Empowering lives through valuable guided entrepreneurship: Amway India
Amway has recognized the strong entrepreneurial spirit as their Transformational strategy to create a Top Valuable brand in India.
Category Chosen: FMCG Consumer Care
Amway India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amway with headquarters located in Ada, Michigan, USA. Established in 1995, Amway India commenced commercial operations in May 1998 and has emerged as the largest FMCG Direct Selling Company in the country.
Amway India offers Indian citizens an unparalleled opportunity to own and operate their own business by selling more than 140 distinctive quality consumer products. Amway India has 750 direct employees and 2,000 indirect employees approximately. Amway’s first manufacturing facility in India is located at Nilakottai in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. India is one of two key global manufacturing hubs for Amway, along with China, in addition to the company’s U.S.-based manufacturing operations. Amway manufacturing facility has won the prestigious LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as being one of the most environment friendly and sustainable facilities in the country.
Product/Service Offering: Amway India sells more than 140 distinctive quality products across various categories including Nutrition, Beauty, Personal care, Home care and Consumer Durables through its robust channel of Amway direct sellers.
Brand Vision: Helping People Live Better Lives
Company Mission: Fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country by providing self-employment opportunities to individuals who want to own and run their own business by offering more than 140 high-quality products across categories including Nutrition, Beauty, Personal care, Home care and Consumer Durables through a robust channel of Amway direct sellers.
Ethos of the brand: Guided Entrepreneurship that helps people discover their potential and achieve their goals by offering world class brands and empowering opportunities for the future.
Total Number of Employees in the Company: 750 direct employees and 2,000 indirect employees approximately
What would you define as the unique value proposition of the Company?
Amway is a purpose-driven organization providing individuals an opportunity to own and operate their own business by selling more than 140 distinctive and world class nutrition, beauty, personal care and home/ durable products. Amway provides a conducive ecosystem to entrepreneurial minded individuals to pursue their goals, along with the tools and training that help them represent Amway and its products in a more articulate way. There is no cost to join the Amway Business and the products have a money-back guarantee for 100% satisfaction of use. These include online and offline trainings, product videos, mobile applications etc. The company also nurtures the spirit of entrepreneurship in individuals by imparting the skills required to run a business/an enterprise and by providing a community of mentors to support and guide them at every step.
What has been the achievement of your company in the last 3 years?
Amway has completed 20 years of operations in India in 2018, emerging as the largest FMCG direct selling company in the country. Over the past 20 years, Amway has made notable contributions to the country’s GDP through manufacturing, organic farming, women empowerment, creation of employment opportunities and skill development. Amway has recognized the shift in consumer profile due to the burgeoning young population, increasing health consciousness and emerging digital technologies and has tuned its strategy with time to introduce several new initiatives: Some of the notable initiatives in the past 3 years are:
In India, Amway has recognized the strong entrepreneurial spirit which is well reflected in the Amway India Entrepreneurship Report 2017 which has revealed that a majority of Indians want to start a business of their own and 70% of the nation’s population has a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. Moreover, 61% of youth consider entrepreneurship a good prospect to earn a livelihood in India. This aptly establishes the huge potential of direct selling in India. Amway offers guided entrepreneurship based on the concept of simplifying one’s journey as an entrepreneur, by offering individuals an opportunity to own and operate their own business by selling distinctive and high-quality nutrition, beauty, personal care and home/ durable products and by providing them the tools and training that help them represent Amway and its products in a more articulate way. These include online and offline trainings, product videos, mobile applications etc.
The start-up/entrepreneurship-led boom over the last decade in India has boosted the Indian economy, along with creating huge opportunities for Indian women. It is here that Amway – and indeed, the entire direct selling industry, has led a silent revolution by contributing towards women entrepreneurship. One of the most fascinating parts of our business is that more than 60% of our direct sellers are women which is in stark contrast to other industries.
