NeuroTags is Pune-based start-up adding a new value to the business of counterfeit detection.
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, the startup lets consumers check the authenticity of the products before making a purchase, in the offline world. Also brands can run loyalty programs to help brands, engage with the Retailers, End Consumers and rack Supply Chain and detect counterfeit goods, increase visibility of overall supply chain and enhance customer loyalty engagement and marketing platform.
Abhishek Agarwal, Co-Founder and COO, NeuroTags has shared about the venture story with us, including NeuroTag’s founding story, overview of its solution and business plan.
Abhishek is also City Lead of Headstart Pune chapter, inspiring and influencing young entrepreneurs in Pune.
Tell us your startup founding story, what made you launch your own startup?
“We founded NeuroTags in early 2017. The co-founders, Yogesh Miharia, Nitin Gupta and Abhishek Agarwal, have built a career at IT giants like Yahoo, PayPal, eBay and Cognizant as software engineers or cyber security experts. When we were watching a documentary on the counterfeit market, we came to know the seriousness of the issue with the fact that the industry suffers an annual loss of $1.6 trillion. “
“After massive research about the market and the solutions and technology in place, we came up with the idea of solving this issue with technologies like AI and ML.”
Tell us more details about your service/product.
Here is the brief explanation about how NeuroTags works shared by Abhishek
How it is done?:
Every product/ item is marked with a unique Identity very similar to every citizen has an SSN number. The marking can be done in the form of QR codes, Barcodes/ N
NeuroTags uses coupled tags here – open and protected tag, and these are algorithmically linked.
Open Tag: This open tag is placed externally on the package and scanned during the time of sale, and users can check the authenticity of the product before buying the product.
Protected Tag:.This tag can be found inside the package after breaking the packaging seal. Once the product is purchased, the buyer has access to the protected tag that lies inside the product package. The protected tag can be used to run consumer loyalty schemes, digitize the product warranty and more…
The package is tracked using IP addresses or GPS. When the customer receives the package and scans the protected tag with his mobile, the item gets marked as ‘opened’ and its code is sent to an AI based monitoring system. The AI systems track the pattern of the route from the warehouse to reach the end-consumer, locating the place where the protected and the open tag were scanned. If there is any anomaly in the route or indication that the protected tag is scanned on the way to the end-consumer, AI identifies that. Also, if there is any indication that anyone tries to replicate the tag, the algorithm detects and makes the copied tags invalid.
The solution also uses a unique set of numbers to prevent tampering of the codes.
USP of NeuroTags: The great part of NeuroTags is its easy-to-use application for consumers. An end-user doesn’t have to download any app. S/he needs to just scan the tag with their smartphones and report it, which increases the overall consumer adoption and engagement.
Furthermore, NeuroTags’s solution enables not only preventing counterfeiting but also boosting customer engagement and enhancing consumer marketing platforms.
The scanned tags are used to manage warranty, loyalty and referral points for the end-user. With the power of AI and ML, NeuroTags helps to build a consolidated platform for consumer brands to economically acquire, manage and engage consumers retail channels at a scale.
It increases the visibility of the overall supply chain with AI monitored serialization at item, box and pallet level. It helps to Reduce dead stock, track from warehouse to consumer in real-time, prevent unauthorized distribution and control and make supply chain transparent
What are the social/industrial problems are you solving through your venture?
“We are trying to solve the issue of counterfeits of products prevailed in the market and help build trust between brands and end-consumers. These industries have suffered counterfeit goods floating because companies and brands are not able to track their own supply chain in the market and collect their end-consumer data.
The industry suffers from an annual loss of $1.6 trillion due to counterfeit.
The issue of counterfeit lies across industries from B2C retail products like healthcare, electrical and electronics, FMCG, home appliances and clothing. Many customers purchase products online and complain about fake products, and it degrades the brand. Also, such issues are seen in consumer durables coots like pharma, medical devices and document verification sectors as well.
RFID and holograms are extensively used but are easily replicable, which ended up allowing fake products to float in the distribution network.
Would you please share with us about today’s landscape in your business areas?
“Pandemic has hit business hard, and because of the restrictions on Production and movement of the goods, their entire supply chain was disrupted.
This has made business realise below 3 things:
- Digital Technologies can only solve the problem of Counterfeit
- They need to be connected with their Consumers
- They need to have visibility of their entire supply chain for efficiency and scale
Hence the demand from brands to go digital has increased after the pandemic hit.”
What is the differentiators of your service/product among other competitors?
“There are numerous advantages for the businesses. Some of them are as:
- Comprehensive and Unified Solution
- Powered by Artificial Intelligence
- Future Ready
- Easily integrates with the Existing Enterprise systems
What is NeuroTags’s business strategy in both short term and long term. are the social/industrial problems are you solving through your venture?
“Currently NeuroTags is operating in India and the US. We have many ongoing discussions in the Middle East countries.
As a short term business plan, we are focusing on increasing market share in these existing geographies.
In a long term plan, we are eager to expand our business to market in other countries, like market in Asia and Europe.”
Are you interested in exploring overseas market including Japan? Do you see any opportunities to collaborate with companies/investors in Japan?
“Yes, we would be happy to explore synergies in the Japanese market, and we help enterprises in these countries digitalize their products, and supply chain.
We are open for a discussion to connect with consumer brand enterprises in Japan.”
Special thanks to Abhishek Agarwal, Co-Founder and COO, NeuroTags and City Lead, Headstart Pune
This article is contributed by Kaede Nagashima, Volunteer, Headstart Bangalore