A healthy for­mula for suc­cess

By in­te­grat­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine, tech­nol­ogy and its unique di­rect­selling-only ap­proach, Amway has be­come a force to be reck­oned within China

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

To Gan Chee Eng, pres­i­dent of Amway Greater China, it is with­out doubt the com­pany’s unique “peo­ple” el­e­ment that has turned it into one of the most in­flu­en­tial di­rect-sell­ing en­ter­prises in Chi­nese mar­ket.

In con­trast to most tra­di­tional com­pa­nies, Amway’s cus­tomers can only pur­chase prod­ucts di­rectly from the sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives, who Gan con­sid­ers to be the back­bone of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to him, this unique busi­ness strat­egy has fos­tered an en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit among the sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives, who are in turn more mo­ti­vated to sup­port one an­other and help the com­pany grow.

“The big­gest as­set of this com­pany is our peo­ple. Our sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives may come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds and places but they all have the same am­bi­tion — to sell our high-qual­ity prod­ucts di­rectly to the right per­son,” said Gan, who was born in Malaysia and has worked all over Asia for Amway since he joined the group more than 20 years ago.

As a vet­eran in the com­pany, Gan has wit­nessed Amway’s first plant be­ing con­structed in Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince in 1993 as well as the re­cent launch of the Amway Botan­i­cal Re­searchCen­ter(ABRC)in­Wuxi, Jiangsu prov­ince. He has also played a big role in ex­pand­ing the staff num­bers to the cur­rent strength of 60,000 sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives in China and the com­pany is plan­ning to dou­ble this fig­ure within the next two decades.

Launched in 1959 in the United States, Amway first sold or­ganic liq­uid clean­ers, which were the world’s first con­cen­trated, biodegrad­able and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly al­ter­na­tive. The com­pany has since ex­panded its prod­uct line to cover the health and beauty sec­tors as well.

Amway has viewed China as an im­por­tant rev­enue source as well as an ideal lo­ca­tion to ex­pand its new re­search and de­vel­op­ment ef­forts. Amway China is the largest af­fil­i­ate of Amway Cor­po­ra­tion, with sales fig­ures hit­ting a new record of more than 29 bil­lion yuan ($4.59 bil­lion) in 2013.

Con­fi­dent that their busi­ness in China will con­tinue to grow, Amway China plans to in­crease its in­vest­ments and ex­pand its manufacturing and re­search fa­cil­i­ties. Amway has now placed a ma­jor em­pha­sis on tech­nol­ogy to help grow the busi­ness, with the re­cent launch of an on­line so­cial net­work­ing plat­form and mobile ap­pli­ca­tions in Au­gust form­ing part of the plan to go be­yond its ex­ist­ing off­line di­rect sell­ing mar­ket.

With this new mode of sales, rep­re­sen­ta­tives can pur­chase prod­ucts through th­ese on­line plat­forms and the com­pany will take on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of de­liv­er­ing the goods to the con­sumers. To en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence, Amway has set up 10 ex­pe­ri­ence stores na­tion­wide, and there are an­other eight in the pipe­line.

“We have to catch up with the times and al­low sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives to ap­ply the ad­vance­ments in In­ter­net tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate a more

It’s time for Amway’s Nutrilite to go home (to China) — to ex­plore the essence of TCM and com­bine it with tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate more ad­vanced high qual­ity nu­tri­tion, beauty and home prod­ucts for con­sumers.”

a wide range of their prod­ucts, such as Nutrilite, the core health food brand of Amway.

Gan said that Nutrilite, which is pop­u­lar with the Chi­nese con­sumers, was orig­i­nally in­spired by TCM. Its prod­ucts are a com­bi­na­tion of plant nu­tri­ents.

“It’s time for Amway’s Nutrilite to go home (to China) — to ex­plore the essence of TCM and com­bine it with tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate more ad­vanced high qual­ity nu­tri­tion, beauty and home prod­ucts for

Gan Chee Eng,

pres­i­dent of Amway Greater China

con­sumers,” said Gan.

In 2012, Amway an­nounced that it would be set­ting aside an in­vest­ment of 600 mil­lion yuan to ex­pand its pro­duc­tion site in Guangzhou, and es­tab­lish the ABRC in Wuxi. Built on a 34-hectare farm­land, the $25 mil­lion ABRC in­cludes a lab­o­ra­tory and green­house, and will be used to con­duct re­search on soil nu­tri­ents, plant phys­i­ol­ogy, ex­tract qual­ity stan­dards and pro­cesses in its health and beauty prod­ucts.

The re­cent open­ing of the ABRC com­pletes a five-year process to de­velop the site. For three years, Amway ex­am­ined nu­mer­ous lo­ca­tions in an ef­fort to find op­ti­mal grow­ing con­di­tions that could match the high stan­dards at the com­pany’s cer­ti­fied or­ganic farms in Brazil, Mex­ico and the US.

“The cen­ter will serve as a site for agri­cul­tural re­search on plants used in TCM. The goal is to come up with a spe­cial­ized over­all so­lu­tion to meet the health con­cerns of lo­cal con­sumers,” said Gan.

Gan re­vealed that Amway is also aim­ing to pro­vide tai­lor-made nu­tri­tion and health care ser­vices for dif­fer­ent types of con­sumers in the fu­ture.

“In or­der to fit the grow­ing scale of con­sumers who have a va­ri­ety of re­quire­ments, we will change our busi­ness model from sell­ing a sin­gle item to par­tic­u­lar groups to of­fer­ing a holis­tic health so­lu­tion for con­sumers to ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Gan.

CHINA DAILY PRO­VIDED TO

Gan Chee Eng, pres­i­dent of Amway Greater China, be­lieves that a keen fo­cus on peo­ple has built the com­pany into a di­rect-sell­ing leader in health­care and nu­tri­tion industry.

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