Daily Pakistan, and their proximity to Pakistan makes the a prime target for counterfeit criminals looking to distribute and sell their knock-off products. In Australia, Toyota launched a campaign to prevent the sale of brake pads containing Asbestos and, including a Twitter campaign warning consumers of the dangers of counterfeit auto parts.

The most common fake parts manufactured include clutch, filters, lamps wipers, bearings, steering arms, brakes and brake linings and are available for a range of vehicles including two-wheelers, cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles (trucks and buses), according to the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

While China is the largest manufacturer of counterfeit auto parts, Pakistan and other countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, India and Uruguay are also major producers and exporters of counterfeit goods,” the report notes.

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About Sproxil

Sproxil® uses mobile technology and a proprietary fraud detection platform to launch secure, data-driven consumer engagement programs globally. Sproxil’s solutions are deployed by multinational manufacturers and brands across multiple industries to prevent supply chain fraud, amplify brand awareness, and optimize marketing spend. With teams of experts in Africa, Asia and America, Sproxil has executed projects across five continents and has the ability to offer services in over 100 countries worldwide. They have earned numerous awards and honors, including the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award and named the most innovative healthcare company in the world by Fast Company Magazine, ranking #7 overall. Sproxil is ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified.

About Briter Engineering

Briter engineering fighting counterfeit auto

Briter Engineering Co Pvt Ltd. was set up in 1987. It was set up at Kot lakhpat with electroplating services and bicycle wheel rims manufacturing being its primary activity. Over the years, the company has established itself as one of the leading vendors for motorcycle assemblers. In 2003, the company expanded its operations. It moved it to a new state of the art facility in Kahna Kacha with manufacturing & storage floor space of 400,000 sqft. An additional 600,000 sqft is available for future projects of joint ventures. Please visit www.briter.com.pk

CONTACT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Faisal Raza, Country Head 
Sproxil Pakistan
faisal.raza@sproxil.com
+92 321 6078888

Branding inspires Counterfeits

It’s a sad reality today that great branding inspires counterfeits in the market. Given this fact, should your marketing department tone down their efforts? We think not! Your company must strategically position the product in the market to generate sales. This strategic positioning in todays world, comes with consequences. Counterfeiters see your marketing efforts as an opportunity. They capitalize on the work your company has done internally.

How Branding Inspires Counterfeits?

When a company has put in great efforts and creative thinking into their marketing, they are likely to see great results from it. These great results translate into more sales and growth for the company. On the flip side, counterfeiters see the sales in the market and device a plan to capitalize on the already moving goods. They perform their research and develop a product or something similar but substandard with the same brand name and distribute in the market. You may ask “why not just sell your own product?” They have thought of that but the energy, time and effort to put into branding their own product is not worth it. So they capitalize on brands that have put in years of work and penetrate the market because it’s easier.

A video of a popular beverage brand recently went viral. The video has been out since last year and a good portion of the internet saw it this week which sparked more conversations around the brand. The video showed an illegal factory packaging a fake version of the beverage. The comment section was pouring with concerned consumers about the safety of the product. When the video was released, the company with a global presence published a statement targeting only the affected region. The company’s statement educated consumers on how to spot fake versions of the product. This approach was necessary for brand crisis management at the time. What the company did not predict was the global resurfacing of the video and the need for crisis management globally.

Counterfeiters can disrupt your business both locally and globally if precautions are not taken. Here are three things your company should do when faced with such an issue.

branding inspires counterfeits

How to handle a counterfeiting situation

Develop a communication plan for your consumers. If your brand has a global presence, develop a global communication plan. Your company may be reluctant to communicate the issue but it is important to do so the minute it happens. It enables your brand build trust with the consumer and strengthens brand loyalty.

Implement a solution to tackle this problem. A technological solution like Sproxil Defender can be useful to enable your company handle this issue. When consumers see you are taking steps to address the problem, it strengthens their trust.

Run a loyalty marketing campaign. Sales are still important to your business. At this stage, you have communicated the issues and your consumers can trust you. You have also taken steps to protect your product and communicated that. The next step is to reward your consumers for remaining loyal during this turbulent time in your business.

It is important to note that whether your brand has a global or local presence, counterfeiters always want to capitalize on it. If your company plans on expanding or even maintaining its market share, it needs to protect its products from counterfeiting. Have you experienced this in your business?

