Direct selling is an industry that offers an opportunity for immense entrepreneurial growth and learning. It is an industry that has been on the rise in the country in the past two decades, creating self-employment opportunities. Undoubtedly, this industry is a big boost to the gig economy!
However, there is a lack of in-depth awareness about direct selling in India. The direct selling business opportunity is misinterpreted and misconstrued to be an unorthodox scheme or an unrelatable door-to-door selling method. In addition, the lack of a regulatory framework with clear laws for direct selling entities has many a times kept the industry under the scanner.
Even though, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Goods and Public Distribution in India has issued The Direct Selling Guidelines 2016 for protecting consumers’ legitimate rights, few of the consumer complaints are equated as criminal disputes. So, this leads to scepticism, and one might wonder if direct selling is legal.
Therefore, in this article, we will provide clear and accurate information about the direct selling industry and answer one of the most asked questions – Is direct selling legal in India? We will further understand the legality of the QNET business in India.
But first, let’s understand what is direct selling?
What is direct selling?
Direct selling is a method of network marketing that enables an individual to sell goods and services directly to a customer without involving a retailer or a third party. The most common way of generating sales in this method is through word-of-mouth referrals. It is also important to note that direct selling does not involve shops, malls and it isn’t driven by the location and traditional methods of selling goods.
Furthermore, direct sellers can build a sales team and grow their businesses by earning compensations and rewards for the overall sales of products and services. This is usually contingent on the compensation plan of the direct selling company.
So, now that we understand the basics of direct selling, let’s understand the scope of direct selling and the opportunity it provides to individuals for entrepreneurial growth.
Direct selling in India
The direct selling industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. However, the industry remains rather lesser-known to people, and conventional jobs overshadow direct selling opportunities. So, let’s understand a few important details about the industry in the country.
Introduction of Direct Selling in India: Direct selling was first introduced in the 1980s in India. It was a new concept, and people were still adapting to the new philosophy. It was the start of a revolution that continued gaining popularity and became a mainstay in the 1990s. Since then, direct selling has come a long way, paving the way for many top companies like QNET and providing opportunities for millions of individuals in the country.
Facts and Figures of Direct selling in India: Direct selling industry has been positively impacting social and economic fronts in the country. Indian direct selling is one of the top 20 direct selling markets globally.
In 2021, direct selling in India recorded annual sales worth INR 26,978 Crore (USD 3.25 Billion) with the highest Year-over-year (Y-o-Y) growth of 7.7 per cent and the highest CAGR of 15.7 per cent over the last three years. (Source: WFDSA Report 2021)
Another interesting fact is that the number of active direct sellers were 112 Lakhs (11.2 Million as of May 2021. It is further predicted that the direct selling industry will create close t