Direct Selling – Motivators in the Industries Growth
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Direct selling is a retail channel set up to market services and products to consumers through personal or direct means. The industry of direct selling is vast including jewellery, health, food, cosmetics, insurance, accessories, homewares, utilities and more. This channel differs from broader mass-market retail avenues in an important way. The goal is not only about bringing consumers directly in contact with products of premium quality and functionality but also to boost the entrepreneurial-minded Indian populace who prefer to work independently and build a business with minimal or no overhead costs.
It is an opportunity for marketers or more commonly known as consultants to work at their own pace with flexible timings while being affiliated with a reputed and trusted company who allows individuals to retain their freedom to run a business on their own terms. The job offers opportunities for individuals to foster strong personal relationships with prospective clients helping them create a personal and curated marketing pool. The interaction with customers is optimum in direct selling mostly via the means of one-on-one meetings and demonstrations of products for sale.
A business that has evolved from personal preferences wherein individuals tried and liked products to an added incentive based on commission earrings benefits for every recommendation and sale garnered among friends and family lead to a successful structure of market building and sales. In the digital age where target audiences are directly accessible through social media and other digital contact tools, direct selling has evolved into a go-to strategy for all, from budding businesses to established enterprises. In a few instances, direct selling has also been on par with or surpassed traditional marketing initiatives.
A large number of direct sales consultants work part-time offering busy parents, caregivers, veterans, women and budding entrepreneurs a chance to flexibly manage a career and personal life thereby offering an ideal work-life balance tailored to each individual’s preferences and needs. Direct selling has a long history substantially contributing to the economy and support millions in the country. With an added advancement in technology, this is only projected to magnify creating more careers that are work-life balanced and financially lucrative. According to a joint study by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and consulting company KPMG, the direct selling industry currently employs 50 lakh people which is expected to reach 1.8 crores by 2025.
To add, industry body Assocham, in its 2018 survey projected the direct selling industry to be an industry with an estimated value of Rs. 15,930 crore by 2021. Multiple reputed companies have also adopted government-approved guidelines to help filter out fraudulent players and aid in overall productivity growth. This industry has emerged as a women’s bastion with over 53 per cent of female entrepreneurs and consultants operational. The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) 2017 report estimated this business module provided entrepreneurship opportunities to over 51 lakh individuals of which 27 lakh were women in 2017.
With the rise of informed and knowledgeable customers who research prior to purchase and prefer result guaranteed products, the interactive and demonstration model of direct selling offers real-time product or service assurance and is progressively developing into an archetypal form of sales.