NE direct selling market share nearly 10 percent: IDSA survey

Meghalaya turnover second highest in region after Assam

GUWAHATI, Dec 2: The direct selling industry of the Northeast region has been valued at Rs 1621 crore in the financial year 2019-20 with the region accounting for a market share of 9.66 percent and employing about 3,60,000 active direct sellers.

This was revealed by the “Annual Survey 2019-20 for Direct Selling in India”, commissioned by the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA), which was released here on Thursday.

Assam, which occupies the ninth position in the country in terms of market share, alone accounts for a turnover of Rs 771.6 crore.

“This translates to 47.59 percent of the total revenue of the Northeast India market, or 4.59 percent of the gross national direct selling revenue,” IDSA general manager, Chetan Bhardwaj informed mediapersons on the sidelines of the “North East Direct Selling Expo” anchored by the IDSA here on Thursday.

“Further, the direct selling industry in Assam has contributed in excess of Rs 100 crore in the form of taxes to the state exchequer. This industry provides livelihoods to 200,000 people in Assam and another 1, 60,000 direct sellers in the remaining states of the Northeast,” Bhardwaj said.

Making a detailed presentation on various aspects of the direct selling industry in the Northeast, he said that Meghalaya, with a turnover of Rs 220 crore with nearly 20,000 direct sellers, ranks second after Assam in the region, followed by Manipur (Rs 211crore with 30,000 direct sellers), Mizoram (Rs 202-crore with nearly 30,000 direct sellers) and Nagaland (Rs 110crore with about 20,000 direct sellers).

“Besides, Tripura with a turnover of Rs 59 crore with 30,000 direct sellers, Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 42 crore with over 10,000 direct sellers) and Sikkim (Rs 5crore with 20,000 direct sellers) are emerging markets and doing exceptionally well. It is also a reflection of the immense potential and scope of growth that the Northeastern region of India has as a market,” the IDSA official said.

Asked how the industry coped during the pandemic, Bhardwaj said that the industry recorded a year-on-year growth of over five percent in the first six months of 2020-2021 despite the pandemic-induced lockdown.

“The reason for the growth was that a lot of people lost their jobs due to COVID-19, and turned to direct selling as an option to supplement their income. The work-from-home concept also paved the way for flexible working hours. Then again, only essential services were allowed to function during the lockdown and direct selling companies that had a portfolio under the essential category of the government were functioning,” IDSA secretary, Aprajita Sarcar said.

The IDSA officials also predicted that once the new direct selling rules get notified, about 18 other top companies would come to India and set up new plants or into contract manufacturing with MSME operators in the country over the next two to three years.

Meanwhile, the “North East Direct Selling Expo” here brought together an array of direct selling industry leaders, market experts and direct sellers from the North East market.

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