Excerpts from the interview:
How important is India as a market for Amway?
India is a key market for Amway. It is one of our top 10 markets and we believe there is great potential here. Currently, the direct selling industry makes up less than a half of one per cent of India’s total retail sales. This is much lower than other nations. In Malaysia and other southeast Asia economies, for instance, direct selling makes up about four per cent of the total retail sales. We have invested Rs 1,000 crore in India, including Rs 600 crore in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu. This facility provides a number of jobs and is making high-quality products. It demonstrates our commitment to Make in India, Make for India and is the first to be LEED Gold Certified in the world, making it an environment-friendly and a sustainable plant as well.
The Indian government recently issued guidelines for the direct selling industry. Your take on the matter.
We want to thank the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for establishing direct selling guidelines after engaging meaningfully with the industry. We believe the guidelines will safeguard the interests of consumers, as well as identify and help protect ethical direct selling companies like Amway, which have made significant investments in building physical infrastructure here. These investments help provide an opportunity to aspiring entrepreneurs. Additionally, Amway provides world-class products to consumers, built on leading science and innovation. We believe the guidelines have correctly placed consumer protection at the centre, and will be an effective tool to combat flyby-night fraudulent schemes.
As a next step, we believe, an appropriate legislation will help the direct selling industry reach its potential.
We comply with the high standards of the industry code of ethics and offer strong protections to consumers and direct sellers. Amway India does not charge any entry fee to the direct sellers and they are free to exit at any time. All of Amway’s products are backed by a money-back guarantee for 100 per cent satisfaction of use.
We offer world-class brands with more than 130 products in total, and will continue to push forward as we aim to deliver full satisfaction to direct sellers and their customers across India.
Amway has made strides to align with the government’s Digital Indian initiative. Can you explain that in detail?
People today run their lives through digital devices. So, we’ve made sure we empower and enable Amway direct sellers and customers with digital tools and experiences. We’ve made a lot of progress in the past few years in shifting experiences and transactions to digital platforms to align with the Digital India initiative of the government. All payments to our 5,00,000 direct sellers across the country are made using digital platforms and their payments and purchases are mostly done using debit and credit cards. In fact, nearly 95 per cent of product purchases are processed digitally. We know that the government has taken progressive steps in this direction and we are proud to be part of this movement.
The Amway office. (Image: BCCL)
How does Amway contribute to the Skill India initiative?
Providing direct sellers with the skills they need to grow their businesses and succeed is a critical and competitive advantage in the marketplace. That’s why we’ve provided more than 18,000 free training sessions in eight languages across more than 20 states in the last year alone. We also offer an e-learning portal with comprehensive courses in four languages.
Recently, we partnered with IIM Calcutta to provide some of our high-potential direct sellers very focused entrepreneurship and leadership training.
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