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 deep-dive 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.
Tapping into 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.
Amway certainly is in one of the most competitive product spaces—wellness—facing competition from most large retailers and of course, the big dog Amazon. But Amway’s social commerce model is an entirely different approach than Amazon, enabling it to stand apart with personalized engagement—both in person or online. The company’s overarching goal is to provide social and e-commerce platforms that better meet customer needs, with frictionless, easy shopping—as well as online communities, marketplaces and platforms for entrepreneurs.
Within the next few years, Amway is looking to become the top entrepreneur-led health and wellness company. The pandemic has put a greater focus on holistic wellness, making it more important than ever before. Consumers are seeking out new ways to build better habits and long-term innate immunity, which can be achieved through a balanced, plant-forward diet, regular moderate exercise, sound sleep, mindfulness, having loving relationships and empathy, and a love for nature and Mother Earth. These six ideas have been key to Amway’s business model for a long time, but by adapting these at a large-scale, this can change the lives of billions of people and help them live healthier lives.
A true leader practices not just what he or she preaches, but what they passionately believe in. Check out Milind’s writings (his beliefs) on entrepreneurship and the global convergence of health, beauty and wellness: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/meet-inspirational-entrepreneurs-combining-beauty-health-milind-pant/. For entrepreneurs, the three key things to think about, from this interview with Milind, is his 3 P’s mantra—Passion, a Positive attitude, and a Phone! Listen in to learn more about the 3P’s and Milind's other inspirational stories here or wherever you listen to podcasts.
About The Reboot Chronicles Podcast: Hosted by Dean DeBiase
The Reboot Chronicles is a popular no-holds-barred podcast on iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube that has been bringing together CEOs, entrepreneurs, authors, and global leaders, for over a decade, to discuss how organizations are rebooting their leadership-competitiveness of everything from growth, innovation, and technology to talent, culture, and governance. Tune in wherever you listen to podcasts or at https://www.revieve.com/rebootchronicles
Named a Growth Guru" by Inc. Magazine, Dean DeBiase is a Faculty Member at Kellogg School of Management and Silicon Valley serial CEO, where he has served in chief executive and chairman roles of more than a dozen emerging growth companies, CEO of Fortune 500 subsidiaries, and a director on public, private, family-enterprise, CVC, PE and VC boards. He is a Technology Fellow at Northwestern University, a Board Leadership Fellow at The National Association of Corporate Directors, and an Advisor to the National Science Foundation. A Forbes Contributor and co-author of the best-selling book The Big Moo, Dean, is working on his next book, Dancing with Startups. Connect with Dean here: www.linkedin.com/in/FollowDean