Direct Selling: A Global Industry Empowering Entrepreneurs
Majority of the direct selling companies outsource production, packaging and distribution of their products, thus generating direct employment across the value chain while enabling the development of the SME sector
The core competency of a Direct Sales Company lies in its face-to-face marketing of quality products and providing a platform for empowering entrepreneurs.
Since a business model that avoids brick and mortar stores in favour of a personal connect is what makes Direct Sales different, it’s understandable that the champions and critics alike focus on distributors’ entrepreneurial successes and challenges. However, one needs to understand that behind every direct sales representative, there is an extensive support infrastructure, and service providers, all of whom contribute to the local economy.
Majority of the direct selling companies outsource production, packaging and distribution of their products, thus generating direct employment across the value chain while enabling the development of the SME sector.
For example, let’s consider logistics. Considering that unlike traditional businesses, our distributors do not carry inventory, we partner with local logistics companies, to ensure that our products reach our customers on time and in perfect condition. In the process, those other businesses make a profit, grow and provide more jobs. That money pours back into the local economy and encourages overall growth, which is great for everyone (including our distributors).
Similarly, direct selling companies partner with small and medium-sized manufacturers, essentially becoming their marketing conduit. This allows them to bypass more expensive intermediaries and offer their unique products directly to consumers at optimal costs. Such a partnership helps them expand and grow their business with a net benefit to the economy as a whole.
Indian manufacturers and service providers, including rural communities and large consumer companies are relying majorly on persuasive, consultative and face-to-face presentation of the Direct Selling network to acquire scale and volume - a process that is becoming difficult through traditional marketing and sales channels.
The Direct Sales industry has the power to positively impact the lives of its distributors, and serve as an economic boon to communities and local businesses.
The industry is poised for explosive growth as new guidelines from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs are being rolled out in different states in India. This will not only promote entrepreneurship, but also support SMEs that are the backbone of any vibrant economy. Sure, there are challenges, like in any industry that tries to find its feet and adapt to a new country. However, a large number of people have benefited from this business model and are actively improving their lives and communities.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.