Direct selling industry sales in Malaysia set to expand next year despite pandemic Mikhail Raj Abdullah / Bernama
October 03, 2021 14:35 pm +08
Direct selling industry sales in Malaysia set to expand next year despite pandemic -A+A KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 3): Malaysia's direct selling industry sales are forecast to grow next year despite the Covid-19 pandemic in line with global trends, driven mainly by wellness, as well as cosmetic and personal care products.
Sales in Malaysia were expected to increase by 10% to 15% next year from RM20 billion in 2020, Qi Group founder and executive chairman Datuk Seri Vijay Eswaran told Bernama.
He said job loss and economic difficulties during the ongoing pandemic had driven many individuals in Malaysia to turn to direct selling as a viable micro-entrepreneurship opportunity that provided an alternate income stream.
It was encouraging to note Malaysia being listed as one of the top 10 markets for direct selling worldwide by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), he said.
A report by WFDSA listed Malaysia climbing the ranks to seventh position on their top markets list with a three-year compound annual growth rate, or investment yields of 11.4%, from 2017 to 2020 — the third-highest growth rate after Argentina and India, respectively.
Global direct sales increased by 2.3% year-on-year, from US$175.3 billion in 2019 to US$179.3 billion in 2020 (US$1=RM4.18), clearly demonstrating resilience when most commercial sectors were experiencing a downward trend due to the pandemic.
He said global trends last year showed that wellness products constituted the majority of direct sales by category at 36.2%, followed by cosmetics and personal care products at 26.2%.
"This is a trend likely to persist throughout 2021 as the third wave of the pandemic continues to affect consumer demand," he said in conjunction with Asian conglomerate Qi’s 23rd anniversary celebration.
Vijay said the direct selling industry proved its resilience and adaptability, as Covid-19 presented a great opportunity to companies with a strong portfolio of personal health and wellness products like the ones offered by QNET, the group's direct selling subsidiary.
Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, especially in its early days when the world went into lockdown, QNET survived the rough patch by adapting to the virtual world seamlessly on the strength of its e-commerce platform and a loyal distributor base, he said.
"Demand for such products skyrocketed with a focus on immunity building," he added.
QNET was a pioneer in the direct selling industry in adopting e-commerce and venturing into emerging economies, making high-quality products and services accessible along with entrepreneurship to those who aspired to build a borderless business online.
Turning to the emergence of micro entrepreneurship, Vijay noted that the successful pivot from physical to virtual events and a focus on providing digital tools and online trainings by direct selling companies also played a significant role in the rising popularity of the industry, during a time when e-commerce transactions had been peaking.
The new norm of direct business sales and e-commerce can be best exemplified by Qi's virtual meeting and anniversary celebrations last month, attended by over 15,000 distributors, customers and employees worldwide from nearly 50 countries.
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