Amway India has been aggressively driving innovation by entering into newer categories. Some of the recent launches include Nutrilite Traditional Herbs range, Attitude Be Bright Herbals skincare products, Glister Herbals toothpaste, foray into consumer durables category with the launch of premium cookware range Amway Queen and car air purifier Atmosphere Drive, introduction of XS energy drink and XS Whey Protein in India. All the new launches have received tremendous response from the market. Amway continues to look for avenues of growth by expanding its product portfolio to suit the constantly changing market needs. The top selling products of Amway in India include Nutrilite All Plant Protein Powder, Nutrilite Daily (Vitamin and Mineral Supplement) and Nutrilite Salmon Omega 3.
Amway’s strategy has evolved to a robust omni-channel presence with digital and offline outreach strongly integrated together. Amway launched XPP stores at premium locations/ cities for the direct sellers and consumers to easily experience Amway products. The store’s format is similar to a ‘Mini Shopping Centre’ which gives an opportunity to the preferred customers and direct sellers to touch/feel Amway products. So far, the company has opened 50 stores and is targeting 25 by the end of next year.
Amway has progressed significantly towards a ‘Digital First’ approach globally as well as in India. The digital strategy at Amway is focused on enhancing direct sellers’ productivity, engaging consumers and strengthening the e-commerce platforms. Amway has introduced several tools to help the direct sellers run their business and sell Amway products. These include mobile apps such as the Digital Tool Box which is a one-stop shop for all information related to Amway brands/products, Amway India learning Academy app and web platforms such as My Biz, which helps them manage their business better, and Artistry Recommender, which recommends products on the basis of skin types as well as other similar business building tools. With the new range of Nutrilite Traditional Herbs, Amway has introduced the concept of QR code, which provides consumers the ‘Seed to Supplement’ journey and the DNA fingerprinting that is used in identifying the best quality of herbs for its products.
Reiterating the company’s belief in the Indian market and in keeping with its commitment to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, Amway has invested more than Rs 600 crores in a world-class manufacturing facility in Madurai, Tamil Nadu in the year 2015, as part of the Rs 1000 Crores investment in India. This manufacturing facility was recently accorded with a Gold certification under the LEED 2009 New Construction and Major Renovations Rating System by the US Green Building Council, making it one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable facilities in the country.
Please provide an insight into the brand marketing strategies that have effectively penetrated consumers’ psyche, established a meaningful relationship with the target audiences and ensured positive brand perception.
Amway follows a marketing strategy that revolves around health-conscious consumers, the burgeoning young population and the entrepreneurial spirit in the country.
While direct selling business model remains at the heart of Amway, the marketing strategy has evolved to omni-channel presence that seamlessly combines offline and online channels for consumer outreach and engagement. Through Amway’s direct sellers’ network, Amway has maximized the consumer engagement and further significantly developed the digital presence to deepen market penetration for improved consumer experience. For instance, Amway’s products can be accessed through extensive network of more than 550,000 Amway direct sellers, 140 Amway touch points comprising of 55 Express Pick & Pay stores across India and simultaneously through Amway’s own digital platforms, thus giving the consumers a cohesive and consistent brand experience across all channels.
Amway has raised awareness around the need for supplementation introducing innovative products in the health & beauty segment. The top selling products of Amway in India include Nutrilite All Plant Protein Powder, Nutrilite Daily (Vitamin and Mineral Supplement) and Nutrilite Salmon Omega 3 and soon, the latest launch of Nutrilite Traditional Herbs will join the club by year end.
To support this further, Amway strategically roped in Farhan Akhtar, a strong and credible face that could help people understand the role of supplementation in addition to a balanced diet and exercise as part of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Amway is targeting youth as nearly two-third of the population is under the age of 35 years and the burgeoning young workforce in India will soon be the largest and youngest the world has ever seen. They are not only consumers but also opinion makers and influencers in our society and are open to experimentation. Keeping in mind the changing tastes and preferences of the Indian youth and their shifting focus on health consciousness, Amway India is aggressively introducing youth-oriented products in skin care, energy drinks, sports nutrition, and personal care product categories.