Sproxil and ACC at the NTA Morning Ride Show

On Saturday 11th of June 2016, the Anti Counterfeiting Coalition (ACC) of Nigeria of which Sproxil is a member was invited to speak at the NTA Morning Ride Show which was broadcasted on NTA 2 Channel 5. The nature of the interview for the show was to discuss the World Anti Counterfeiting day that was marked on 8th of June and discuss the activities of the ACC in Nigeria. On the panel we had Nigerian influential flutist Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli, Senior associate at Aluko & Oyebode Nta Ekpiken and Digital Media Specialist at Sproxil Atim Ukoh as representatives of ACC.

Questions about the mission of ACC in Nigeria, progress made so far and some of the challenges faced where addressed by Nta Ekpiken. Tee Mac spoke about the issue of counterfeiting in the entertainment industry and solutions that have been put in place to combat the “alaba boys” who are notorious for counterfeiting in the entertainment industry. He discussed a solution that has been implemented to fight this issue. When you buy a CD, you can text a USSD code “*anumber#” to verify if the CD is authentic or fake. The presenter mentioned that the solution was similar to what Sproxil was doing with drugs which Atim addressed and mentioned that Sproxil indeed started with drugs and has branched into other industries that are facing counterfeiting issues and also partnerships like the ACC are great for strengthening enforcement in Nigeria.

We also discussed the bill that had gone through a second reading at the senate for capital punishment of counterfeiting offenders. ACC mentioned that they had proposed life imprisonment as the capital punishment was too barbaric but the offenders need to still face the consequences for their actions as a lesson to others.

The show rounded up with Tee Mac giving the audience a little session on his flute. Pictures were taken afterwards and the program was broadcasted nationwide and even internationally for audiences that have access to NTA on their satellite stations. The message on anti counterfeiting was shared so people can know what is being done about it and if your organization is facing this same issue, be sure to connect with us and we can offer a solution to help you combat it.

Discussing counterfeiting in Nigeria

Sproxil and ACC at NTA Morning Ride - Atim Ukoh - Tee Mac

World Anti Counterfeiting Day 2016

A tradition that was created in 1998 by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group has survived 18 years of fighting the war against counterfeiting and would continue to strive to make sure counterfeiting is a thing of the past. World Anti Counterfeiting day is celebrated on the 8th of June every year to raise awareness about the dangers of counterfeiting and piracy on all aspects of society.

If you have been an avid reader of our blog, you would see that in several articles we have highlighted the dangers of counterfeiting in many industries. From pharmaceuticals to spare parts and even to beverages, every industry is affected by this issue. The developed world suffers this problem just as much as the emerging markets. The question is how can we ensure this problem is eradicated for good? There have been some creative solutions but we can list ways in which we think this problem can be minimized and subsequently eradicated.

Solutions on this World Anti Counterfeiting Day

Consumer awareness to the availability of these products in the industries that they exist. When consumers are aware of the dangers and long term implications of patronizing these products, they are less likely to go ahead and purchase these products. Yes, you would still have the consumers that say they don’t understand the harm in purchasing counterfeit clothing, shoes etc. The implications on businesses and the economy as a whole need to be communicated to the consumers as well to ensure they understand the impact of their decisions.

Adequate punishments need to be issued to the offenders and people knowingly patronizing the offenders. Once people recognize that their actions in patronizing counterfeiters and even counterfeiting products itself have serious consequences if they are caught, they are less likely to indulge in these actions.

Surveillance and enforcement need to be strengthened at the borders where these goods penetrate a country. They also need to be strengthened at the source where the manufacture of these fake products occur. The counterfeiters need to know their actions are being monitored and the regulatory officials need to be disciplined enough to follow up with enforcement to ensure there is no incentive in continuing in the line of business of these harmful products.

Technology like Sproxil and other mobile authentication services needs to be implemented to protect products that have suffered counterfeiting issues in the past or are likely to suffer these issues in a new market. This way if the above steps fail, consumers are empowered to fight counterfeiting so it does not cause harm to unsuspecting members of society.

This anti-counterfeiting day is not just another day to talk about dangers of counterfeiting but we should shape the narrative to discuss how best we can fight the issue at hand so in future years we can use the 8th of June to celebrate how we conquered counterfeiting.

