Kolkata: West Bengal could soon become the highest-contributing market to direct selling revenue in the country, surpassing Maharashtra, a senior official of a leading industry body said.
West Bengal has performed “consistently well” as a market for direct selling in India, and once again emerged as the second-highest revenue-grossing state, accounting for 10.4 per cent of the national sales, he said.
“The direct selling industry in West Bengal has come close to the Rs 2,000-crore mark to touch Rs 1,984 crore in 2021-22. The sustained growth in the state and the eastern region came at a particularly challenging time, bucking the otherwise negative trend across the consumer sector during the dominant Covid phases of 2021-22,” the official of the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) said on Friday.
“The state may soon become the biggest contributor to direct selling revenue in the country if there is adequate policy support,” he told PTI here on the sidelines of the ‘West Bengal Direct Selling Sabha’ 2023.
The direct selling industry in Maharashtra was around Rs 2,222 crore, while Uttar Pradesh ranked third with sales of Rs 1,926 crore, according to IDSA’s Annual Survey for Direct Selling in India for 2021-22.
Speaking on the occasion, Roshni Sen, Principal Secretary – Department of Consumer Affairs, West Bengal said: “I am pleased to note that the direct selling industry has established itself well in the state, contributing not only to the livelihoods of 3.9 lakh people, of which 42 per cent are women, but also contributing by way of taxes to the state exchequer.
“I am of the firm belief that with the notification of the Direct Selling Rules in 2021, followed by the establishment of West Bengal State Monitoring Authority on Direct Selling, more credible opportunities will be created for micro-entrepreneurs who wish to take it up professionally.”
She urged the direct selling entities to function in a transparent manner and ensure that pyramid selling or money circulation is not practised in any way.
Sen also said the state government has begun online enrolment of direct sellers.
IDSA chairman Rajat Banerji said the industry is likely to witness a growth of 6-6.5 per cent in the current fiscal.
Banerji said the Rs 19,000-crore industry managed to tide over the Covid pandemic phase, as nutrition and wellness products form a big chunk of the product portfolio.
Direct selling companies have digitised much of their operations post the pandemic, he said.
“E-commerce is one of the challenges for the industry, and I believe we need to remain relevant to the youth in this context,” Banerji added.