Global accounting firm, KPMG, is helping its clients and businesses to mitigate the risk of counterfeit products in their chosen markets.
In Ghana, the accounting firm is working with a distillery with appetite for the international market to enhance systems to make it difficult for its products to be counterfeited. The system also assists consumers to detect fake or counterfeits products.
A Senior Manager at KPMG, Mr Alex Oppong, in an interview in Accra on April 2, said the counterfeit risk services deploy various approaches, including employing a database of genuine items and working with law enforcement agencies to flush out counterfeits off the shelves.
The service, which has been in Ghana for the past five years, has a unit that draws expertise within the KPMG group, which they match with their knowledge of the local market to set up the systems to fight counterfeiting.
The firm has a Centre for Excellence unit on counterfeiting at its international office in The Netherlands which constantly conducts market research on the menace and tries to compute the cost to the product owner, human resource and the brand name.
“What we do is to sit with our clients and understand their business on a day-to-day basis. We speak to the suppliers and customers. Then we build a system with them to mitigate the risk of counterfeiting that brand,” Mr Oppong said.
KPMG backs the bi-directional marketing communication tools with existing technology such as QR codes, which consumers could scan to ensure the authenticity of products they purchase.
This is made possible after KPMG has put the product information on its database in The Netherlands, which enables the scan to identify the genuine products of a particular brand in any part of the world.
“We also create awareness of the market for consumers to identify certain basic features,” Mr Oppong explained, adding that that is the case for its client in Ghana. The accounting firm helped the distillery to create awareness of the market about genuine products.
The KPMG response also enables businesses already signed on to initiate new measures to counter new threats or attempts by counterfeiters to introduce new fake products into the supply chain.
The accounting firm is targeting pharmaceutical companies, distilleries and breweries, textiles manufacturers, among others.
The firm is hoping to engage manufacturers to understand their businesses and challenges so as to create a system to protect their brands, motifs, intellectual property and innovation.
The regulatory bodies can also rely on the service to identify counterfeits by scanning samples or sending a text to a code to authenticate the product, which could assist them to make seizures.
Mr Oppong said the regulatory bodies and security agencies had been supportive of their efforts to help businesses fight counterfeiting.