Thailand's direct sales industry is expected to see growth of 3-5% next year after two years of contraction attributed to the Covid-19 outbreaks.
According to Surachet Chousri, the newly appointed president of the Thai Direct Selling Association (TDSA), the sector fell to 69.3 billion baht and 63.8 billion in 2020 and 2021, respectively, from 70.1 billion in 2019.
Of the 63.8 billion baht in 2021, 78% came from two categories: wellness and beauty. This confirms consumers' interest in health and beauty trends, he said.
"The Thai direct sales industry is likely to improve based on new offerings, particularly in the health and wellness category," said Mr Surachet.
The second half this year is seeing a recovery, with business gradually returning to offline from the digital channel, he said.
According to Mr Surachet, the positive momentum is expected to continue next year because direct sales operators have already transformed their business and marketing to survive the pandemic. Therefore, the direct sales business is likely to resume growth next year.
However, he said while the overall market improved this year, he expects flat growth or a slight contraction from last year, citing high inflation negatively affecting consumer spending.
Despite the global economic slowdown, fragile purchasing power and the pandemic, the world's direct selling business became stable in 2021 worth US$186 billion, up 1.5% from the year before.
Thailand was ranked 14th in the global market, falling from 13th before the pandemic.
According to Mr Surachet, the association under his leadership is determined to extend partnerships with all involved parties to ensure that the TDSA can develop and maximise the potential of the direct selling industry in accordance with evolving needs of consumers that are grounded in the economic situation and global market trends.
For members and independent distributors, the association also stands firm on its policies and business direction to stimulate confidence, promote and support the direct selling industry in Thailand for significant industrial growth with sustainability.
He said the association is also ready to promote direct selling business by utilising both offline and online channels and play a key role in social development.
"We would like to push for the progress of the direct selling industry in Thailand and reshape the image of the direct selling business to make it appeal to consumers of all ages," he said.