With more than $8 billion in revenue and a team of 15,000 employees, Amway has helped entrepreneurs in more than 100 countries see success selling health, beauty, and wellness products through a program called “A Million Entrepreneurs.”
According to Fortune magazine, Amway is among the Top 50 privately held family-owned companies in the U.S. Founded in 1959, the company is still headquartered in the small town of Ada, Michigan, and today is the world's largest direct to selling company. I talked with their CEO, Milind Pant, on The Reboot Chronicles about how he is rebooting the future of the company.
Stumbling Into Action
Too often, new CEOs forget to take a step back and listen before taking action. As the first CEO to not be part of the founding family, Milind embraced what I like to call “the stumbling around phase” approach when he took the position, spending his first one hundred days traveling the world listening to and learning from colleagues, customers and partners. Milind's approach proved successful as he learned the business—seeking diverse perspectives from the one million entrepreneurs that sell their products to the trenches and fields behind-the-scenes.
Along the way, he also took a deep dive into better understanding the integration of holistic, wellness and sustainability ethos, which is at the heart of the company's culture. By taking the long-view, and asking hundreds of questions, he built lasting relationships and gained allies who helped him as he began to reboot the company—from its historical strengths of direct selling into the next-gen of personalized social commerce.
Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
About 90% of Amway's revenue is from outside of the United States. Though this points to numerous growth opportunities in North America, Milind points to massive growth markets in China, India and various Asian markets where they are strong. An impressive 75% of Amway's revenue comes from geographic territory stretching from Mumbai to Tokyo—not many organizations can say that yet. This approach has made Amway, like Amazon Sellers now, a company that entrepreneurs have looked to as a platform for their personal financial growth. Those of you that follow my Dancing with Startups programs know that tapping into entrepreneurial ecosystems is one of our secret weapons that creates sustainable competitive assets for large corporates. I think Amway's entrepreneurial network is one such asset which will serve them well into their long-view connected-economy journey.
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