‘India will be the key to Amway’s global growth’

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on February 15, 2019

Doug DeVos, co-chairman, Amway.   -  BusinessLine

Doug DeVos, co-chairman, Amway, who was here as a member of the India-US CEOs Forum, believes India will be a key driver of the company’s global growth. India is currently the seventh largest market for the direct-selling company, and itbelieves the India business has the potential to grow at a faster rate. With the company focusing on R&D and sourcing efforts over the last two years, Businessline caught up with DeVos on what’s cooking . Excerpts:

India is currently among your top ten markets. What are your expectations from the India business in the coming years?

India will be a key driver for Amway’s global growth. We believe India’s potential for solid and stable growth for the next 5-10 years and even beyond, is real. Currently, the India business is growing at about 7 per cent and we feel we can get to a10-per cent growth rate in the future. We may grow even faster, but our focus will be to grow in a sustainable manner. We believe the India business could become a billion dollar business in the next 10-12 years.

What steps are you taking to accelerate the business in India in terms of investments ?

One of the key areas where we are making investments is in the R&D space. This is done with a focus on sourcing material from the country that can be used to develop products that have the potential for exports. The herbal range of products that have been launched in recent times, have been developed in the country, for the Indian market. We are starting to see export opportunities for these products, and are looking to take them to other Amway markets in the South-East Asia region. We are also investing on technology with a focus on our sales-force and customers. In terms of manufacturing, we have already made the necessary investments and currently have excess capacity in our Indian facility.

The company has a strong presence in the consumer appliances space globally. What are your long-term plans for this space in terms of the Indian market ?

We have taken some steps in that direction. We have already launched cookware products and also now have presence in the air-purifier segment for automobiles.

We are planning to launch home air purifiers too in the future. We could also explore the water filtration segment in the long term.

What is your view regarding the regulatory framework in India for the direct-selling industry?

We think the regulatory framework for the direct selling industry is on a good path. Some of the work done by the government, such as the guidelines for the industry, will be helpful. Already 11 States have notified their direct-selling guidelines. It may take some time before all States gain that understanding and comfort level.

So from the regulatory standpoint, there is a framework in place that allows us to distinguish and establish ourselves as an important industry. This also brings responsibilities for the industry to now live up to the expectations.

The government has created a space for us and the marketplace is open. We need to continue to focus on bringing in good products and creating opportunities for our sales-force, so that more people can earn and support themselves, especially those segments that do not have access to other economic opportunities.

The India-US CEOs Forum meeting happened at a time when there are a lot of trade tensions between the two countries. What are your views on this?

The purpose of the forum is to build strategic and economic relationships between the two countries.

We had positive discussions. We believe the relationship between India and the US has tremendous potential and it is up to us — the business community — to be part of the success of that relationship. The focus of the discussions was on finding areas where we can expand the trade relations and how we can continue to find ways to strengthen the relationships.

I think... the issues surrounding the current trade environment, we see it as short term.

Published on February 15, 2019

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