India’s rising direct selling industry
IDSA (Indian Direct Selling Association) Annual Survey 2020-21 states that the direct selling industry was valued at Rs 18,000 crore in 2020-21, registering a 7.7 percent year-on-year growth.
Despite its growth and the potential of misuse — looking at you, pyramid schemes — regulations have been slow to catch up.
Last December, the Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021, came into force and the centre asked companies to comply with it within 90 days. This rule has brought about various changes for the companies and consumers by bringing in registration processes, GST filings, restrictions on charging commission fees, and other regulations.
So, what does the future look like for the direct selling industry in India?
SMBStory spoke to Samir Modi (Founder and Managing Director of Modicare Ltd), Sujit Jain (Chairman and Managing Director of Netsurf Network), and Gautam Bali (Managing Director of Vestige Marketing) to get an insider perspective of the industry and understand the road ahead for direct sellers given the implementation of the new rules.
Samir says the rules will be helpful in setting apart genuine direct sellers from pyramid schemes.
“The policy also restricts direct selling entities from charging registration fees from their consultants, which is another move that we fully support as we don’t charge our consultants any registration fee and that has been part of our ethos. This move will further encourage more people to set aside their apprehensions and join the direct selling industry,” he adds. Read more.
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“One should have the ability to select the client and not the other way around.”