Amway's Indian Network Marketing Experience


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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG003
Case Length : 9 Pages
Period : 1994 - 2000
Pub Date : 2001
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Amway Indian, Eureka Forbes
Industry : Business Services & Equipment
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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A Dream Gone Awry Contd...

This was identified as the single biggest reason for the high attrition rate. What was overlooked was the fact that almost all Amway products were concentrates. When used in the proper diluted form, the cost per use of each product worked out to be at par with (and in some cases, even lower than) the nearest competitor's products.

For instance, the product named LOC (priced above Rs 320 for a 1-liter pack), when diluted gave around 165 bottles. The cost per usage was thus very low. Either the distributors were themselves not aware of this fact, or they were unable to communicate this to the customers. Since the distributors themselves were unsure about the price-value equation of the products they were selling, they could not effectively convince the consumers either. Amway also had to contend with customers complaining of poor customer service on the part of the company. Analysts commented that as long as the volume of products that moved through the network was high, network market such as Amway were satisfied.

Even though customers complained of the lack of services, the company deemed it more beneficial to go for higher salesforce motivation programs rather than undertake customer service initiatives. This was largely due to the fact that the company was almost never involved directly with the end-consumers and the sales volumes were the end of all discussions.

Making of The Dream

Privately held by the DeVos and Van Andel families of US, Amway, short for American Way, was set up in 1959. Amway and its publicly traded sister companies supported 53 affiliate operations worldwide. About 70% of Amway's sales were outside North America.

With over 12,000 employees around the world, Amway was renowned for its strong R&D centre in Michigan, which had 24 laboratories. Amway was present in over 80 countries and its manufacturing plants were located in US, Hungary, Korea, China and India.

The company had over 3 million distributors across the world. Besides its direct selling portfolio of 450 products, Amway promoted around 3,000 products through catalogue sales2 as well. Amway had received permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 1994, to invest $15 million in the Indian operations and to source products from India...

Excerpts >>


2] A sales catalog refers to a list of products/services provided by companies. These are sent to selected addresses. The consumers then place the orders based on the information provided in the catalog. The global catalog sales market stood at $ 87 billion in 1998.

 

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