In order to accelerate consumer engagement, Amway India for the first time introduced The Preferred Customer initiative where-in one can register as a Preferred Customer and buy products directly from Amway’s website through their servicing Amway Direct Seller. The Preferred Customer has an option to choose to be serviced by a direct seller if he/she is already in touch or else the company can assign one, so that he/she is catered to appropriately in the future. The feedback of this initiative has been very positive.
Under the Influencer engagement, Amway has also been engaging with influencers in the health, lifestyle and beauty space to strengthen engagement with the consumers.
Amway has progressed significantly towards a ‘Digital First’ approach globally as well as in India. The digital strategy at Amway is focused on enhancing direct sellers’ productivity, consumer engagement and strengthening of the e-commerce platforms.
Amway has significantly strengthened its digital footprint through its presence across all leading social media platforms; where customized content is being created to cater to specific audiences. Usage of influencers/Videobloggers, has become an integral part of Amway’s campaigns which is also helping the brands and customers engage with each other effectively and continuously. Amway has recently explored the VR and AR tools for enhancing customer experience and is soon planning to launch the protein calculator app.
Ramping up Amway website: Amway direct sellers and Amway Preferred Customers through their servicing Amway direct seller, can directly buy products from Amway website. To increase accessibility, Amway has also launched a mobile e-commerce app which is getting good reviews from direct sellers as well as the customers. Amway further plans to transform its website www.amway.in to strengthen the backend and enhance the frontend to give a world-class experience to its Amway direct sellers and customers. The customer-friendly Amway website offers one of the fastest delivery experiences – it only takes 1 minute to register, 1 hour to process the order and just 1 day of delivery time across 30 cities in the country– which is a testimony to our ‘customer centric approach’.
Amway has been actively advertising on digital media. Amway’s digital campaigns are not just focused towards building visibility, but also driving engagements with audiences enabling them to be a part of the communication as well. Further plans are focused on strengthening the digital portfolio to keep pace with the rapidly changing digital environment.
In the past 12 months what branding and marketing activities have been undertaken by your company to enhance the visibility, recall and acceptability?
The past 12 months have been quite eventful for Amway, as the company has completed its 20 years of successful operations in India in 2018. To celebrate the important milestones and promote new launches, Amway introduced various digital campaigns and branding activities to enhance brand visibility and recall:
20 years of Amway in India: A digital campaign #AmWayofLife reflected the journey of Amway over 20 years in India and brought to life the strong bond with millions of direct sellers and consumers. A compelling storyline showcased the impact and strong integration of Amway with its direct sellers and consumers through an emotional narrative. This campaign did phenomenally well with over 12 million views and still counting.
Nutrition category: Amway has launched several branding and marketing initiatives for the nutrition category which contributes to almost 50% to the business revenue. These include #EatHardEatSmart and #FitnessKiTayaari campaigns to create awareness regarding proper nutritional intake and its positive impact on leading a healthy lifestyle. The latter was an innovative blend of humour with conventional advertising in the nutrition and wellness category. The company was also the proud partners of Eat Right Movement by FSSAI which was launched to engage, excite and enable citizens to eat right and improve their overall health and wellbeing.
Beauty Category: Amway launched two campaigns under the Attitude brand last year, which is the entry-level premium beauty brand specifically formulated for the Indian youth. While #Don’tLimitMyAttitude focused on highlighting brand attributes and paid tribute to the resilience and achievements of successful and ambitious Indian women who believed in progress and self-growth, the #ColorMyMood was launched to spotlight a new colorful range of lipsticks and nail paints.
Amway thrives on the power of ‘word of mouth’, which influences and shapes the brand’s perception among its target audience. Amway has significantly strengthened its digital footprint through its presence across leading social media platforms; where customized content is being created to cater to specific audiences. Usage of influencers/Video bloggers has become an integral part of Amway campaigns since it helps brands and customers engage with each other effectively and continuously.
Apart from the above, Amway continues to engage, educate and excite its direct sellers for new product launches throughout India by regularly organizing workshops and experiential sessions to enhance product understanding and build awareness about the challenges posed by today’s lifestyle.
