The shortage of time for people in todays busy life has a brighter side for direct sellers, with the industry appears set for a quantum jump in the next few years.
The size of direct selling industry, which is around Rs 3,100 at present, will expand four folds to Rs 15,000 crore by 2012, driven by segments like health, wellness and personal care.
With a population of one billion, it would not be difficult to say that the direct selling industry of the country would be anywhere between Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore by 2012, Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) chairman P Sanker said. The boom will be a result of good fundamentals, including large population and high purchasing power, he added.
The fastest growing segments in India in order of size are nutrition, kitchen, education, personal care and beauty products. Insurance also contributes around 10% to revenue coming from direct selling, Sanker said.
Despite the potential, he said, issues like awareness among people and changing consumers attitude towards direct selling are required to be addressed for the industry to grow. Population is indicative of potential, but in India the mentality of people is yet to take off and Indians have to understand that anything and everything can be sold through direct selling, Sanker said.
At present, the country has 13 lakh sales people, of which eight lakh are active businessmen, who sell products through direct selling at least once a month, a report by Ernst and Young revealed.
Interestingly, around 65% of sales persons are women and around 250-300 product categories are sold in the country through direct selling.
Sanker said direct selling started in India in 1995 and today 16 companies, including Amway, Oriflame, Avon, Hindustan Lever Network and Max Life Insurance are the members of the IDSA.
The global direct selling industry is measured at $105 billion and around 4,000 companies across the world are member of the World Federation of Direct Selling Association through its 53 affiliates like the IDSA in India.