Online is the best thing that has happened to our industry: Amway Global CEO Pants
Milind Pant, global CEO of US direct selling company Amway, worked with Yum! Brands and Unilever in markets around the world before joining Michigan-based Amway, known for its nutrition products and beauty brands, in January 2019. Currently in India, Pant has announced global investments of more than $ 300 million. dollars until 2024 to stimulate innovation and science, digital technology and entrepreneurship. Of that amount, $ 20 million is destined for the country, he said, adding that India was among the priority markets, including the United States and China. Edited excerpts from an interview:
From traditional FMCG and QSR companies to a direct sales company in dietary supplements. How did the transition go?
There are many firsts to this. It was a change of industry. It was a private, family-owned business, and it was Amway’s first out-of-family and out-of-home CEO.
What I did, like I do in any new role, is take the first 100 days to listen and learn. And that’s exactly what I did in early 2019, to travel to markets around the world, to understand how our entrepreneurs and leaders are building their businesses in the future. I’ve been to tech and nutrition startups and big companies. I went to Alibaba and I met Google and Facebook in California. I’ve been to nutrition startups in Seattle and Los Angeles to figure out where the money is going.
And we have developed a 10-year strategic plan. The heart of this plan is how to empower and empower our entrepreneurs to develop their health and wellness communities. It is a change that we are investing in. And India is today a pioneer in this change.
The pandemic has boosted general nutrition businesses in India. How was the response in other markets?
The trend towards holistic nutrition and wellness has accelerated in India and around the world. This trend relates to good nutrition, regular exercise, good sleep, meditation, and mindfulness. Things that were there in pieces, but everyone became very aware of it for their own health, that of their spouse, parents, family, children, and it gave our business a boost. because our company is a solution of well-being.
But there is another thing that happened at the same time is that there was an underlying trend of increasing macro-entrepreneurship of people, young women who want flexibility and earn. additional income. And, again, the disruption of the pandemic has led to an increase in this micro-entrepreneurship. And so these two – the rise of microentrepreneurship and the space of immunity, nutrition and wellness – it’s a tailwind for Amway, which is a health and wellness company run. by entrepreneurs. Despite all the challenges and all the hardships that everyone has gone through, our activity is growing in 2021. And we are convinced that we are in a multi-year growth, because we respond to a societal need and play a small role in the supply this health and wellness solution.
Amway’s business model – which is based on direct selling – hasn’t it suffered as consumers buy online and then because of the covid that enforces social distancing?
If you look at the last decade, there are two industries that have grown exponentially. One is e-commerce – Amazon and Flipkart are examples here. But we can find examples around the world and in all markets.
The other is social platforms. Again, Facebook is an example here, but we can go to Kakao in Korea, WeChat in China, Line in other parts of Asia, and there are other examples in Latin America and Russia. And, of course, Facebook and Instagram around the world. What’s happening today is an interesting trend, where social platforms and e-commerce come together with those people who are online, building the community.
They build communities around a passion sometimes in person, but mostly online. Then it goes back to trade. We empower micro-entrepreneurs to create their online communities. Then we integrate backend commerce, over payments, transactions, product delivery, so it’s entrepreneurship in a box and hassle free for them.
We consider online to be one of the best things that has happened to our industry. We are investing significant sums in training these entrepreneurs to move into this new era.
In India, you have also launched local Ayurvedic products. Is this common practice in other markets?
At its core, the Nutrilite philosophy is very similar to the philosophy and Charak Samhita which was written 5,000 years ago or The Chronicles of the Yellow Emperor, which is said to have been written at a very similar time in China. So, between Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Nutrilite philosophy, there are huge similarities.
So we are taking all this knowledge and wisdom from the past and combining it with the scientific rigor and integrity of Amway’s supply chain, and launching a whole series of products in India. We have the chyavanprash, which is organic, we have Brahmni, Tulsi and many more are coming.
We do the same in China.
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