Amway to foray into consumer durables business in India

KOLKATA: In what it sees as a natural progression to growth in India, US-based Amway Corp, one of the world's largest direct selling companies, is planning to enter the consumer durables business by rolling out cookware, water purifiers and air purifiers, global president Douglas L. DeVos said. 

The durables business of Amway globally contributes around 20% of its turnover, with brands like Amway
Queen for cookware, Atmosphere for air purifiers and eSpring range of water purifiers. The largest sales contributor is the nutrition business led by the Nutrilite brand that accounts for 45% of revenue. 

"The durable business is complicated since it requires capable manufacturing and service back-up. But it will be a natural progression for us to grow Amway in India," said DeVos, the youngest son of co-founder Rich DeVos. 

The company's plans to enter the Rs 4,000 crore 
water purifier space is going to stir up excitement in a category that has seen recent expansion by leading companies such as UnileverBSE 1.22 %, Tata Group, LG and Panasonic. Amway would even consider acquiring brands in the cookware or water purifier segment if it saw a strategic fit, DeVos said. 

"India is currently the seventh largest market for Amway. It can potentially become the second largest after China due to sheer size of the population and with rapid expansion into newer categories driving the growth," said DeVos. 

At present, India contributes 7% to Amway's global revenue. It is the 11th largest 
FMCG company in the country with revenue of Rs 2,288 crore in 2012. Its top brands include Nutrilite Protein, Nutrilite Daily and Glister and SA8. 

DeVos makes an annual India visit. This year, he first flew into Chennai to oversee Amway's first proposed FMCG plant in the country built and then came to 
Kolkata on Tuesday evening. "The Chennai plant will primarily cater to the Indian market but we expect it will eventually become a global sourcing hub," said DeVos. 

Amway wants to use India to expand into the SAARC region and enter markets like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. "Hence, we want to rapidly expand the Indian operations so that it can become 
the hub," he said. 

Amway is the largest direct selling company in the country and has been championing the cause of regulation. "We are presenting laws on direct selling in the US, Malaysia and Singapore to the Indian government. A regulation for the industry will help in legitimate growth and will remove the misconception with which our competitors misrepresent us," says DeVos.