Direct selling companies are a major source of self-employment in India with more than 80 lakh direct sellers, with over half of them being women. The direct selling market is worth $190 billion globally, and $3 billion in India.
Table of contents
- What is direct selling?
- Why do direct selling companies exist?
- India’s top 10 direct selling companies
- Benefits of direct selling
- Contribution in India’s GDP of direct selling companies
- Previously failed direct selling companies
What is direct selling?
Direct selling is a business strategy in which companies offer items or services to customers directly via independent sales agents rather than through regular retail outlets or other intermediaries. This technique for closing deals includes one-on-one interactions between salesperson and consumers in their homes, places of employment and other non-retail settings.
In direct selling, independent sales agents are frequently contract employees who receive commissions for the goods they sell rather than company employees. Companies that engage in direct selling may provide their sales representatives with a range of incentives and bonuses, including discounts, promos, and other perks for exceeding particular sales targets or bringing new agents.
Direct selling may be a handy method for customers to buy goods or services from the convenience of their homes as well as an adaptable and gratifying way for people to make money and grow their own companies.
Why do direct selling companies exist?
Companies that specialize in direct selling provide consumers an alternative to traditional marketing and distribution channels. Direct selling businesses employ a person-to-person strategy where independent sales agents develop connections with clients and offer items to them directly.
- Cost-effective: Direct selling company can reduce the overhead expenditures of opening and operating typical retail storefronts, like the rent, utilities, and employees that go along with them. Alternatively, businesses may spend in creating and manufacturing high-quality items and giving their independent sales reps assistance and training in sales.
- Personal touch: Direct selling enables businesses to establish personal connections with clients, which may encourage loyalty and customer retention. Independent salespeople may offer tailored product recommendations and customer support, which can lead to greater client satisfaction and enduring connections.
- Flexibility: Those who engage in direct selling can launch their own businesses as independent sales reps, giving them the freedom to work from home and organize their own schedules. Those who desire to make money while juggling other obligations, including parenting or caregiving, may find this to be a useful alternative.
- Global reach: Direct selling businesses may quickly enter new markets and connect with clients in various locations. Companies may swiftly create a presence in new regions and adapt their goods and marketing methods to match local demands by collaborating with localized independent sales agents.
In general, direct selling may be a viable and successful business strategy for companies trying to promote and distribute goods and services, as well as for people seeking to start their own businesses and generate income.
India’s Top 10 direct selling companies
The top 10 direct selling companies in India are listed below:
Amway is a major direct-selling company that uses multi-level marketing model. It provides a variety of home care, beauty and wellness goods. With operations dating back to 1998, the company has a significant presence in India.
Founded by: Jay Van Andel and Richard Devos in 1959, Ada, Michigan.
A leading provider of health and wellness goods, Herbalife is a worldwide nutrition and weight management company. The company has a wide range of independent distributors and has been doing business in India since 1998.
Founded by: Mark R. Hughes, in 1980.
Oriflame is a big, leading cosmetics company that sells a variety of skincare, cosmetics, and fragrance items. The firm has a major footprint in India, where it has been active since 1996.
Founded by: Jonas af Jochnick & Robert af Jochnick in Sweden, 1967.
Tupperware is a global manufacturer of household goods that provides a selection of options for storing, preparing, and serving food. The company has a broad network of independent consultants and has been operational in India since 1996.
Founded by: Earl Tupper in 1946, Massachusetts.
Avon is a leading cosmetics company that offers a wide range of skincare, cosmetics and fragrance items is among India’s Top 10 Direct Selling Companies. Since 1995, the company has been doing business in India, and it has a vast network of independent representatives.
Founded by: David H. McConnell in 1886, Manhattan, New York.
Modicare, launched in 1996, was a pioneer in direct selling in India. It is a company based in India that provides a huge selection range of health, wellness, personal care and home care items. The company has a wide array of independent consultants and has a pan India presence with over 40 centers.
Founded by: Gujarlal Modi and Lalit Modi, New Delhi, India.
Forever Living Products:
A leading provider of skincare, personal care and nutritional supplements, Forever Living Products is a global leader in health and wellbeing. The company has a vast collection of independent distributors and has been doing business in India since 2005.
Founded by: Rex Moughan in 1980, Tempe, Arizona.
IMC is one of India’s Top 10 Direct Selling Companies with a large network of associates and a multi-level marketing strategy that cuts out the intermediary. Launched in 2007, IMC is involved in the personal care, beauty and nutrition products.
Founded by: Dr. Ashok Bhatia and Dr. Satyan Bhatia in 2007, India.
Vestige is a direct selling business based in India that sells a variety of home, personal, and health care items. With an extensive network of independent distributors, the company has been active in India since 2004.
Founded by: Kanwar Bir Singh in 2004, India.
Mi Lifestyle Marketing Global Private Limited:
One of India’s Top 10 Direct Selling Company, Mi Lifestyle Marketing Global Private Limited offers an assortment of items for personal care, home care, and health and wellness. The company has been functioning in India since 2013 and covers a broad network of independent distributors.
Founded by: Pravin Chandan.
Benefits of direct selling
Direct selling has a number of advantages for both customers and salespeople, including:
- Personalized customer service is made possible through direct selling, which enables sales people to get to know their clients on a more intimate level and offer them individualized product suggestions and customer support.
- Flexibility: Direct selling gives people the freedom to work from home and choose their own hours, enabling them to make money while juggling other commitments.
- Reduced beginning costs: With many companies giving minimal startup fees as well as training and assistance to their sales representatives, direct selling can be a low-cost alternative for individuals to launch their own enterprises.
- Convenient shopping: Direct selling enables customers to purchase goods without leaving their homes and without going to a regular retail outlet.
- High-quality goods: Direct selling businesses frequently provide high-quality goods that are unavailable in conventional retail outlets, giving customers access to rare and one-of-a-kind goods.
- Opportunities for entrepreneurship: Direct selling gives people the chance to launch their own companies and become entrepreneurs, with the ability to make a limitless amount of money depending on their own sales and the sales of their teams.
- Strong community support: Direct selling businesses frequently offer their sales reps substantial assistance and training, which promotes a sense of community and solidarity among the agents.
Direct selling is a flexible and fulfilling alternative for people to generate income and establish their own businesses while offering customers individualized service and high-quality goods.
Contribution in GDP of India of direct selling companies
A report published by IDSA claims that during the FY 2021, the Indian direct selling industry increased by 7.7% and surpassed the Rs 18,000 crore benchmark. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, direct selling industry in India has grown steadily and expanded at a CAGR of 15.7% in the last four years. In FY 2021, the overall number of direct sellers increased by 6.32% to nearly 8 million, compared to FY 2019–20, when around 7.4 million people had signed up for direct selling programmes. The direct selling market is worth $190 billion globally, and $3 billion in India. Direct selling companies are a major source of self-employment in India with more than 80 lakh direct sellers, with over half of them being women.
Previously failed Direct Selling Companies in India
QNet: Known for its focus on health, wellness and lifestyle items, QNet is a well-known direct selling business in Asia. This specific company has been investigated for allegedly using a pyramid scheme to defraud investors and for the fraudulent sale of items including magnetic discs, crystal balls, herbal products and travel packages.
The Saradha Group: The Sarada group, which was formed in 2006, used a variety of strategies to attract investors in West Bengal and then elude the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s scrutiny. It crashed in 2013, causing an estimated loss of between Rs. 200-300 crores which belonged to more than 1.7 million depositors.