According to you what is the consumer perception of your company?
Amway has a strong and positive favorability among consumers, with high proportion of consumers willing to purchase Amway products. The awareness about Amway is very high in the market and the products are perceived of the highest quality and environment friendly. Lakhs of consumers value the self-employment opportunity provided by Amway and the social initiatives under the CSR program.
What are the key leadership values that drive the Company?
We achieve our vision by helping people discover their potential and reach their goals by offering better brands and opportunities for the future as well as by sharing generously with the global community. To help us realize that vision, we have six enduring values that the business was primarily built on:
Partnership: Amway is built on the concept of partnership between our founders. The partnership that exists among the founding families, employees, and business owners is our most prized possession. We always try to do what is in the long-term best interest of our partners, in a manner that increases trust and confidence.
Integrity: Integrity is essential to the success of our business. We do what is right, not just ‘whatever works’. Amway’s success is measured not only in economic terms, but by the respect, trust and credibility earned.
Personal Worth: We also acknowledge the uniqueness in each and every individual. Every person is worthy of respect and deserves fair treatment and the opportunity to succeed to the fullest extent of his or her potential.
Achievement: We are builders and encouragers. We strive for excellence in all we do. Our focus is on continuous improvement, progress and achievement of individual as well as group goals. We anticipate change, respond swiftly to it, take action to get the job done, and gain from our experiences. We encourage creativity and innovation.
Personal Responsibility: Each individual is responsible and accountable for achieving personal goals and also for making 100 percent efforts to help achieve the corporate or team goals. By helping people help themselves, we further the potential for individual and shared success. We also have the responsibility to be good citizens in the communities where we live and work.
Free Enterprise: We are proud advocates of freedom and free enterprise. Human economic advancement is clearly proven to be best achieved in a free market economy.
What type of employee satisfaction programs are conducted by your brand?
Amway India is based on the founders’ fundamentals of ‘Family’, ‘Faith’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Reward’. People are the very core of Amway business – be it Amway Direct Sellers, Amway employees or service partners. Amway has a diverse pool of employees working in varied roles spread across the country including at its state-of-the art manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu. Employee Engagement & wellness is a priority for Amway. Optimal-U, the employee engagement program provides access to essential nutritional supplements to all employees free of cost. In addition, wellness activities like yoga, Zumba etc. are conducted on a quarterly basis. Sampark, Amway’s fun at work team, ensures the energy is always high with innovative activities at work and parties/outbounds for employees and their families. Focused engagement activities targeting various employee segments are also critical in ensuring employees get a customized experience at work. One of Amway’s most popular initiative under this is the ‘No Excuses’ panel discussion which is only for women employees and provides them with a safe and secure platform to share and learn from each other.
Amway also offers best-in-class reward and benefit practices, along with ensuring equal pay for equal work. Employees have complete transparency of their placement in the pay grade allowing them to better plan their career. Amway has a robust culture of listening to employee feedback and taking concrete action basis their inputs. Employee Opinion Survey is conducted every two years and a participation rate of 100 percent is a clear indicator of employee confidence in management’s commitment to take action basis their feedback. Improved sustainable engagement scores every cycle is a key indicator of employee satisfaction.
How much does your company emphasise on employee training & development, kindly elaborate?
Talent Development is a critical priority for Amway and forms an integral part of the strategic agenda of the organization with evaluation metrics built around it. The learning architecture at Amway India follows a differentiated approach towards development of critical/top talent and functional upskilling of employees across levels. Big Leap, Amway’s top talent development intervention is a long term intervention which is a mix of classroom, byte learning & Live business challenge, aimed at developing the skill & competency of the critical talent pool of the organization.
