The retail sector has evolved over the past several years in tune with the changing needs of the consumer. And, while malls and organised retail have been the most visible elements of this change, but a not so well discussed trend is the rapidly emerging direct marketing industry.
This industry’s turnover during the financial year ended March ’12 grew by 22 per cent y-o-y to reach Rs 6385 crore, according to Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA). This sector provides a livelihood to nearly four million households in the country and especially to women in rural areas.
The most common product categories in which direct selling is visible include FMCG and cosmetics. And, the key factors that have contributed to direct selling include limited availability of products in smaller towns and villages, coupled with lower prices vis-a-vis offered by traditional kirana stores.
This industry association is optimistic that their turnover would rise significantly over the next few years. And, despite the progress made, the direct selling industry often has to face consumer complaints regarding poor product quality or simply not happy with the product delivered and allied problems.
IDSA however, working with relevant bodies is aiming to streamline the industry and ensure ethical working standards are followed.