Express News Service
In April, over 60 Proveda entrepreneurs earned over Rs 1 lakh; the highest earned was Rs 20 lakh. Started in 2019, the direct selling company Proveda India gave full-time business opportunity with equal profit share to over one lakh people in 2020, touching Rs 31 crore with a growth of 300 per cent from 2019.
“When the country went into lockdown, we moved towards digital direct selling business and ensured at-home deliveries. As we are selling nutritional supplements and essential goods, we have not been affected,” informs Aseem Sood, 38, Managing Director, Proveda India that runs supermarkets in Rajokri, Seelampur, Najafgarh, Chauhan Patti in Delhi-NCR.
Social media must have boosted sales, but it can never replace the one-on-one trust factor, feels Sood. “Many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic and direct selling gave them the chance to become a part of full-time and part-time business models,” he adds. At present, 5.1 million people in India are associated with direct selling.
Of these, 60 per cent are women. Sood says, “We are seeing a growth in terms of direct sellers in India. In 2016-17, there were 5.1 million direct sellers that rose to 5.7 million in 2018-19. This figure indicates that almost 800 people join the industry every day. This business model is one of the major contributors to the economic development of most of the developed countries majorly in India. The key factor ‘low investments and high returns’ makes it the key driver, and it is estimated that by 2025, the direct selling industry in India will be worth Rs 645 billion.”
The Proveda journey began when Sood, then 25, started Proveda Herbals, manufacturing personal care products for over 140 companies, and exporting to 14 countries. Its inhouse brand TBC By Nature offers products ranging from bleach, face cream, face wash, massage cream, hair remover cream, scrub, masks, and soaps, etc.
“After completing an MBA from Coventry University, UK, I worked in the corporate world for five years, with companies such as WIPRO Infotech (India), Peugeot (UK), and Barclay Bank (UK). As India was a growing market and fastest economy then, people were shifting towards natural and Ayurvedic products. I believed that this was the right time to take Ayurveda forward,” he shares. Proveda India believes in creating a strong platform for leadership.
“Our idea is to build a direct selling company that is ‘of the people’ and ‘for the people’. With the manufacturing capacity of over 500+ products our strongest pillar is our mass to class products, and our strong education system: Edu-Veda. As part of it, we have an intensive plan for offline and online training every month which leads the entrepreneurs towards their goals,” he adds. Proveda India offers a variety of agro, home care, personal care, nutrition and FMCG products.
But the journey wasn’t easy. “Some people assume that a career in direct selling is tough and not a good option. Helping people overcome these thoughts was a struggle, but Proveda India did a great job at changing this mindset,” adds Sood. Doesn’t Proveda view other direct selling companies as their competitors? “The market size is so big, every company can do well and evolve with time. Going forward, we aim to have over 10 lakh Provedians with a turnover of Rs 500 crore by 2025,” he concludes.