Last year, something unusual happened to customers, according to the numbers. They needed more agricultural materials and healthcare goods than before, with so few cosmetics. “I believe a large number of people returned to farming as a source of income. They were also more serious about using nutritious goods to improve their health,” says Sujit Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of Netsurf Network.
The Pune-based firm is one of the few in the world to have weathered the pandemic’s economic downturn. In 2019-20, they made Rs 270 crore in sales, and in 2020-21, they made Rs 419 crore. “We are expecting Rs 650 crore in 2021-22 — that is the kind of growth direct sale companies are seeing as a result of the pandemic,” Jain adds.
The pandemic had already posed a threat to Netsurf’s business model.
The corporation could no longer concentrate on person-to-person direct marketing while customers locked their doors and sat at home. They retaliated by distributing and selling their mobile app to distributors and retailers. People could also use the smartphone app to make purchases and advertise their businesses as the products were distributed by the delivery network.
The most significant influence on the market was the transition from person to person to screen.
Over the pandemic, Netsurf’s center of direct sellers grew by 75% from the previous year, when many people returned to their villages and small towns. “It is the most incredible development we have ever seen in our history,” Jain says, noting that the company now has a presence in nearly every state in India.
“We had planned to extend into the United States and Thailand, but the pandemic forced us to postpone our plans. The United States is the birthplace of direct marketing and will be the perfect way to reach out to the rest of the world, while Thailand will drive our Look East Policy,” Jain says.