World anti counterfeiting day sproxil

What ways do you think we can fight counterfeiting? Share your thoughts!

 

How to Decrease Marketing Spend and Increase Sales

How can a business possible decrease marketing spend and increase sales? Is there something we know that your business does not. As a matter of fact, there is. The easy answer is Sproxil Champion but the long answer involves crafting the right promotion tactics to fit what your consumers expect to see.

Every marketing department is always looking for creative ways to decrease their marketing spend but improve the return on investment on said marketing spend. In tough economic times, this is more of a priority that most. The question is how to achieve this given the fact that consumers tend to decrease their spending during tough economic times. Brands are not only trying to reduce their marketing spend, they are also trying to double their sales using the same amount of money. There are a few solutions to tackle this unique issue.

For example, If brands run a scratch, text and win promotion campaign they are generating awareness of their products and their brand to their consumers. The brand stays top of mind for the consumer and even prompts them to visit the stores to purchase the product because of the perceived discount they will receive. Depending on the modalities of the promotions, they are also likely to participate multiple times in the promotions to increase their chances of winning. By doing this, sales of the product increases without the brand necessarily spending more on marketing.

Brands can also define the modalities of the promotions to encourage consumers to refer their friends to the brand during the promotion period. This helps the brand acquire more authentic consumers because they come peer-reviewed. We live in a world where consumers trust peer reviews much more than the brand messaging so it is important to incorporate creative strategies when running a sproxil champion campaign.

If your business would like to run a promo campaign, do not hesitate to contact us. How is your business thriving in these economic times?

How to decrease marketing spend and increase sales- (1)

Counterfeiters Beware: Brands Have a New Ally in Europe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10 May 2016

Italian company Certbrand partners with US-based Sproxil to bring their award-winning anti- counterfeiting technology to Europe

certbrand italy

Boston, MA (10 May, 2016) – Sproxil®, a global leader in mobile-based brand protection, takes on consumer goods counterfeiting in Europe through a new partnership with Certbrand as a reseller in Italy, Switzerland and Malta.

“Partnering with Certbrand allows us to break into the European market, which is home to many of the top consumer brands in the world, making them highly vulnerable to counterfeiters,” says Sproxil founder Ashifi Gogo. “Our goal is to reduce the number of fake goods manufactured under genuine European brand names.”

“Brands know they have a problem, but many don’t know how to protect themselves,” says Certbrand founder and CEO, Mauro Dezi. “We’re helping European companies maintain the integrity of their brand with technology that’s easy to implement and has built-in incentives for their customers.

certbrand and sproxil in europe

” The worldwide counterfeit trade is worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, according to a report by the OECD. Italy and Switzerland rank second and third (respectively) in the top 5 countries whose IP rights are infringed upon, with several other countries in the EU making up the remaining top 10 (Germany, Finland, France, UK, Spain, Belgium).

In Italy alone, over $17 billion dollars in fake Italian goods are sold each year, costing the Italian government an estimated $1.5 million in taxes annually. “And the cost to the brands themselves is also high,” states Certbrand founder and CEO, Mauro Dezi. “Consumers pay $200 for jeans because it has the promise of a high end Italian brand. But if the product is counterfeit and the buyer does not know, then they will assume that the brand is producing poor quality products,” Dezi adds. The same is true for the food industry: many of the foods sold in American grocery stores that have the “Made in Italy” label, like olive oil, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, are not actually produced there.

Initially, Certbrand will focus on selling the Sproxil technology to companies in 4 key industries: Fashion (footwear was the most counterfeited type of good, with over 25,000 reported seizures), food, automotive parts and genuine leather goods – all of which make up the top most counterfeited products worldwide, according to the OEDC, but particularly in Europe.

Certbrand is using Sproxil Defender™ technology, which combats counterfeiting and increases consumer loyalty by ensuring the quality of the product purchased, protecting consumers from fraud and allowing brands to offer loyalty rewards campaigns with instant promotions. Sproxil Defender is recognized as the most popular solution in the industry, chosen by multinational companies in several industrial segments. Sproxil Defender, formerly called Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™), allows consumers to confirm the authenticity of a product via text message or their upcoming mobile app. Since launching, they have achieved over 21 million verifications in Africa and Asia.

