YPB Group recruits cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar to help Indian push

  • Date: 10th May 2016
  • Category: Company News
  • Origin: AFR

Australian listed anti-counterfeit technology company YPB Group is expanding to India with the help of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

John Houston

India cricket star Sachin Tendulkar will be a brand ambassador for Australian tech company YPB Group.- Aijaz Rahi

The company has signed a 10-year contract with one of the retired cricketer’s associated companies. It means Mr Tendulkar will act as a so-called brand ambassador for YPB Group’s consumer engagement platform YPB Connect and facilitate introductions to important contacts in the Indian market.

YPB Group chief executive John Houston said the decision to bring on a brand ambassador was a first for the company and was being tried in India because it was a difficult market to gain traction.

“Sachin is such a reputable and well-established treasure of India,” Mr Houston said.

John Houston

YPB Group chief executive John Houston is expanding the business to India. - Jessica Hromas

“India is a totally new market and we’d only go into it with such a partner. Sachin’s endorsement is a quite unique, and it’s really a result of the relationship we’ve been able to built with him. He doesn’t do this often.”

YPB Group is mainly known for its anti-counterfeit software and app which lets consumers spot fake products, as well as its document verification technology, however Mr Tendulkar will be supporting its consumer engagement software.

Mr Tendulkar said he had witnessed the benefits of the technology first hand.

“My team, along with YPB, are looking forward to this association and I believe in time the benefits of the technology will be felt by many brands across India and abroad,” he said.

In December YPB Group acquired the rights to sell world-leading anti-counterfeit technology from Motif Micro for $7 million.

Air Force technology

The microscopic barcode technology was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was partly funded by the US Air Force.

The micro barcodes are created by polymer nanocrystals laced with rare-earth elements. They are invisible until hit by near-infrared light such as the flash of a smartphone.

The smartphone can then read the unique barcode which appears as colour-coded bands, authenticating the goods, similar to QR codes, only safer and smaller.

Since then the company has won multiple international government contracts, including a deal to provide the technology to protect ePassports of Mexico. A Southeast Asia nation and a major Western country which YPB Group is not permitted to name have also placed orders for passports with its VariSec technology embedded.

“We’re punching above our weight in terms of being a trusted supplier to governments,” Mr Houston said.

“Now we’re aiming to establish our operating entity in India and to get our first deals done there. Another major goal is to sign a deal with a leading Australian brand, both in terms of our anti-counterfeit technology and customer engagement product.”

In its full year results to December 31, the business recorded $1.7 million in revenue, but a net loss after tax of $6.6 million. It is currently trading at 25¢ on the ASX.