Multi Level Marketing (MLM) originated in the US around 1945 and ever since has been in practice to increase the scope of business. It has given the common man devoid of pre-requisite professional qualifications a source of livelihood. Under this mode of marketing, companies appoint independent, non salaried sales people to become distributors. This way, they earn a commission on the total volume of products sold through their efforts and that of their downline organization. The MLM strategy thus forms a network of sales people who get benefit both from the sales they incur as well as from the sales generated by their downline members.
With the advent of multinational companies in India, MLM has become a useful tool to promote trade locally. Instead of trusting local retailers, MLM aided brands to produce realistic profits and do business without getting duped by middlemen. It emerged as a reliable and convenient way of drawing attention to products and accelerating business growth. Moreover, it was a mutually beneficial platform for both the company and its distributors. Unlike being subjugated to being a secondary source of income, it has earned credibility as a practical means of earning profits. The main advantage it gives to the sales people involved is that they can undertake the work on a part time basis and even refer others to their company. The fashion and beauty industry are the main beneficiaries of MLM and more sectors seem to be gearing up to venture in to this mode of marketing as an alternative means to grow their business. Chavi Hemanth, secretary general at the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) has pointed out the growing effectiveness of the economical and direct selling method of MLM that establishes an easy connect between company managers and customers."The direct selling industry is showing diversified consumption patterns across the country, increasing demand from tier-2 and tier-3 cities and higher acceptability by consumers, distributors and entrepreneurs."
Currently, at least 10,000 companies of MLM are operating in India. The internet is rising as a great marketing tool for companies to manifest their MLM strategies. Women in India are waking up to this reality and understanding why MLM is a powerful and compelling way to become financially independent. It gives them status, freedom and flexibility to develop their own identity. This kind of employment means that women can feel empowered without neglecting their homes and personal duties. Since there is no compulsion of working in a typical office setting or adhering to deadlines, women have discovered a practical way of being a professional sitting at home. With minimum investment, they can reap the benefits of distributing the company’s products and services without the encumbrance of wholesalers and retailers in the chain. Cashing on this opportunity, MLM is motivating women with limited resources to enjoy working in a non-hierarchical setting.
In a nutshell, through MLM, women can safely do business and claim their share of the entrepreneurial pie. Joining the MLM bandwagon can thus be the crucial catalyst to achieve their financial goals.