Women account for 53% of direct selling industry

Women account for 53% of direct selling industry

Women contribute 53% of entrepreneurs engaged in the $1.5 billion (Rs 9,850 crore) direct selling industry in India, a report by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) has said.

The Indian direct selling industry provided entrepreneurship opportunities to 5.1 million people in 2017, of which 2.7 million were women. 

The report said that despite India and China having a similar number of direct selling entrepreneurs, China is far ahead in terms of sales generated. Around 5.1 million entrepreneurs in India were involved in direct selling in 2017 compared to 5.3 million in China. However, sales generated in China stood at $34.29 billion compared with $1.5 billion in India in 2017.

“India is a thriving market for direct selling. Even without the appropriate legislation, the industry has become a billion-dollar market. The direct selling industry doesn’t just provide people with entrepreneurship opportunities, it is a great training ground for skills development, and for empowering women,” said Pramodh Manda, Regional Advisor – South Asia, QNet.

Meanwhile, a report by FICCI-KPMG predicts that with adequate regulatory support, retail sales in direct selling could reach Rs 64,500 crore by 2025 and provide self-employment opportunities to 18 million Indians by 2025, of which 60% could be women.

“Direct selling opportunities are a great way to generate self-employment opportunities in India which faces challenges for employment generation today,” says Vijay Sardana, Chairman, Task Force to Direct Selling Assocham.

The Indian direct selling industry has been growing at an exponential pace over the last few years to become a part of the ‘billion-dollar club’ of the multi-billion-dollar global direct selling industry.

Among the world’s top 10 largest direct selling markets in 2017 in terms of sales, five countries are from Asia, says the WFDSA report.

While the US is the world’s largest market, China is at the second spot. Asia Pacific region, however, has emerged as the largest contributor to the global direct selling industry in 2017. The Asia Pacific region contributed 46% to global sales generated by the direct selling industry in 2017 with more than 65 million people in the region involved in it. 

Industry experts attribute India’s lower rank due to lack of regulatory direction to the industry so far.

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