‘Why counterfeit ICT wares throng developing markets’
To counter the activities of counterfeiters, especially in emerging markets, patronage of indigenous products and introduction of low prices would do a lot in stemming the tide.
According to experts, these two strategies will not only help in blocking gray market activities but also help the economy to grow.
Speaking with The Guardian, Regional Manager, Fujitsu Africa, Adrain Cafferkey, said the two strategies will go a long way to help developing economy weather the storm.
Already, the World Bank has hinted that global economies lose between $600 billion and $700 billion yearly to counterfeiters and theft of intellectual property.
The Guardian gathered that the markets for counterfeit and pirated products are of two genres – primary and secondary.
At the primary market, according market sources, consumers purchase counterfeit and pirated products believing they have purchased genuine articles, while at the secondary market, the buyers duly know what they are purchasing is fake but for the price.
Expatiating further on the menace, Cafferkey explained: “It may be one dollar cheaper bringing the products from across the globe to the local market, but most don’t have warranty and may be difficult to fix damages when they occur. Rather than building Donald Trump’s America, it is better to support the local, buy local, invest in local businesses and economy. Good business should not be allowed to slip out of the country. Every gray market activity must be curbed and tackled adequately.”
Cafferkey, who said Fujitsu is a Japanese brand with quality products and services, noted that it has also become very important for economies to digitize their products and services.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, IQ Distributions, Ameachi Ani, a Fujitsu partner in Nigeria, the menace of counterfeiting is huge, but measures must be taken to tackle it adequately.
Ani said activities of gray marketers slow the economy and affect market expansion.
“One thing we have understood with products distribution in Nigeria is that there are challenges, but surmountable.One thing to do to keep counterfeiters, gray marketers at a distance is to introduce a low price. The problem we see with the competiting brands is that once they get into the market, they are selling, making profit, doing business, then they push up the price, when you keep the price high, the bad guys will come in between, and make some profits, but when you keep the price affordable, constantly, it will be difficult for them to come in and survive in such market.
“It is also important for products to be a specialist product, which becomes difficult to copy, imitate. Such brands don’t get damaged.”
Cafferkey explained that Fujitsu, has embarked on an intense strategy to create awareness and promote the digitalisation of paper documents by converting hard copy into softcopy data sets with new scanning solutions.
He said the company hosts several technical workshops to train local expertise in country, which is extremely important.