Tribute: The Icon of the Indian Holography and Authentication Industry

June 2021

By the ASPA Family

The news of the untimely demise of Mr U K Gupta has left the Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) family and the entire authentication industry in shock. ASPA would like to pay tribute to this great soul who was not only our founder and guide but also our pillar of support.

‘Guptaji’ as he was fondly called by one and all was among the pioneering architects of the holographic industry in India.

U K Gupta June 9, 1954 – June 1, 2021.

As a passionate holographer and technophile, he was amongst a select few who developed immense knowledge of holographic processes, machinery, raw materials, and technology. He kept himself abreast of the latest technologies available globally to ensure that India was in the forefront of holographic technologies. An avid team player who encouraged knowledge sharing, he was very enthusiastic in sharing with any ASPA member his collection of anti-counterfeiting tools, handbooks, and reference samples which he had collected from across the globe.

He was the soul of all ASPA meetings and gatherings. His sense of humour, out of the box suggestions, hospitality and his unwavering commitment to the holographic and authentication industry will be missed by all of us. On a personal level, he was an excellent human willing to help anyone without hesitation.

All ASPA members would like to place on record our sincere gratitude for his contribution towards building and nurturing the authentication ecosystem in India. ASPA would also like to highlight his major contributions to the industry in his 30-year association.

Laying the foundation of the Indian hologram industry: a visionary, Mr U K Gupta realised the potential of security holograms in combating counterfeiting and became one of the first-generation entrepreneurs in this industry, cementing the foundation of the holography industry in India.

He founded Holostik in 1991 and under his leadership made it one of the most globally respected companies in the authentication business. When he started Holostik the security hologram technology was still in the nascent stage and the technology was limited to only a few companies. It was his vision and foresight that brought this technology to India.

He must be credited for his early realisation of the tremendous potential of security holograms in the Indian government’s revenue protection and document security programme. The two important developments which shaped our industry include the modernisation of the India voter identity card and the usage of the security hologram as an excise adhesive label, starting with Tamil Nadu in 1998-99 and expanding to 23 states today.

Contribution to ASPA: his contribution to ASPA is immense and the void left by him cannot be filled; he will be continued to be missed by us.

With nine member companies on 1 December 1998, he founded the precursor to ASPA – the Hologram Manufacturers Association of India (HoMAI). He served as the Association President during 1998-2006 and 2008-2010. After 16 years of HoMAI, he was among the main proponents in changing the fabric of the association to focus on other authentication technologies. Finally, with the support of other members, ASPA was born in 2014.

He led ASPA again from 2015-2019 and with the support of all other members nurtured it to become self-regulated, ethical, and one of its kind among industry associations in India. His love and commitment towards the association was such that he never missed a single Annual General Meeting, of either HoMAI or ASPA, in the last 23 years. A wonderful person, no Association AGM was complete without him sharing his real-life stories, and anecdotes about the challenges and efforts he faced in building the industry.

Making India proud at the global level: an alumnus of Banaras Hindu University, he received many national and international awards for entrepreneurship. In addition to his contribution to the growth of the Indian holographic industry he served many terms on the board of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA). He is the only Indian citizen/holographer to receive the coveted ‘Brian Monaghan Award’ for his contribution to the world of holography, by IHMA.

Mr U K Gupta is survived by his wife Vandana and sons Ankit and Shobhit Gupta. Though he is no more with us, his legacy and commitment towards the authentication community will continue to live on in our hearts forever. We will always miss you Guptaji.

Also in this issue:

  • Tribute: U K Gupta
  • A History of Holography
  • Colour Holography at DMU and OpTIC
  • World First for ‘Holographic’ Meeting Rooms
  • Standing the Test of Time
  • DreamVu Recognised for Petal Lens 3D Vision Innovation
  • UCLA Continuing Research in Holographic Imaging
  • A Guide to Assuring the Integrity of Secure Documents
  • Guiding Light is Big Business

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