Staff Reporter –
Contributes to 10% share of pan India revenue and number of active Direct Sellers. The Direct Selling Industry in West Bengal has come close to the INR 2000 crore mark to touch Rs. 1984 Crores, according to the Annual Survey for Direct Selling in India for the period 2021-22, released by the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA). The sustained growth of direct selling in West Bengal and the Eastern Region of India came at a particularly challenging time, bucking the otherwise negative trend of depressed sentiment across the consumer sector at large during the dominant Covid phases of 2021-22.
West Bengal has performed consistently well as a market for Direct Selling in India and has once again emerged as the second highest revenue grossing state accounting for 10.4% of national direct selling revenue. With this, West Bengal has held the second spot in Direct Selling Revenue figures since FY 2018-19, registering an impressive 17.75% CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) as per data recorded with and published by IDSA and which exceeds the national CAGR (of ~13%) for the growth of Direct Selling in India. The Indian Direct Selling industry registered a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of ~13%, growing from INR 11,650 Crores in 2017-18 to INR 19,020 Crores in 2021-22.
For FY 2021-22 the Eastern Region (comprising of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha) also fared very well, accounting for 24.7% market share of direct selling revenues in India or Rs. 4702 Crores. Furthermore, The Direct Selling Industry has provided livelihoods to more than 3.9 Lakh individuals in the state of West Bengal. For the Eastern Region stands at 26.7 Lakh individuals who have secured their livelihoods with the Direct Selling Industry.
Speaking at the West Bengal Direct Selling Sabha 2023, Smt. Roshni Sen, IAS and Principal Secretary – Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of West Bengal said, “I am pleased to note that the Direct Selling Industry of India has established itself well in West Bengal, contributing not only to the livelihoods of 3.9 Lakh people, of which 42% are women, but also contributing by way of taxes to the State Exchequer. I am of the firm belief that with the notification of the Direct Selling Rules in 2021, followed by the establishment of West Bengal State Monitoring Authority on Direct Selling, more credible
opportunities will be created for micro-entrepreneurs who wish to take up Direct Selling professionally. I would congratulate IDSA for its effort to become an able, willing and compliant industry partner of the Government of West Bengal. In this connection, I would urge upon IDSA and the direct selling entities to function in a transparent manner and ensure that pyramid selling or money circulation is not practised in any way in the garb of direct selling.’’
Mr. Rajat Banerji, Chairman, IDSA said, “It has always been an absolute pleasure to come to Kolkata and West Bengal due to the energy, business drive and sustained interest that this city and the state has shown. Despite the immense onslaught and aftershocks of a devastating second wave of the Covid19 pandemic in 2021-22, the Direct Selling Industry in West Bengal has outperformed expectations in 2020-21 and we are confident that this performance level would be further enhanced in FY 2022-23. We would like to thank the Government of West Bengal for their continued strong support to the Direct Selling Industry, and in building the spirit of entrepreneurship among our Direct Sellers.”
Overall, The Indian direct selling industry grew to Rs. 19,020 Crores in 2021-22, an increase of Rs. 953 Crores over the Rs. 18,067 Crores annual sales figure achieved in 2020-21. The financial year of 2021-22 was dominated by the deadly Delta variant wave of the COVID19 pandemic and consequently led to restrictions to business, ability of consumers to spend owing to depressed income and spend sentiment in the FMCG & Retail sectors. Despite severe economic and social challenges, the Direct Selling Industry of India emerged strong and resilient.
The share of IDSA members in the total sales of the Direct Selling industry stood at 55% in 2021-22. Of this the Wellness & Nutraceutical category contributed ~59% of Direct Selling sales in India, followed by 22% revenue contribution by the Cosmetics and Personal category.
Furthermore, the number of Active Direct Sellers in the country stood at around 84 lakhs, registering a growth of ~6% from 79 lakhs in 2020-21. The industry comprises 56% Male Direct Sellers to 44% Female Active Direct Sellers. This Gender Ratio has changed in favour of Male Direct Sellers from 2020-21 where it stood at 53% of Male and 47% of Female Active Direct Sellers.