NOT just FMCGs and private sector manufacturing companies but Government departments too are queuing up to get their products hologrammed.
Among the Government bodies which have taken recourse to the security ring that a hologram offers are Indian Airlines Ltd, the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), the Transport Department of Pondicherry, IBP Company, Kolkata Police, the West Bengal Government's Excise Department and the UP Power Corporation.
Take, for instance, the hologramming of an autorickshaw driver's papers. The Kolkata Police has embarked on a programme to hologram the documents and permits given to an autorickshaw owner, so that the problem of multiple autos running on a single permit can be under surveillance as also the driver's credentials. The Transport Department of Pondicherry is also hologramming driving licences.
Plagued as the power sector is by the problem of theft, the UP Power Corporation has gone in for hologramming, making their energy meters tamper-proof. Every hologrammed meter is serially numbered.
Indian Airlines has issued hologrammed ID cards to its security personnel operating within the terminus, while the various sports departments use the technique to prevent forgery of their tickets. Almost all the cricket control boards in India use this technique as does the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, which authenticates its compliance certificates with a hologram.
The State Excise Department has decided to hologram country liquor bottles with the stamp, ensuring tipplers about the genuineness of the product while assuring the stockists that all dues have been paid on the product. The hologrammed bottles are expected to be available after the Pujas.
Commenting on this trend, Mr Manoj Kochar, Director of Holoflex Ltd, said holograms were an extremely cost-effective security tool and the size of the security hologram market estimated at about Rs 40 crore now was a growing one. "Apart from security holograms, it was also being used as a packaging tool," he said.
According to Mr Kochar, since a hologram is not produced by a laser beam, it cannot be scanned, photocopied or photographed. It was a tamper-proof product in the sense that, if peeled, only the film comes off leaving the holographic image intact. He felt that these security features were deterrents to counterfeiting.
Kolkata , September 8