Saturday, 14 July 2012

Who Owns the Network????


Network Marketing in India is getting into a revolutionary mode. At last a Government regulation seems to be on the cards. A regulatory authority in the same line as that of IRDA is the need of the hour in direct selling. As there is no authority who can differentiate good companies from fly by night operators, even now Lakhs and Lakhs of people are getting into traps.

In the meanwhile, there is another interesting discussion happening in the industry, 'whether the network one creates belong to the company or to the distributor.'. This is going to be an interesting debate and surely will pave a new path in the industry.

In the last few weeks industry is buzz with the news regarding the open war declared by distributors of Amway against the company policies.  The issue is really hot as trade unions have decided to support the distributors in this fight. While some fanatic Amway distributors are criticizing this move, as they are being blinded by their up lines and company, general sentiments amongst the distributors is in favor of this move. In Kerala distributors have staged a dharna with the support of CITU against the company's move to terminate distributors without giving proper reasons and evidences.  Company denied to pay bonuses to many saying that 'they are not in good standing,' a phrase defined and decided by the company.  But company can never justify the denial of bonuses for the business one has done.

I have a very bad experience in this context. Amway's financial year closes on August 31. In 2010-2011, I was eligible for Diamond bonus and Diamond plus bonus and Emerald bonus, which are part of the declared business plan. I resigned from Amway on November 3, 2011. The bonuses are for the period 2010 Sept to 2011 Aug. What justification company can give for denying those bonuses? This is the case with many distributors. What security such a company offers to people?

Many distributors are being terminated in the last few months. Though affected distributors asked for evidences for their 'crime,' company ignored all such appeals. It has come to a stage where if few down-lines or uplines don't like you, they can register some fake complaints and get your distributorship terminated! Is this called security!!! I know there are many who are clapping and celebrating when some of their counterparts getting terminated....but mind you, it can happen to you also.
Another million dollar question here is;  where are you getting terminated from? From the network you created putting your blood, sweat and tears...the network you created by driving those miles and spending Lakhs and Lakhs of rupees? I associated as a distributor with Amway in 1998. Last fourteen years I worked hard to create the network. Company did't play any role in building the network.  Lakhs and Lakhs of rupees have been spend by me to build such a network.  So is the case with all the distributors.  Company doesn't pay you for building the network; they pay you for the sales volume you create.  If so how can company terminate one from the network he has created? In such a case company is taking over the network which you have created over a period of time by investing your money and time.  Hence shouldn't the company reimburse the money you have spend on developing that network? By terminating you, company is going to get extra profit from that position. Later on that position will be sold to another distributor at a premium and company makes another profit.  What is that the distributor who puts his entire life for creating that network gets?  If company's argument is that the network is created for the company by a distributor, then it means that the distributor has provided a service to the company.  If that is the case, company should allow distributor to invoice the company for the services provided and for which the service tax need to be collected from the company (as company is now the client for the distributor), and paid to the Government.  When company is asking distributors to pay the service tax from their pocket, it clearly shows that distributor has not provided any service to the company for creating a network and hence the company doesn't have any ownership on the network.

Friends, this is not the time to celebrate 'terminations.' This is the time to think about your own future.
Today you may be an ultimately loyal distributor to the company with which you are working. Tomorrow there could be situations where you may have to think differently. Because ultimately companies are here for business....not for charity. In the case of Amway, it is even alleged by the distributors who are at strike that this termination drama is a well thought out plan of Amway to get into the retail sector. Whether it is true or not, companies have the freedom to take business decisions.

Always remember, you and me are simple distributors..... Time has come where we need to think more logical and practical.
Whatever be the outcome of this move, one thing is becoming very  clear...no company can exploit their distributors in the name of loyalty. It is time for all the entrepreneurs in Direct Selling industry to wake up and think like a professional.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Loyalty to Company or Loyalty to PAYCHECK???


Since I along with few leaders took the decision to move to Mona.Vie we have been seeing the normal distributors getting exploited and mentally tortured by many leaders and companies on a factor called ‘loyalty!’  These leaders make statements that one should be loyal to the company in which one associated.  It’s a good idea as long as the company also is loyal to the distributors.  I strongly believe that the loyalty should be towards some cause, some principles you uphold; not to a business establishment as companies will change their strategies from time to time.  I was always loyal to the people whom I have brought into the business and still I am.  In fact that is why I had to take such a tough decision. 

There were many leaders involved in the discussions regarding ‘looking at another business opportunity.’  Many of the present day ‘Amway apostles’ were involved in these discussions, the reason being, even at Diamond level leaders were finding it tough to show lifestyles and a good life.  One of my Diamond Council members had always been trying to convince us to move to a binary plan company for the last five years.  Now he is proclaiming as the biggest apostle of Amway (though he is having discussions with other MLM companies even now).  After deciding to move to Mona.Vie, I and SP Bharil discussed the Mona.Vie business idea with two Diamonds who have always been asking me to search for other options.  We were brain storming whole night.  They had decided to move to Mona.Vie. The discussion was only on how to present this to their team.  Both of them appreciated us for the courage and also were so excited that they could give something good to their downlines. We even finalized their placement in the structure.  But later they informed that they would rather wait for sometime as their downlines are not willing to move.