According to Dezi, there is another reason why they chose to be a Sproxil reseller: “This technology will also allow our customers to increase sales of their brands on the internet by guaranteeing unequivocally the authenticity of their products to the consumers purchasing their goods through the net,” he says. On a global level, counterfeit products cost the legitimate designers and manufacturers millions of dollars in lost sales, as well as the ability to offer well-paying jobs. Counterfeiting also produces knockoffs that endanger lives — auto parts that fail, pharmaceuticals that make people sick, toys that harm children, baby formula that provides no nourishment and medical instruments that deliver false readings.

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About Sproxil®
Sproxil® uses mobile technology and a proprietary fraud detection platform to launch secure, data-driven consumer engagement programs globally. Sproxil’s solutions are deployed by multinational manufacturers and brands across multiple industries to prevent supply chain fraud, amplify brand awareness, and optimize marketing spend. With teams of experts in Africa, Asia and America, Sproxil has executed projects across five continents and has the ability to offer services in over 100 countries worldwide. They have earned numerous awards and honors, including the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award and named the most innovative healthcare company in the world by Fast Company Magazine, ranking #7 overall. Sproxil is ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified.

Laurence Huntley, VP of Global Growth
Sproxil
laurence.huntley@sproxil.com
+1 781 566 0544

 

About Certbrand
Certbrand is an official Sproxil products reseller for Italy, Malta, and Switzerland that advises medium and large organizations on how to protect their brands from counterfeiters and protects products covered by the “Made in Italy” brand. The company is lead by CEO, Mauro Dezi and a team of experienced sales professionals boasting a leading experience in IT, Telecommunications and Management Consulting for major companies such as British Telecom, Orange, Data General and Siemens. Their partners operate throughout Europe and share their goal of protecting and maintaining the high quality reputation of European brands. For more information, please go to www.certbrand.com  or email info@certbrand.com

Value proposition of Mobile Authentication Services

Mobile Authentication Services stormed the emerging nations approximately 6 years ago to provide a solution to counterfeiting. In 6 years, lessons have been learned, problems have been solved and even new businesses have resulted from this initial idea.

Sproxil entered emerging markets initially to solve the problem of counterfeit drugs as this was very prevalent. Lives were being lost due to the consumption of these drugs. People were developing resistance to the drugs they were taking because they did not have the right amounts of active ingredients or some were just outright harmful.

Sproxil as well as other mobile authentication service providers developed a solution of placing labels on these drugs so consumers could scratch and text the unique pin to a short code to verify the drug was genuine. This simple technology application resulted in overall positive results in communities. Acumen, one of Sproxil’s partners recently conducted a survey asking people in a community to indicate how the introduction of Sproxil had helped them and they had the following results.

  • 53% of people indicated recovery from illness which would otherwise have not been the case
  • 31% indicated ability to detect fake products
  • 14% said they had peace of mind when consuming the drugs and felt a sense of safety
  • 2% gave other reasons

sproxil mobile authentication services

Following the success in the pharmaceutical, mobile authentication services have expanded into other markets. Agricultural products, cosmetics, food and beverages are all industries that have suffered the plague of counterfeiting so companies like Sproxil went into the market with a new product that embodies the mobile authentication service but takes it a step further to enable companies not only protect their brands but increase sales as well. The Sproxil champion product was introduced as a solution to this problem. Using this product, brands can apply the labels on their products as a way for consumers to verify the product they have purchased is genuine but also the brands can run promotions on those products. With the promotions, brands can gather more data on their consumers and market to them more efficiently, they weed out counterfeiters using this service and recover market share.

The value propositions are endless with this simple technological application. As a brand regardless of the industry you play in, there are solutions to protect your products, increase sales, recover market share and also receive positive feedback from your consumers.

Are you currently protecting your products? Contact us and let us discuss creative options for your business.

The Role of Health Professionals in Preventing Counterfeit Drugs

The penetration of counterfeit drugs in the Sub Saharan African market has experienced a significant decline according to the regulatory authorities especially in Nigeria called NAFDAC. [ Peoples Daily NG]  This is as a result of the awareness that has been created about the problem, the implementation of technological solutions like Sproxil and the awareness of the presence of the solution. The power of creating awareness is sometimes underestimated by stakeholders. Given the situation of counterfeiting, it has proven to be an effective method of eliminating the problem in conjunction with other solutions.

