Statement to Media from The Indian Direct Selling Association

New Delhi:- With 16 of its member companies providing a sizeable bulk of the livelihoods of close to 80 Lakh (8 million) people as direct sellers – including nearly 38 Lakhs (3.8 Million) women, the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) reiterates that its member’s companies judiciously follow all provisions of the Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules 2021, in its present form. Along with other industry associations, IDSA has sought certain key amendments to these Rules, which are under consideration by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs.

The Indian Direct Selling market is around Rs 18,000 crores or just under the US $ 3 Billion, while globally, this is a US $ 180 Billion industry, providing livelihoods to around 125 million individuals. In terms of potential, this industry clearly has a long way to go in India. This fledgling industry is routinely rocked by regulatory challenges that question the very existence of the industry from time to time. It was to bring clarity to this industry, that the Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules 2021 were notified by the Government. IDSA and other associations have been working with the Department of Consumer Affairs for an amendment, which now would appear to be under a cloud, given the recent negativity.

Direct Selling Companies especially those that are members of IDSA have invested heavily over the past 25 years in building Make-in-India facilities, creating supply chain, warehousing and logistical infrastructure, Training & Knowledge Management Infrastructure as well as Skilling and Digital Adoption.

IDSA is also strongly committed to several social causes including Education, Women Empowerment, Gender Diversity, Disaster Relief, and Response as well to environmental issues, in accordance with UN Sustainable Development Goals 2025.

Every Financial Transaction of each IDSA Member company is conducted and transacted with well-recorded financial statements, billing and invoicing records, etc that could be traced and cross-referenced as mandated by the Government of India. Almost all major Direct Selling companies in India, that provide direct employment to more than 20,000 people in India, contribute substantially to Employee Welfare, Benefits, and Caregiving schemes throughout the tenure of each employee with full superannuation benefits.

Furthermore, Direct Selling compensation is neither extravagant nor are out of the ordinary when compared to other multi-tiered business models where there could potentially be more tiers and levels of profit /revenue sharing among the distributor retailers wherein in Direct Sellers, there is a lesser number of intermediaries the remuneration would be notch higher. Among the most common misconceptions around Direct Selling is that it is a Get Rich Quick or Pyramid like the scheme is nothing but an agenda and design to subdue the hard reality that Direct Sellers have to work very hard for their income, be professionally trained, and skilled and where it may take several years to reach a particular level of financial self-actualization.

Furthermore, every IDSA Member company also reiterates and continues with its commitment towards responsible and mature conduct of ethical business norms adhering strictly to Avoidance, Prevention, and Restriction of business malpractices, misspelling, spreading of myths, etc. IDSA members clearly stand for the strict adherence to a Code of Business Ethics requiring Direct Sellers to be fully transparent, ethical, clearly explain the Business Model, The Product Science or Technology, and Skills of Sales, Presentation, Articulation, Engagement, and Negotiation for which Thousands of Hours of Training, Skilling and Knowledge is imparted to Direct Sellers.

IDSA reiterates that its member companies conduct their business in complete conformity and in full compliance with all applicable laws of India and have been doing so for the past 25+ years.

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