Discusses the state of direct marketing and what channels are available for companies to use direct
Last Published: 7/27/2017

According to the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA), the gross sales in the Indian direct selling market was $1.18 billion in 2014-15 as against $1.11 billion in 2013-14. The Industry has registered a growth rate of about 6.5 per cent in 2014-15 as compared to 4.3 per cent in 2013-14. It has a potential to grow between $9.63 and $15.1 billion by 2025 per a recent study on the market conducted by trade body FICCI and KPMG in India. 

South India has largest share in direct selling segment followed by Northern parts of India. Subsequent positions are occupied by Western India and North East India respectively.

Wellness and healthcare products contributed the largest share at a total of 42% of the sales revenue of direct selling, while the cosmetics and personal care products contributed 34%, homecare products 11% and consumer and household durables 7%.
There is no systematic and standard policy on direct selling and lack of definition and separate provisions for the industry too adversely affects the industry. To provide a conducive and sustainable operating environment, a series of reforms are required such as framing state-level rules and standard operating procedures for law enforcement agencies to long term measures including enacting a specific governing legislation for the sector,

The Direct Selling Guidelines 2016 ("Guidelines") have been issued by Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution as guiding principles for State Governments to regulate the business of Direct Selling ("DS") and Multi-Level Marketing ("MLM") and strengthen the existing regulatory mechanism on DS and MLM, for preventing fraud and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

According to IDSA, the direct selling industry offers alternate employment opportunities in India and has contributed significantly to self-employment generation for the country over the years. The total distributor base of the Indian direct selling industry during 2013-14 was 6.23 million up from 5.77 million in 2012-13.  The growth of the total distributor network stood at 8% in 2013-14 over the previous year.

For more information about export opportunities in this sector, contact the U.S. Commercial Service:
Smita Sherigar: Smita.Sherigar@trade.gov

Useful Links:
U.S. Commercial Service in India 
Ministry of Commerce
Retailers Association of India
Indian Direct Selling Association
India Brand Equity Foundation

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

India Trade Development and Promotion Direct Marketing