After 63 years of business, Amway’s focus on the greater good continues to propel organic growth.
Founded | 1959
Headquarters | Ada, Michigan
Top Executive | Milind Pant, CEO
Product Category | Health/Wellness, Beauty, Home, Adventure
DSN Global 100 2021 | #1
When high school friends Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel made a pact to become business partners, little did they know that promise would eventually create a legacy. After a few failed ventures, including a flying school and a drive-in restaurant, the pair started Amway in 1959 from their basements.
DeVos and Van Andel founded Amway with the desire to help other people become successful while being good stewards of the earth—a business philosophy that was decades ahead of their time. Together they launched Amway’s first product, L.O.C., one of the world’s first concentrated multi-purpose cleaners made with biodegradable cleaning agents. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward over 60 years later, and Amway is the world’s top direct selling business, with more than $8 billion in total sales last year alone and over one million Amway Business Owners (ABOs) worldwide. Having expanded into multiple product categories in over 100 markets, Amway’s global impact is as deep as it is broad.
So, what’s the secret to Amway’s staying power? “This company was built on timeless ideals,” Chief Executive Officer Milind Pant explained. “Our founders believed in the potential that exists within all of us to improve the lives of others and leave this world better than we found it. Today, we are proud to carry that forward everywhere we operate.”
Continued Pant, “In partnership with our ABOs around the world, we are shaping Amway’s future as a health and wellness company focused on empowering people and caring for our planet. This vision, shared among our incredible group of entrepreneurs, has been key to our sustained success over the years.”
From the beginning, Amway’s founders knew that people would be the heart and soul of the operation. “Amway is powered by people—an incredibly diverse group bound together by our common desire to help people live better, healthier lives,” said Pant. “This business is for everyone.”
Today, Amway honors this heritage by prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion. Employees from around the world are encouraged to be their true selves and share their diverse perspectives, so they can unleash their full potential and spark solutions that impact the lives of employees, communities, ABOs and their customers. This is brought to life through a strong collection of Employee Inclusion Networks.
“Our Employee Inclusion Networks encourage people from all backgrounds and lifestyles to come together, foster a sense of belonging, provide opportunities for networking and support career development,” explained Chief Operating and Chief People Officer Michael Nelson. Networks include Young Professionals, Multicultural Inclusion, Pride Inclusion and Women’s Inclusion. Each network provides a space for connection and support to allow everyone to feel seen and heard.
While Amway’s Inclusion Networks help employees feel a sense of togetherness, ABOs are also creating communities of their own based on their passions and hobbies, including cooking, parenting, fitness and more.
Amway’s people-centricity can also be seen in the Amway Promise, a comprehensive service and consumer protection program that allows business owners and customers alike to take confidence in their business and/or product purchases. From zero purchase requirements and minimal start-up fees to a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee (including inventory buy-back), to warranty programs and data protection compliance, Amway promises to uphold the highest ethical standards in their business practices.
“We take great care to establish trust with our ABOs and customers around the world,” shared John Parker, Chief Sales Officer and Regional President, West. “Prioritizing their needs and exceeding their expectations is key to delivering meaningful experiences—and ultimately helps them live better, healthier lives. When you put people first, everything else falls into place.”
Be the Change
As a direct sales leader, Amway’s global leadership team humbly recognizes that with great corporate influence comes great corporate social responsibility. And with an international business, an array of product lines and an enormous team of world changers, what better way to create a better planet than to leverage all three?
“We use the best of our business and the passion of our people to impact communities in every market where we do business,” explained Cindy Droog, Vice President, Global Strategic Communications, Social Responsibility and Reputation. “Our ABOs and employees are dedicated to being the change for a better world.”
Philanthropic partnerships with non-profits are based on each organization’s alignment with Amway’s strategic pillars: Health and Nutrition, Economic Empowerment and Engagement. Partnerships can include community program support, volunteering and grants.