Amway is also a coaching organization, with a large pool of its talent certified as ‘Performance Coach’, following the Grow coaching methodology. This pool takes on active coaching roles for the identified high potential employees and campus hires. Amway also has a global program in partnership with the Davenport University for the leadership team. Functional skilling is ensured via online learning programs via the virtual university called Amway University. Curated development programs are conducted in partnership with credible external experts & academicians. Learning Academy, an internal facilitator-led intervention aims at bridging functional skill gap by leveraging expertise of internal leaders.
Bringing diversity of thought is also an important priority area for Amway and ‘3rd Perspective’ is a program under which external experts like Harsha Bhogle, Taufiq Qureshi, Late Alyque Padamsee to name a few, are invited to share their experiences and stories to encourage employees to approach business challenges with new perspectives.
Amway also encourages a culture of continued education via corporate education sponsorship program which encourages employees to pursue certifications and higher qualifications to enhance their skills. Amway also has a tie up with Kwench, an online library, which provides employees access to thousands of books delivered to their office.
Company’s most effective intangible motivational tools for employees.
With one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry, Amway has established itself as an employer of choice. This has been possible only on account of a highly motivated and engaged workforce. This can be attributed to a culture of open & transparent communication with an all employees townhall ‘Connext’ being conducted every two months, giving employees access to the senior leadership and an opportunity to directly converse with them. Employees have a direct line of communication with the CEO, with a dedicated email access which is managed personally by the CEO responding to employee emails within 24 hours.
Amway promotes a healthy culture of career planning and discussion with all employees having an equal opportunity to apply to open positions across functional areas and not limited to their current domains. More than 50 percent of open positions are closed internally. A culture of on-going performance feedback and discussion ensures employees are aware of their goals and are able to deliver to their full potential.
Amway understands and appreciates the multiple roles that its employees play in addition to the designation they hold at work, hence offers flexible working solutions and other non-tangible policy benefits like work from home, option to select a work shift that most suits them, subsidized food, free pick-up and drop, on-site creche, paid paternity leave, leave donation and many more intangible benefits.
Amway continues to win accolades externally for its employer brand (like Great Places to Work Certification three times in a row), for its brands and for the work towards communities and underprivileged children which creates a sense of pride among employees.
Kindly elaborate on your existing & potential CSR activities.
At Amway, our CSR initiatives are based on the belief that social responsibility is much more than the incurrence of a cost or a resource or a charitable/ philanthropic act of social benefit. It is actually an opportunity to bring about social innovation and change. This belief is articulated in our vision of helping people live better lives. At Amway, our aim is to enable healthier and happier lives, while growing the business. The focus areas are those where the business intersects most closely with society and where the company can use its expertise to create maximum impact. These include:
Health – Improve the nutritional status of children, with focus on children below the age of 5 years, and provide healthcare to the underprivileged in villages nearby company’s plant
Education – Provide avenues of education to the less-privileged sections of society, with focus on visually impaired individuals and children
Livelihood enhancement – Promote self-employment among women and create awareness of affordable health and hygiene practices.
Improve communities – Improve groundwater level and provide quality healthcare to the underprivileged individuals around the manufacturing facility
Which area of social responsibility is more significant for your brand?
In line with Amway’s vision of helping people live better lives, Amway is focused on the issues of nutrition and entrepreneurship opportunities among the under privileged sections of the society. Amway’s Community Health and Entrepreneurship program is focused on promoting self-employment among women community health facilitators in under-served rural areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where underprivileged women are provided with training on entrepreneurship skills and business fundamentals to create awareness on affordable health and hygiene practices in the rural areas.
The Power of 5 is a community-based campaign targeted at mothers and caregivers of children under the age of 5 years. The campaign aims to improve the nutritional knowledge as well as the practices that include complementary feeding, hygiene practices, growth monitoring and dietary diversity. The campaign further aims to identify and manage malnourished children, including those infected. The company aims to achieve this through synergies among service providers of associated departments (Integrated Child Development Scheme, Health and Sanitation) for improved services and timely referrals. A pilot project has been initiated in West Delhi’s Kirari area with the objective of reaching out to and benefiting around 10,000 children directly through mothers and 30,000 individuals indirectly (parents, caregivers and community members).