Ajay Khanna, CMO, Amway India takes us through the brand’s focus on delivering holistic wellness during the pandemic, its initiatives during the festive season and the advantages of direct selling
During these times where e-commerce is taking flight, brands are looking at new ways to enhance the consumer experience online. In this context, Ajay Khanna, CMO, Amway India takes us through the brand’s focus on delivering holistic wellness during the pandemic, its initiatives during the festive season and the advantages that direct selling brings to the table.
Tell us a little about the evolving consumer trends that you’ve noticed in the nutrition and wellness category, especially during the pandemic.
With the concept of holistic wellbeing fundamentally altered, self-care has become the new essential. Further, going ‘back to local’ is another trend that is on the rise, as consumers, especially the millennials, embrace traditional ingredients and products to maintain health and immunity. The ‘seed to shelf’ journey of a product has become critical to consumers as they are keen on finding out the ingredients that go into a product and the product value chain itself. There has been an emergence of online communities built around common passions of health, beauty, fitness, cooking, and so on. As people look for personal recommendations online, many of our direct sellers have built vibrant social communities, delivering personalised product experiences by integrating their offline connection to the online network. Another interesting trend we have observed is the Do It Yourself movement.
How has Amway been working to maintain consumer trust during the pandemic? What has your approach been in terms of marketing and communication?
We entered into a strategic partnership with the FMCG major ITC to strengthen the immunity offering in India. As a part of our CSR endeavour, we came up with a 500 ml sanitiser gel, especially for frontline COVID-19 workers, which was distributed free of cost across the country. We ensured the availability of essential nutrition and personal care products from time to time with hassle-free last-mile delivery and conduct more than 30,000 annual product quality tests at our laboratories around the world. To ensure that our direct sellers and their customers have a satisfying experience with Amway, our products are backed by a money-back guarantee for 100% satisfaction of use.
With restrictions lifted considerably in the past few months, how confident do you feel about consumer sentiment improving during this festive season? What is the brand doing during the festive period?
The festive season is the perfect occasion to introduce exciting offers and products and strengthen connect with the brand. We have a strong pipeline of product launches in the beauty and personal care category under our brands. Moreover, with nutrition taking the centre stage in today’s discourse, we will continue to promote immunity supporting SKUs through the #immunityeveryday campaign. With the unprecedented increase in time spent online, we will leverage Social to communicate and engage with the larger audience through digital-first customised storytelling. We will also be integrating our product education efforts through live interactive webinars.
What is your current and target market share in the nutrition and wellness category?
Amway’s nutrition and wellness brand, Nutrilite, has maintained the leadership position in the vitamins and dietary supplements category for the past five years and currently, holds close to a 12% market share. Nutrition and wellness segment comprises over 50% of Amway’s business, which also includes the herbal nutrition category. Going by the trends, we foresee close to 10% growth in the category’s contribution from the current 56% to 65%, in the next couple of years. Therefore, we will continue to further strengthen the category with a special focus on immunity supporting products.
Do you have plans to move beyond being a direct-selling brand?
Over the last few months, we have witnessed a significant surge in people joining Amway for doing business, of which 64% of the new registrations are in the under-35 category. We are primarily a direct-selling company, and our business model remains our guiding principle. We have been experimenting with newer formats by leveraging trends such as social commerce and are evolving with the changing business and consumer trends staying relevant to the times. We have witnessed our business shift from offline to online with online sales doubling from 33.6% in Feb 2020 to over 70% today. In line with this trend, we are strengthening our digital capabilities to support our 550,000 direct sellers and their customers. We will continue to ensure the delivery of an unparalleled experience to our direct sellers and their customers. However, these mechanisms are only introduced with the commitment to keep the interest and progress of our direct sellers at the centre of all decisions.