In fact it was a Founder Diamond with whom I had close relationship years back, brought the idea of Mona.Vie.  He considers himself to be the most intelligent person in Amway world.  He even informed us that he had taken a distributorship of Mona.Vie in USA in 2010 with the idea that he would get the entire Indian leadership under him as the ID is global.  (This got confirmed by the leader who sponsored him in Mona.Vie in USA).  He had even had series of discussions with SP Bharil.  But none of us were interested in working with him. In between Amway came to know about his plans and gave a threatening call stating that he would be terminated without notice as this leader was suspended many times for unethical practices.  Earlier company had even warned all the leaders in India to stay away from him.  I can’t stop laughing when I see the same man has become big brand ambassador for Amway.

Anyway it is quite a joke happening in the market.  Innocent distributors who have been struggling in the market are blindly following all these goat-skinned wolfs without even thinking.  These leaders are using the weapon called ‘loyalty’ to hold their downlines.  The downlines adore them for the loyalty they are showing.  I can challenge anyone….these leaders are staying there not because of their loyalty to the company; but because of their loyalty to the ‘PAYCHECK.’ 

Of late I have been getting calls from many Amway leaders and even leaders from other MLM companies.  Major concern for all of them is that ‘how can I protect the income which I am getting from the present company.’  They all swear that if that is taken care, they are willing to move. 

Loyalty is an important character for succeeding in life; but the question is loyalty for what and loyal to whom?  My loyalty always has been and will always be for people, people who believe in me.  I dedicate my life for those people not for any companies.  This may be right or wrong…but this is the principle I follow in my life

Monday, 2 April 2012

Business Competition OR Personal Rivalry???


Business Competition or Personal Rivalry

Now that it is almost six months since I along with some senior leaders and thousands of distributors of Amway decided to build our future in association with Mona.Vie, others should consider this as a business decision and refrain from destructive activities.  Lets all realize the fact that Mona.Vie is here to stay.  They are opening 12 offices and more than 100 distribution centers and also getting ready to start manufacturing from India.  They may not be 50 years old like Amway, but they have already become the fastest growing direct selling company in the world having business in 22 countries in just 7 years.  Mona.Vie also is a product based company which has invested millions of dollars on research.  Companies like Amway and their distributors should acknowledge that they are having a competition in the market.  And competition is a not a bad thing.  Customers and distributors are at an advantageous position when there is competition.  They have options, they get better bargaining power.  Companies, whether it is Amway of Mona.Vie are here to generate business and profits.  I don’t think that you have taken distributorship, whether that of Amway or Mona.Vie, for charity.  As competition kills monopoly and gives freedom of choice, it is always good for distributors and customers.

Unfortunately, what I have been seeing here is absolutely unhealthy methods.  In Ranchi, when one of our leaders was doing a business presentation, few Amway leaders came into the hall and shouted and screamed.  While a Mona.Vie home meeting was going on in a house in Bangalore for a person who is a distributor of Amway also, his uplines came in and created a havoc.  That distributor had to throw his Amway uplines out of his house.  In Kerala, wherever we fix meetings, some Amway distributors will go and register complaints with the police.  People are being threatened saying that their Amway distributorship will get terminated if they join with Mona.Vie.  Its is a pathetic plight.  The question is how long can you adopt these kinds of third rate methods. 

Every such attempt is making our distributors more and more strong.  Recently Bindu and me had to go through many investigations.  These are based on anonymous complaints registered by the so called ‘aggrieved Amway distributors,’ as written in the complaints.  The complaints were all about ‘illegal operations of TeamOne and the unaccounted money I have been generating through that.’ All the complaints were framed with the sole purpose of creating trouble in my personal and professional life.  One of the senior distributors who is ‘now’ with Amway (though discussions are still on with some other companies) had declared to one of my closest leaders that they would go to any extent to tarnish my image so that Mona.Vie business could never succeed in Kerala. 

Though Bindu and I had to face few investigations, all happened for good.  All the investigating authorities vouched that TeamOne operations have been absolutely legal and totally transparent.  Quoting the concluding statement of a report submitted by one of the Investigating Officers, “ TeamOne has been operating complying with all the State and Central Government Statutory requirements, has been paying VAT and CST properly, regularly filing IT returns and paying Service Taxes for the collection from trainings and seminars and has been maintaining proper books of accounts and records and that this is functioning absolutely legally under a company registered under the Companies Act. ‘ (If any one wants a copy of this report, you can contact me)

In fact in this process, we got a detailed audit done on our organization.  The people who registered these complaints must have thought that because of these investigations I would lose focus in Mona.Vie.  But all this has only made me more powerful.  We could face these investigations with absolute confidence as we know how honestly and transparently we have operated TeamOne.  God knows it all.
 
Now my request to all these 'frustrated' Amway distributors is that please get out of destructive mode….be in a creative mode. Accept Mona.Vie and its distributors as competition and develop creative strategies to retain people with you.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Bringing Clarity

The past few days have been filled with speculations and news about a few decisions that I made on my business front - pertaining to how it would affect the future course of my business venture and the team that has closely followed me for over 13 years in the network marketing business. I came into the network marketing business, inspired by earlier leaders who instilled in me, their sense of financial freedom and visions. I believed, primarily, on the people and then on the products. I consider it my good fortune to have risen to the ranks of a leader and a guide in my business with many people looking up to me.

I have always said and still maintain that it is people who build businesses, not business that build people. And my recent decisions, are strongly based on that focus. In the videos above, I have recorded a personal statement, giving insight into my decisions. There is an option of viewing either and English or a Malayalam video. For those who would prefer to read rather than listen, please visit the link on the top left called "Blog".

Here's wishing everyone in the journey the best to reach their own personal destinations. Here's wishing everyone all the success in all their endeavors.

God Bless.



SAJEEV NAIR

About Me