In times when most corporate sectors have been complaining of stagnating sales, the direct selling industry witnessed a 23 per cent growth, according to the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA).
According to the annual survey conducted by IDSA, the direct selling industry's turnover in India increased from Rs 1,400 crore to Rs 1,723 crore in the year 2001-02. The total number of sales people grew 27 per cent from 8 lakh to 11 lakh this year.
Globally, direct selling accounts for sales worth $85 billion and is growing at nearly 10 per cent per annum.
IDSA claims that, apart from offering employment opportunities, 90 per cent of the products sold by its members are sourced from local manufacturers.
The association currently has 12 certified members on its board including Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Aviance, Oriflame, Tupperware, Modicare, Lotus Learning, Time Life Asia and Sunrider.
The list of new applicants is also growing. Among these, US-based Forever Living, AMC Cookware from Germany and Quantum International set up in India by Canada-based people have already got the IDSA certification and would soon be on the organization's rolls.
IDSA, formed in year 1996, is a counterpart of the US-based World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) which regulates and promotes 53 direct selling associations that exist globally.
In India, IDSA's role is two-fold -- protecting those involved in direct selling and promoting the industry.