A wide range of products are being marketed through direct selling network

The direct selling industry in the country is expanding fast, providing self-employment opportunities to many, and Coimbatore is no exception.

The direct selling industry in the country was worth Rs. 4,120 crore in 2010 and is expected grow at 24 per cent and reach Rs. 7,120 crore by 2012-2013. Globally, India is the 11th largest direct selling country. Tamil Nadu is one of the main markets for direct selling companies.

According to Pankaj Vassal, vice-president of Amway – South, the company has over 5,000 direct sellers in Coimbatore. Across the country, 65 per cent of its direct sellers are women. Nearly 30,000 sellers come into its network every day. “Direct selling offers self-employment opportunity to many, especially women. We now focus on improvement of productivity,” he says.

A wide range of products, including healthcare, beauty, nutrition, and home and office use goods, are now marketed through the direct selling network and many companies have entered this segment. A number of them are setting up manufacturing units too. The penetration is high, especially in urban centres. Almost every one has a network of friends and interacts with a number of people every day. In direct selling, the products are sold through this network, which keeps expanding, says one of the direct sellers for wellness products here.

Vahitha, a direct seller here for the last two years, says she is able to get many new friends because of direct selling. She ventured into this sector through her neighbour. “It does not need high investment and it gives good returns depending on the hard work and sales one is able to achieve,” she says. Income depends on sales. Purchase is more for wellness, beauty and home use products.

“There is a pressing need for direct selling guidelines to protect the consumers and the legitimate direct selling companies,” says Mr. Vassal.

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