India is especially against pyramid schemes, and for good reason. The system is set in place to discourage members from engaging with the product or service. It is not necessarily providing anything to the community and the culture as a whole. It is not healthy to the economy, and is always destined to deconstruct at some point.
But direct sales and marketing always seems to compete against the pyramid scheme distinction. A direct sales company works with products and services and not membership fees. This distinction has led many people to label Qnet, a major direct sales company, as just another large pyramid scheme.
It is this claim that has made their success in India problematic, to say the least. A number of high profile arrests has further muddied the problem. Amway’s India Managing Director has arrested in 2013 for claims that he and his company were duping members in their MLM pyramid scheme.
The company was founded in 1998 in Hong Kong, but they have had their sights on India for some time. India is already a well known bastion of opportunity. Many citizens are just now beginning to acquire and accumulate modest wealth (very modest). But they are enterining into a middle ground between unabashed poverty and luxury. This has allowed for an open window where new luxury-oriented goods could potentially take hold in the Indian marketplace.
Qnet merges these two big ideas and constructs. Firstly, hey are an MLM marketing company, which is a unique take on traditional sales. They are combating against the anti-ideologies that look at MLM companies as glorified scam artists. Secondly, they work in the area of popular consumer goods. The products thwey offer are not inherently related to survival- they are not needs. But due to the economic climate of India shifting, there is a whole new demand for goods that are not basic needs, but still affordable.
But the door is still wide open in companies such as Qnet entering the new and unexplored India and truly providing something at a grand and powerful scale.