A few of weeks ago, SKF supported the Justice Department (the enforcing authority) in Kazakhstan during a raid in Almaty. The events that took place during the Kazakhstan visit also put the light on the very faceted tasks pursued by the Brand Protection team. One day you find yourself in work wear, digging into dusty warehouses of potential trademark infringers, the next you are in your c-suite meeting government officials and ambassadors.
On the day of the raid, we all met up approximately 250 meters from the target, going through the very last details and then got started. As it turned out, the entire stock of SKF products that we found were counterfeit. No less than 1900 products amongst 68 product designations were found, everything neatly documented and packed. The whole seizure was removed to the ministry warehouse, awaiting their final destruction.
Doing raids a very important part of Brand Protection, it serves two main purposes: 1. It immediately removes counterfeit products from the market and 2. It gives us, the trademark owners, a fantastic opportunity to create awareness about counterfeits in the market.
Immediately after the raid, our job in Almaty was done and it was time to get to the airport and move on to the Capitol, Astana.
The next morning, instead of putting on workwear, it was now time to slip into the c-suite. Together with the Swedish ambassador and his team we had meetings planned with the Ministry of Justice and the Customs Authorities, meeting with the officials is important so that an even stronger relation can be built and that we secure support for future activities. The Kazakh authorities listened very carefully to what we had to say. Interestingly enough, they were already aware of the raid in Almaty, less than 18 hours prior to our meeting.
Group Brand Protection had created a strong platform for protecting customers in Central Asia from counterfeit.