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SCRS 2023: Brand Protection: Opportunities to Choke the Supply Chain of Counterfeit Goods

SCRS Conference Day 2 Session #7

Brand Protection: Opportunities to Choke the Supply Chain of Counterfeit Goods

Moderated by: Mr. Alan Liu, 

Panelists: Mr. Ramesh Raj, Mr. Chandrasegaran Marappen, Mr. Sudesh Singh Dhanda, Mr. Shamsir Bin Ali


Counterfeiters exploit legitimate supply chains both online and offline, crossing borders to infiltrate distribution channels. Collaboration and fighting against illicit trade within the supply chain are necessary to address these challenges. Standardization plays a crucial role, providing clear guidelines for brand protection and facilitating practical application. Complemented with technologies like track and trace systems, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), supply chains can enhance resilience and security, ensuring authenticity. If companies can adapt to evolving threats and embrace advancements in the industry, they can maintain revenue, enhance reputation, and better safeguard their supply chain.

Mr. Alan Liu, TAPA APAC China Office Representative, began the panel by highlighting the malicious intent of criminals to exploit online and offline legitimate supply chains, crossing borders to infiltrate business distribution channels and produce counterfeits all for the dollar. This necessitates great caution for all industry stakeholders. To uphold the integrity and security of supply chains, companies, law enforcement agencies, authorities and associations need to combine efforts to be aligned and stay ahead of criminals’ activities.

What is your opinion about supply chain security standards?

Mr. Ramesh Raj, Regional Director of Asia, Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), shared that in Asia Pacific companies face theft and illegal diversion challenges. To address these challenges, standardization and a common language using TAPA Standards between players plays a crucial role in bringing clarity and allowing for practical application. Mr. Chandrasegaran Marappen, General Manager of Philip Morris International (PMI), added that complying to TAPA Standards ensures that not only the business is compliant to local requirements, it also helps to better protect assets and revenue, and generate investment back into the business in the long term.

“Well-defined guidelines for brand protection add value and instill confidence in clients. Internationally recognized standards, like those provided by TAPA, enhance reputation and contribute to the organization’s value and security”, Mr. Shamsir Bin Ali, Regional QA Manager at Zuellig Pharma Holdings, said.

Mr. Sudesh Singh Dhanda, Regional ORM Manager APAC Supply Chain at Kenvue Inc., further emphasized, “For Johnson & Johnson, a global organization operating in diverse regions, losses are lower in the U.S., North America, and Europe due to TAPA-certified transporters and logistics providers. Practically, having TAPA-certified service providers, if not being certified oneself, greatly benefits organizations. This certification elevates security measures and mitigates cargo transportation and supply chain management risks.”

What are the supply chain technologies of solutions you already apply to enhance the brand protections?

Ramesh shared that companies are often playing catch-up despite significant technological advancements. Challenges such as counterfeit packaging and illegal diversion continue to remain at the top positions of supply chain issues. The evolving landscape brings new challenges that demand ongoing adaptation and innovation. 

“Technologies like track-and-trace systems should be adaptable and customized to fit companies’ business needs and the risks associated with the assets”, added Chandrasegaran. 

Shamsir shared that embracing technology such as blockchain technology, RFID, hologram stickers, and end-to-end management, AI and machine learning, helps to secure distribution and prevent diversion.  By implementing these technologies, companies can maintain control and monitor the entire distribution process, including redressing and repackaging. 

At a basic level, Sudesh shared that holograms, QR codes, and secure packaging must be utilized for consumer health products. He continued, “to progress, companies must recognize the importance of data analytics and leveraging artificial intelligence. It is crucial to have teams capable of scanning the dark web and online sites to detect issues, as diversion is a significant concern. While basic technology is easily replicable, we must transition to data and analytics to predict product trends and enhance our operations.”

Today’s focus is increasingly on supply chain visibility, ensuring continuous monitoring and swift response to illicit products entering our distribution chain. Companies now take a comprehensive approach by integrating various tools and technology to protect the supply chain. TAPA APAC continues to collaborate with the industry to develop practical standards dedicated to preventing illicit trade and ensuring supply chain resilience.


To learn more about TAPA Standards, please visit TAPA APAC website at www.tapa-apac.org or email to info@tapa-apac.org.


About the Moderator

Mr. Alan Liu                                                                                                TAPA APAC China Office Representative

Mr. Alan Liu is the official representative for TAPA China, overseeing all expansion and membership activities for TAPA China. Alan is a seasoned security, investigation, and brand protection professional with over eight years of investigation expertise in the Law Enforcement Agency and ten years of product integrity/brand protection experience in multinational supply chain companies within Asia Pacific.


About the Panelists

Mr. Ramesh Raj                                                                                              Regional Director – Asia, Pharmaceutical Security Institute

Mr. Ramesh Raj is currently The Pharmaceutical Security Institute’s Regional Director (Asia Pacific) where he is working towards improving and strengthening relationships between governments and the pharmaceutical industry while carrying out capacity building and training for law enforcement agencies in the APAC region. Mr. Raj has served almost three decades of his career in the civil service.


Mr. Chandrasegaran Marappen                                                                    General Manager, Philip Morris International

Mr. Chandrasegaran Marappen is a highly accomplished professional with over 15 years of experience in corporate security, asset protection, intellectual property protection, loss prevention, and occupational health & safety. Having previously worked for Mattel, Inc., Tesco PLC, Makro & Carrefour, Chandra is currently working at Philip Morris International as the General Manager for Security and safety.


Mr. Sudesh Singh Dhanda                                                                        Chief Design Officer IIRIS

Mr. Sudesh Singh Dhanda is an experienced Risk Management professional with a diverse career, having expertise in Security Risk Management, Administration and Facility Management, and Corporate Investigations. Sudesh is a business leader skilled in project management, budgeting, procurement, contract negotiation, and vendor management. He is also trained in bomb disposal and NBC warfare and mitigation measures.


Mr. Shamsir Bin Ali                                                                            Regional QA Manager, Zuellig Pharma Holdings

Mr. Shamsir Bin Ali is a highly accomplished Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) professional with over 18 years of experience. He holds an MSc in Safety Health and Environment and is an Associate Lecturer for Bachelor and Master degree programs in Safety Health and Environment Management. Shamsir is also an approved WSQ Educator, registered Safety Officer, and skilled Auditor for ISO standards.


Watch other SCRS Conference 2023 Keynotes and panel discussions here: Session Replays






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