How direct marketing has remained largely resilient to economic fluctuations

In light of the pandemic, various retail formats have evolved to meet changing buying trends. Those who have embraced the tailor-made and personalized distribution channel offered by direct marketing have largely withstood recent economic fluctuations. The main characteristic of a direct selling business is its marketing and face to face sales of quality products while providing a platform to empower entrepreneurs.

A successful retail model

Direct selling is a dynamic distribution channel, which promotes profitability for organizations as it brings top quality products to market with limited marketing and advertising expenses. The direct seller makes a profit by buying products from the parent organization and selling them directly to the consumer without third party intervention. The industry is growing rapidly at 12.1% each year. In fiscal year 2018-19, the number of direct sellers in India was 5.7 million. These numbers are expected to grow exponentially to reach
18.1 million by 2025.


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Launchpad for budding entrepreneurs

Although direct marketing is a relatively new concept in India, the industry has offered self-employment opportunities to over
5 million people, nearly 60% of whom are women in less than two decades. The sector plays a vital role in empowering women by providing them with an opportunity for financial independence. Overcoming various challenges related to home management, childcare, and travel limitations, the women explored their potential and proved their mettle in direct marketing. There is almost
2.1 million women today who are at the center of this industry and have become successful entrepreneurs. In addition to providing additional income opportunities to direct sellers, this model also generates direct employment for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Giving hope to millions of people in these tumultuous times

Even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the direct selling industry has remained largely unaffected. The industry has offered a ray of light to many looking to use their skills and take the startup route. It offers a business opportunity with negligible initial investment or operating costs while ensuring a platform to learn, grow and work flexibly. The distributed workforce has proven not only to be very effective during the pandemic, but also very popular. With the growing emphasis on maintaining safety and minimizing human intervention, more and more consumers are choosing virtual platforms to engage in product experiences.


Establish benchmarks of excellence in direct sales

The growing Indian market has attracted many local and global direct selling companies in various segments. Although the industry began in the country in the early 1980s, it catapulted a decade later after India invited global brands to its markets. Health and wellness is currently the largest category with a 47% share in the industry, with Herbalife Nutrition holding the largest share of the direct selling market.

Paradigm shift from offline to online selling

The basis of direct selling is a personalized relationship with end consumers, which guarantees a contextual and personalized shopping experience. The direct marketing model can be seen as a format for selling various products across multiple industries because it comes with testimonials and credibility.

Disclaimer: The article was produced on behalf of Herbalife Nutrition by The Times Internet Spotlight team.

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