Telecom Lead Africa: Bharti
Airtel announced a partnership with Sproxil to reduce the counterfeit drug
market in Africa.
Sproxil’s Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution
allows consumers to verify product genuineness within seconds through a text
Airtel will offer this service free to its users and not
charge for any SMS based verification.
Sproxil’s service works by placing a scratch-off label on
products, and then when consumers purchase a product, they scratch off the
label to reveal a unique, random code. The code is then sent via SMS to a
country-specific Toll Free short code, and the consumer receives a reply almost
instantly indicating whether the product is genuine or not.
Andre Beyers, chief marketing officer, Bharti Airtel, Africa
said its goal is to bring affordable and easily accessible health services to
over 450 million people. The battle against counterfeit drugs is a huge step
towards this goal.
Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil CEO said building relationships with
individual telecom companies and acquiring the short codes necessary for our
MPA solution in each country can take a considerable amount of time – it slows
By working with Airtel, Sproxil can get short codes in
various countries different markets from just one company, streamlining the
process throughout the region.
The partnership is designed to facilitate the deployment of
Sproxil’s Mobile Product Authentification solution throughout developing
regions of Africa – markets where Airtel is entrenched as a leading