This Purpose-built SaaS Platform Is Solving the Problem of Counterfeits

Ennoventure has developed a solution to combat problems faced from counterfeiting-related challenges in the packaging industry

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses have proliferated over the past decade, as cloud infrastructure has become increasingly available and cost-efficient. The recent surge in the number of people working digitally has created a strong demand for SaaS solutions across all business functions. To capitalize on this shift, companies ranging from Fortune 500 multinationals to technology startups have been rushing to create and roll out SaaS solutions.

Ennoventure

To develop these offerings, companies such as Ennoventure Technologies Pvt. Ltd has adopted agile development approaches, helping to accelerate speed to market and pivot offerings to enhance product-market fit. But while agile has made its way into the IT organization and product development, it has had much less impact on the commercial process of bringing products to market.

Ennoventure developed a solution to combat problems faced by counterfeiting-related challenges in the packaging industry. It conceptualized encrypto as a solution that could verify the authenticity of product packages in a non-disruptive manner without changing the client company's existing package design and printing process.

Ennoventure co-founder Padmakumar Nair, in a conversation with Entrepreneur India, said, "The onset of the pandemic has bolstered online shopping and online payment habits of consumers rapidly. While adopting these technological advancements, consumers are also exposed to the risks of counterfeit products being sold in the market. India as a country faces a great risk to such counterfeiting across sectors like FMCG, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and automotive. We identified this gap and ideated a solution that can be patented, one that is unique and non-disruptive in nature for clients. We then felt, this solution needs to be invisible (covert) but should be easily authenticated with the help of a smartphone sans expensive scanners."

The platform has recently raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Fenice Investment Group, US. In addition, between April 2018 and January 2020, it raised a total of $1 million through Seed rounds.

According to Nair, the industry has immense scope to adopt technologies that can solve the menace of counterfeit products in my opinion. However, most companies are playing the wait-and-watch game and are stalling till it possibly becomes a rule of law through government legislation. He believes that there is potential for 10 or more industry players like them, working towards solving the issue of counterfeit while ensuring brand reputation and authenticity.

Globally, anti-counterfeit solutions are expected to reach $120 billion by 2025. In order to achieve this, companies across varied sectors must recognize and adopt such technologies. This will further increase the demand for innovative solution providers, further opening up a big opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to contribute towards addressing this global challenge.

"On our part, we aim to give the power back in the hands of the consumers through our novel technology. The solution that we provide is not just to prevent counterfeit but also to provide product information on fingertips with videos about product composition, side effects and how to use it, etc.," he said.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, an increasing number of consumers are opting for contactless purchase and delivery methods. While going digital has numerous benefits, it also opens up greater risk of counterfeit products being marketed, many of which are almost impossible to detect. FMCG, currency, medicine, alcohol, and automobiles are some of the sectors in India where counterfeiting is most prevalent, with an annual estimated loss of over INR 1 lakh crore, Nair shared.

Counterfeit medicines, in particular, are a major issue in India, as even slight variations in composition can cause serious health issues and tarnish the pharma company's reputation irreversibly. Ironically, it is reported that more than 30 per cent of the drugs we buy online are fake, resulting in the potential death of over a million people from counterfeit drugs. The advances in computer vision and machine learning have also made it very easy to duplicate the design of product- packaging while on the other hand making it very difficult for consumers to find the authenticity of the products. Companies on their part have invested heavily on anti-counterfeit technologies to counter this menace but it has unfortunately failed to reach the end consumers largely. Simultaneously, Internet penetration in India has reached an all-time high, implying that an increasing number of Indians are keeping themselves informed by searching data. Customers want to be knowledgeable about the products they purchase, whether it is genuine and that it will keep its promise on delivering. There are in fact a number of sticker-based technologies available in the market that lack transparency and reliability. In order to combat the counterfeit issues across industries, companies need to adopt sophisticated technologies that ensure trust, transparency, and integrity to their stakeholders, he explained.

So far, anti-counterfeit technology has remained in the hands of the company selling the products. At Ennoventure, they seek to shift the balance of power to the consumer through our patented technology that anyone with a smartphone could access on the go.

"We have recently raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Fenice Group of Investment. We will utilize this capital towards expanding our team and go-to-market strategy across key markets globally. As part of our growth strategy, we are currently focusing our efforts on pharmaceutical companies in India as it is a key market for the export of generic drugs and further plan to expand to the European and the US markets," he further shared.