Direct selling is one of the fastest-growing sectors in India, contributing phenomenally towards employment generation in the country. During the pandemic, he played a pivotal role in giving alternative employment opportunities to people, empowering them financially during difficult times. Over the years, direct selling has also helped millions of women achieve financial independence and opened up livelihood avenues for them, enabling them to overcome societal limitations and contributing towards achieving gender equality.
Today, women across the globe have been dominating the direct selling industry and have been the driving force behind the success of the model. It provides them ample opportunities to earn and contribute to not just their household incomes, but also to the country’s economic wealth. The last two years saw a remarkable increase in the number of women, particularly homemakers, joining the direct selling workforce. As per a report by World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), the direct selling industry growth in India has an estimated 53 percent of female entrepreneurs as they are actively engaged in over $1.5 billion industry. While most sectors in India are struggling to increase the participation of women, direct selling already boasts more than 53 percent women entrepreneurs. The numbers speak volumes about the role direct selling plays in the economic empowerment of women.
Direct selling is helping women in many ways including
Direct selling allows women to take charge of their careers and uses the opportunity and skills to gain financial independence. It gives them the freedom to live on their own terms. By empowering women economically, direct selling is contributing towards building a stronger economy because when women earn, they drive growth and create a more inclusive economy characterized by low levels of income inequality.
- Confidence-building and inculcating entrepreneurial skills
Expansion of direct selling has been more than successful in involving women in a framework that hones their marketing, communication and mentoring skills, leading to the building of a committed workforce that helps boost sales, resulting in the economic success of the participants and the organization. Many organizations offer skill-development workshops and other initiatives that help women boost their confidence and provide them with the right kind of knowledge. While these workshops provide the much-needed networking skills to both men and women, they specifically play the role of a confidence booster for women who are joining the workforce for the first time. It is helping create womenpreneurs of today and tomorrow and many have become the frontrunners in the direct selling businesses.
Women are multitaskers as they also have multiple roles to play. Direct selling opportunities enable them to upskill themselves and earn a living, while working flexi-hours and having the convenience of operating from home, thereby giving them the much-needed work-life balance. A dedicated effort of just two hours a day over a period of time can result in exponential gains.
Unlike other businesses, in the direct selling business, only a minimal cost is involved to enter. Companies involved in direct selling business bear the risk of the investment but share the revenues when it comes to marketing. This makes it a lucrative employment option for women, who, apart from opportunities, guidance, and mentoring, also gain great returns in terms of financial rewards for their hard work.
The direct selling sector holds promise for women as it effectively promotes entrepreneurship and self-employment. It has been empowering women by furthering their economical horizons. The development has been symbolic of self-reliance, giving many women rays of hope and wings of freedom towards a better future.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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