With the intent of supporting access to wellness and critical nourishment, Amway’s Health and Nutrition pillar became a major focus over the last few years due to COVID-19. At the height of the pandemic, Amway raised and contributed $500,000 toward critical assistance and medical supplies in India, including 1,000 ventilators and 25,000 oxygen concentrators. In Europe, ABOs raised over $500,000 through the sale of disposable face masks, with Amway matching the profits. This fundraiser resulted in $1.2 million being donated to Red Cross and Civil Protection in Europe. Other recent Health and Nutrition projects include providing nearly 200 Nutrilite health supplements to school children in Malaysia, as well as supporting the Healthy Children Paradise Project in Mainland China, which provided health resources to over 4,000 families.
Amway’s second strategic pillar, Empowerment, is intended to help individuals become change agents for themselves, their families and their communities. This pillar has inspired partnerships such as Project Nari Shakti in India, which provides training in the fields of fashion design, beauty, wellness, nutrition and entrepreneurship. With the goal of helping girls and women build their competencies and become financially independent, the program has educated more than 1,000 women per year since its inception.
Engagement is the third pillar of Amway’s strategic partnerships, which drives a culture of community service that encourages employees and ABOs alike to connect, commit and contribute. Kids’ Food Basket is a food equity organization near Amway’s home office in Michigan that helps children and families in the area access healthy food. From packing meals to serving on the KFB Board of Directors, Amway employees volunteered nearly 600 hours to this local cause in 2021. Another recent Engagement project was the KABOOM! playground build, which also benefitted Amway’s local community in Michigan. Since partnering with KABOOM!, which builds playscapes in underserved areas, Amway has funded and built 22 playgrounds in three states, with a total of 17,710 volunteer hours devoted to this cause.
“Amway is proud to align with causes that share our founders’ vision of empowering people and bringing health and wellness to all,” explained Droog. “It’s incumbent on us to leverage our resources for good wherever those needs are greatest.”
If people are the heart and soul of Amway, an arsenal of bestselling products would be its body. For over 60 years, Amway has manufactured and distributed nutrition, beauty, personal care and home products. But not just any products.
“Amway’s products are rooted in our belief that you can live your best by living responsibly,” said Anouchah Sanei, Chief Innovation and Science Officer. “That’s why every one of our products strives to be good for you, good for the world and transparent about what’s in that product—so you know you’re getting a safe, effective and all-around responsible option.”
For example, Nutrilite is the world’s number one selling vitamin and dietary supplements brand and uses ingredients sourced from plants grown on nearly 6,000 acres of certified-organic Amway-owned farms and on partner farms all over the world. Likewise, the Artistry Skin Nutrition line of products are formulated to work like supplements for skin. Many products are registered with The Vegan Society and are created according to strict Artistry Clean guidelines. Botanicals included in the line are also derived from plants grown on certified-organic farms.
In keeping with the founding philosophies of Amway, protecting the environment is of utmost importance when it comes to product sourcing and production. “Helping people live healthier lives goes hand-in-hand with caring for our planet,” said Sanei. “That’s why we’re committed to becoming a more sustainable company. From start to finish, we keep a watchful eye on how our products are sourced and made. We use natural, effective solutions from the earth whenever possible.” Sustainable farming practices, reduction of biomass waste and natural pest control are strategies that Amway employs to benefit the environment, as well as investment in renewable energy sources around the globe.
“Our sustainability efforts are made possible by the actions of employees, business owners and customers worldwide,” continued Sanei. “They are the drivers and voices for the strategies we’ve developed. Together, we can make a difference for generations to come by investing our time and resources in helping improve the health of our planet.”
Since its founding over 60 years ago, Amway’s leadership has remained consistent in vision and purpose. There are no plans to change that in the decades to come.
“Amway is an ageless idea,” shared Pant. “It combines an inclusive entrepreneurship opportunity and freedom for people to set their own path and goals with rewards that meaningfully improve people’s economic situation and health and wellness.”
Continued Pant, “Over the past few years, we have all experienced immense change, but true to what drove Amway’s founders back in 1959, our ‘why’ remains the same: we do what we do every day to help people live better, healthier lives around the world. And that’s more relevant today than ever before.”
From the November 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.