Future of network marketing in India


I got shocked while talking with my cousin, he was crying over the phone.

Recently I got a call from my cousin who was pursuing engineering. I assumed he would ask for some advice like he always does but much to my surprise, he was crying over the phone.

I calmed him and asked for the reason.

He informed me that he couldn’t find a job and was desperately in need of it.

Immediately, a flashback of events set into motion inside my mind. I could see how hard my cousin worked all these years. How well he performed throughout and his dream of a good life.

It’s as if all those hard work, all those sacrifices, all those little moments of joy and success, finally add up to what? Nothing?

The call made me think about this grave situation existing across the nation. 

I think the reason is saturation. What do you think?


Yes, the job market is saturated. We have too many graduates than the actual demand. And Everywhere a similar situation exists.

Having said that, what can we do?

What is the solution to this problem?

Well, the solution is simple, we need to explore new opportunities, 

We need to explore modern and emerging industries.

We need to develop our skills in those emerging and future growth industries.

One such emerging industry is Network Marketing.

I know you must have heard about it, from your friends and relatives. They must have portrayed it badly.

Network marketing is the business of the 21st century

I am not saying this. The author of the best selling book, “Rich dad and poor dad” Robert Kiyosaki says and he has even written a book on it.

Why does he say such a futuristic remark about a negatively recognized industry?

The network marketing business model distributes products directly from manufacturers to consumers without any intermediates. The network acts both as a distributor as well as a consumer and enjoys the profits.

Read till the end and you will know what is the future of network marketing in India.

Global Direct selling industry

Let’s understand the industry from a global perspective.

The direct selling industry came into existence around late 1800 in the USA. However, the industry saw significant change and growth after the 1970s. During this period, many direct selling industries start diversifying their product portfolio and also improved marketing strategies and techniques. Over the period the industry globalizes and witnessed a healthy growth.

As per the IDSA executive summary report, the global direct selling industry stood at USD 192.9 Billion in 2018, showcasing a growth of 1.2% from 2017.

China is the leading company contributing to a turnover of USD 35,732 million, around 20% of the global sales in 2018.

The USA ranks second with total direct selling sales of USD 35,350 million in 2018.

The other countries who contribute significantly are Korea, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Malaysia.

Network Marketing turnover of top 9 nations
source: IDSA annual survey report 2015-16

Indian Direct selling industry

As per the IDSA reports, the Network marketing turnover in India stood at INR 1,30,800 million( approx USD 1.73 Billion) in 2018-19, with a growth rate of 13% from last year, which was around 1,16,700 million in 2017-18.

The industry showed a compounded annual growth rate of 16% growing from INR 83,085 million in 2015-16 to INR 1,30,800 million in 2018-19.

Despite its growth, India is far behind global leaders. The Indian direct selling industry contributes only around 0.9% of total global direct sales.

The US direct selling industry is 35 times the Indian direct selling industry, despite being four times less populated.

comparison between Indian network marketing industry and USA network marketing industry.

The number of active direct sellers in India is around 6 million, comprising 0.5% of the total population, while in the USA, it is about 42 million, which is 15% of their population.

In the USA, in every 8 people, there is 1 direct seller, while in India, in every 225 people, there is 1 direct seller.

Future of Network Marketing in India

Clearly, there is no competition in the direct selling industry in India, unlike other industries. It is safe to say that the scope of network marketing in India is very high.

Future of network marketing in India 2025

As per the FICCI- KPMG DIRECT-2015 report, the Indian Direct selling industry has the potential to reach INR 64,500 crores by 2025.

The Indian government has introduced the Direct selling Guidelines in 2016. The introduction of the regulatory body will drive the growth of the industry and will also motivate domestic and global companies to join the sector and may opt for direct selling as a preferred distribution channel.

Should you make a Career in Direct selling industry

By now you must have got a clear picture of the global as well as Indian direct selling industry. You can see ample growth opportunities in India.

But why should you join a network marketing company?

Before considering that, let us first analyze consumer behavior in India.

Based on our birth date, we classify the generations, as shown in the image below.

different types of generation and their key characteristics

As per the SHRM reports

India has the largest population of millennials and GEN Zs, and by 2020 India’s millennials and GEN Z are projected to be 50% of the workforce. By 2025 this number is expected to reach 75%.

The strength of this vast pool of employable talent will power India’s economic progress.

As per the Deloitte Millennial survey, 2019, the following are the key points about Millennial and Gen Zs of India.

  • They are much more inclined to join the gig economy than global respondents.
  • Much more willing to leave their current employers in the next two years, and they are much less inclined to plan to stay beyond five years.
  • Aspire to make a positive impact on society.

Such a large young population will act as a double-edged sword.

It will boost the economy and, at the same time, creating a massive need for employment.

It’s challenging to create employment opportunities for such a large population without any alternative route. However, the direct selling industry can be a potential alternative route.

So, a career in network marketing could be the next big thing as the industry provides various advantages such as

  • Flexible work hours.
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Passive income.

The Millennials and GEN Zs generation are willing to work in an industry offering similar advantages.

Above stats make us think that a career in network marketing can be a better alternative

Is network marketing Recession proof

The direct selling industry is recession-proof industry.

Recession or slowdown does not affect this industry. Rather the direct selling industry grows during a recession.

Consider the chart below. (IDSA Annual survey report 2015-16).

growth rate of Indian direct selling industry and why network marketing a recession proof industry.
Source: IDSA Annual survey report 2015-16

The above graph represents year on year (Y-O-Y) growth of the Indian direct selling industry. From the chart, it is clear that the growth rate of the industry is increasing from 2006 to 2012. 

If you remember, the world witnessed one of the biggest recession during 2008, where there were tremendous job losses and unemployment followed by the massive slowdown of the economy.

Almost all the industries were hit, but the only sector that was up and running was the direct selling industry. It gave massive support to all the people who were affected by the recession.


Our world is changing at a much faster rate than our imagination. To cope up with, we need to change as well. Otherwise, it will be tough for us to sustain. The Network Marketing industry has tremendous growth opportunities in India. It has the potential to solve India’s most significant concern for unemployment. It can act as a panacea is such hard times.

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