China is currently Amway’s largest market, accounting for more than $4 billion in annual sales. Given the fact that the Chinese government outlawed direct selling 15 years ago, the company’s success certainly did not come about the old-fashioned way. In the April 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Amway President and Co-CEO Doug DeVos shares how the company revised its approach to sales and marketing in lieu of breaking ties with the Chinese people and government.
DeVos outlines four lessons the company learned in its struggle to continue providing entrepreneurial opportunity for anyone who wants to own and run a business. “Being forced to change our model in China helped us realize that we need to regularly adapt to succeed in different markets,” DeVos writes. By the time the Chinese government lifted its direct selling ban in 2005, Amway had equipped itself with new strategies for global growth and emerged as China’s market leader.
Read the full Harvard Business Review story here.