Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) plans to tie-up with state governments, beginning with Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, in order to come up with consumer awareness programmes under Jago Grahak Jago platform as people still face hurdles in differentiating a direct selling entity and Ponzi scheme, said Vivek Katoch, chairman, IDSA.
“This has been a big challenge for the direct selling industry in India. The government has finally started realising the real potential of the industry.
"The notification of direct selling model guidelines in 2016 and passing of Consumer Protection Act 2019 have clearly distinguished between a direct selling entity and a Ponzi scheme,” Katoch told this publication.
Further, the sector is dealing with the problem of unauthorised selling of its products on e-commerce platforms.
Talking about the recent tussle between e-commerce platforms and direct selling companies, Katoch said IDSA has sought government support and the ministry of consumer affairs is working on a policy framework to regulate the e-commerce platforms.
In August this year, Amazon Seller Services has moved the Supreme Court against Amway, Oriflame and Modicare, challenging a Delhi High Court judgement barring e-commerce platforms from selling products of direct selling companies without their authorisation.
In response to the public notice calling for suggestions and comments on the draft e-commerce policy, IDSA has recently submitted views of the direct selling industry, he said, adding “IDSA is of the firm opinion that any industry or sector needs certain guidelines so that interests of the parties associated indirectly or directly with it are unharmed.”
Katoch, meanwhile, added the direct selling industry is growing at a good pace and has the potential to employ youth directly, especially women. “The industry grew around 13 per cent in 2018-19 with sales totalling around Rs 13,000 crore,” he said.