One of our esteemed partners at Sproxil, Acumen recently conducted a survey to evaluate customer feedback and understand the depth of the impact Sproxil has made. Their questions ranged from understanding how they heard about the Sproxil service to the translated benefits of using the service in their homes. The results were astonishing. 50% of respondents mentioned that they heard about the Sproxil service from their doctors and pharmacists., 17% said radio, 16% said family & friends etc.

health professionals prevent counterfeiting

The results of this survey shows that the health care professionals play a significant role in eliminating the use of counterfeit drugs in the society in which they live in. If a consumer walks into a drug store and wants to buy an anti-malarial drug, the pharmacist hands it over to them. The next step is for that pharmacist or health professional on duty to notify the consumer about the importance of verifying their drug before consumption. That way, the consumer is aware of the possibility of counterfeit versions of that drug and would always ask to scratch a label before purchasing. They are also subconsciously aware of the solution that exists to combat this problem. Which then makes them inform that family and friends and the chain of awareness is created.

How have you been creating awareness in your community about the dangers of counterfeit drugs?

How to get products off the shelf

The number one question that companies ask the marketing and sales department is “How to get products off the shelf?” This question translates into how do we improve our sales performance and generate revenue for the company? If your company is facing this, you are not alone. For countries in subsaharan Africa, this is a pressing question especially because of the tough economic situations they are facing. Prices of goods have gone up due to the unstable economy and consumers are bearing the brunt of this situation. How do you convince a consumer that was not loyal to your brand initially to switch to your product in these turbulent times? Especially if they do not consider your product a necessity in their lives? Here are some interesting tactics to improve sales performance of your products.

How to get products off the shelf

Play on consumer’s current needs

Emphasize the benefits of the products you are offering, how it solves their problems and helps them reduce cost. This can be done through a campaign where you highlight what you feel your consumers are more likely to respond to. Creativity plays a key role in executing this type of campaign as consumers are money conscious at this point.

Offer Incentives

Yes, the consumer may not be a current user of your products but you can offer incentives to lure them to use your products. Some companies provide bundle packages just to increase sales of their products. They find a complementary product to their brand, partner with the brand owner and run a unique promotion campaign offering the consumer more of an incentive to purchase their product.

Focus on keeping your customer for life

These new consumers have now purchased your product but what are you doing to stay in constant contact with them? How are you engaging them so your brand stays top of mind for them? For example; if you run a Sproxil Champion promo campaign for your customers, they scratch to verify the genuineness of their product and also stand a chance to win a gift, their information is stored in the Sproxil backend and you can engage your consumers long after the promotion is over. You can provide tips, offer discounts to consumers that have purchased and verified multiple times etc. This is more effective in constantly getting your products off the shelf because you have built a stronger relationship with your consumer.

The stronger bond you build with your customer, the more loyal they remain to you and the more products they buy from your brand which removes them from shelves and results in profits for your organization. Contact us to discuss other creative strategies you can use to run a campaign that would get your products off the shelf.

how to get products off the shelf

World Malaria Day 2016

“We have a dream that one day we would end malaria for good.”

Another World Malaria Day has come and a theme has been set to “end malaria for good.” While this theme is very appropriate for this year given all the achievements made, we all still need to be more proactive in making it happen so this goal does not fall under the wishful thinking category. Malaria is a disease that has plagued different parts of the world for far too long and is proving stubborn to leave.

There has however been strength in numbers which is the reason why the fight against malaria has progressed to the point that it currently is at. Partnerships, collaborations and valuable investments have been made towards fighting this plague which has resulted in a 60 percent decrease in malaria mortality in the last 15 years. [World Malaria Day website]

Private-Public Partnerships have played a key role in making this happen. Awareness about the disease has been generated, preventive health methods have been communicated, drugs have been made available and technology has played a role in protecting these drugs from counterfeiting. Great progress has been made but we have to build on existing efforts and step up our activities. More awareness needs to be created on preventive methods, authentic drug supply needs to increase as well. Collaborations across other industries that could potentially offer a helping hand to eradicate this disease need to be explored. We need to keep fighting to build on the work that has been done and look for ways to improve our activities. With the right partnerships, we can turn our dream of ending malaria into a reality.

What ideas do you have to fight this plague that is Malaria? Share them with us in the comments and let us collaborate to fight this disease.

world malaria day 2016