As you may know, Doug DeVos spends much of his time leading Amway as the company’s president. But he also invests substantial energy into heading up the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA). That organization’s mission is to build understanding and support for direct selling around the world.
With 59 national members from countries like Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Sweden and more, the WFDSA develops global ethical standards and serves as an advocate for the industry.
Recently, Doug answered a few questions about the WFDSA, and how the organization benefits direct sellers.
A lot has changed in the industry since the WFDSA was founded in 1978. What is the organization’s role today?
The WFDSA’s role is important, because it’s a connector for our industry globally. It brings together global companies, and their global CEOs and management teams — and allows us to look across borders to see what’s happening with the industry from a global perspective.
It’s also a place for our member national Direct Selling Associations (DSAs) to share best practices. Also, some of our newer DSAs can get guidance from regional associations and more experienced national DSAs, to help them better support member companies and implement the code of ethics in their own markets.
Bringing our industry together and telling our story as a global industry are, in my mind, the critical roles.
– Doug DeVos, Amway President
What do you see as the WFDSA’s priorities?
First: Stick Together
As an industry, we have to be unified, to make sure we’re working together with a common understanding of the challenges that we’re all facing, and the opportunities the market is presenting.
Second: Understand the Global Regulatory Environment
Regulators in every market are looking at the others, so we have to help them better understand the definitions of legitimate direct selling. The clearer and more concise their legislation defining our industry, the more likely we are to have a level playing field, where all honest direct selling participants have the opportunity to succeed in their goals.
Third: Operate with the Highest Standards Possible
We need to make sure that we’re protecting consumers, that we’re focused on product and service quality, and that as member companies we are doing the good things we say we’re doing.
Putting customers at the center of all we do for this industry is what has enabled direct selling to thrive and grow, and I want to help make sure we’re doing things right now to ensure that the future is strong for generations to come.
[Header 2:] What’s next in your efforts for the WFDSA?
The connections that are represented by the WFDSA have really given us global perspective on our industry. I want to see us really understand how to maximize that global perspective, not only for our global companies but also for the very newest — the start-ups, the newcomers with a unique product or idea who are just getting going in a single market. It would be great if we can create the right framework and the environment to foster that.
The kind of new energy that brings to our industry — I think that’s fun to watch. There’s always been somebody new coming into the industry, someone is always bringing in new energy.
– Doug DeVos, Amway President
I think with the size and scope and strength we have now, we’re really fully realizing the role that direct sellers have in the marketplace. I want to see more of us stepping up to that role and trying to fill the role well.