Zillonlife Global, which started its direct sales channel last year in January has witnessed decent traction and now the company is looking for a rapid expansion across the country. As the founder and chairman of the firm, Rishiraj Mishra heads the young and vibrant team that aims to provide good quality premium products at affordable prices. The company caters to health & wellness, lifestyle, air purifier and home security and now it is looking to revamp its technology product portfolio to make it completely DIY plug-n-play.
In an exclusive interview with TechObserver.in Shalini Shukla, Mishra said, “The Direct Selling industry in India is growing at a CAGR of 8.42% and it has the potential to grow to over Rs 60,000 crores by 2025,” adding that Zillonlife is on track to achieve its target of having a significant market share and see more than 1 lakh Direct Sellers associated with it by then.
Mishra asserted that alongside, the introduction of new products and categories, the company's cutting-edge e-commerce platform, highly experienced team, a rewarding sales, and marketing plan along with robust IBC support system across different cities added to the rapid expansion of the Zillonlife business.
Zillonlife has completed two years and you are growing at a decent rate in a space – Directi Selling – which is very competitive. How has the journey been so far?
When we launched Zillonlife, we had a very clear objective: Get a product of value to a market segment which can be reached through Direct Sales. Moreover, we have always believed that there is nothing more empowering to individuals than the freedom that a career in the Direct Selling industry provides.
The proven direct selling model offered an ideal channel to educate consumers about the immense benefits of Zillonlife's products and helped to establish their everyday use in homes all across the country. Our innovative approach by bringing in e-commerce based ordering and fulfillment helped bring products to consumers more quickly than would be the case through retail stores. The company's unique product positioning differentiated it from others in the category.
The tremendous support that we received from FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industries) and the Ministry (Ministry of Consumer Affairs), unlikely for a start-up in its initial days, helped us further. This jumpstart helped us get the initial drive we needed to mark our footprints in the diverse and evolving Indian market.
What is your sense of the Direct Selling industry in India and how is Zillonlife placed?
The Direct Selling industry in India is growing at a CAGR of 8.42% over the period of 2013-14 to 2016-17 when it has grown to Rs 10,324.2 crores in 2016-17 from Rs 7472.2 crores in 2013-14. This can be accounted to the growth in the number of Direct Sellers involved which has risen to around 52 lakhs in 2016-17 from 39 lakhs in 2015-16 showing a robust growth of 30.1%.
Looking at the trajectory, I believe that the direct selling industry has the potential to grow to over Rs 60,000 crores by 2025. At Zillonlife, we are on track to achieve our target of having a significant market share and see more than 1 lakh Direct Sellers associated with us by then.
We are actively working on protecting the interests of the consumers and our direct sellers, working in alignment with Skill India, Digital India, Start-up India and the Government's initiatives towards Women Empowerment. We are in compliance with the Ministry of Consumer Affair's new direct selling guidelines and we are registered with the MCA.
A strong family of IBCs from multiple states and cities backs us. Through our distribution model backed with training, support, and inspiration, coupled with a competitive sales & marketing plan, we strive to give our IBCs everything one needs, to market and sell exceptional products. Our IBCs have the liberty to work part-time or full-time, from home, or anywhere in the world.
Your company's much-awaited annual conference Z-Fest is around the corner. What happens in Z-Fest and how does it impact the growth of your Direct Sellers?
Z-Fest is our annual two-day convention that enables our entire family to come together. The event witnesses extensive training by some of the best minds in the direct selling industry amidst a lot of fun, song, dance, and entertainment. It is a very passionate gathering that sees our Independent Business Consultants (IBCs) from across the country gather as one big family with one purpose to make the most of the Zillonlife business opportunity. The talks, product launch and exhibitions, real-life stories of entrepreneurship and success is not just inspiring but also insightful.
Our training and developments events held around the year in Hyderabad, New Delhi and Bengaluru builds up to the energy and excitement at Z-Fest in Goa. These events curated by our team has inspired our IBCs to excel in the spirit of entrepreneurship.
How would you describe your leadership style, and what are some of the traits you look for in a direct seller?
My father instilled in me an important lesson when I was growing up – “Learn to Serve”. That's the lesson I try to impart to my team. We run a nationwide business, but we maintain the soul of a start-up that hasn't forgotten its humble beginnings two years ago. I constantly remind myself of it and make it a point to remind my IBCs of it.
Our model is built upon the belief that people work not for people, but with people. When a workforce joins hands and is backed up with the right plan, business and value system, every person can reach stellar heights.
I personally believe that businesses can be shaped effectively if we remember that we are no different than a professional sports team. To win, we coach them towards the various aspects of the sport. We train them resilience and impart the necessary skill sets to play and win. It is the same when you run an organization. You need the right people and you need to give your hundred percent to them. For all of us at Zillonlife, the key was to find people with the right attitude and mindset, then coach them to grow as entrepreneurs.
I don't believe in easy lunches. The traits I look for in people are attributes such as commitment, discipline, determination, trust, sincerity and the ability to work hard.
Zillonlife boasts of a wide range of products spanning more than 50 items across five categories. How did you arrive here and what are your future plans with respect to your products?
We started with a modest portfolio of ten products – 2 home security and surveillance kits, 6 bath and shower products and 2 premium Darjeeling teas. Thereafter, over the next two years, we successfully launched multiple new and innovative products. In September 2017, we launched Air Purifiers under the company's flagship Lifecorder brand. In the same month, we launched Premium Natural Honey as a brand extension of Sierra Brew, our brand of Premium Teas and Honey.
In February 2018 the company launched two more product lines – the IP Cube & PT Camera and an all-new range of home décor products. The PT or pan-tilt is a one it's kind camera that is capable of remote directional control with a standard smartphone device. The home décor range of products was launched under an all-new brand – Zhom Comfort. This innovative and diverse range of products further accelerated Zillonlife's growth and nationwide expansions.
In the upcoming Z-Fest we are planning for another line extension of Sierra Brew. We intend to launch the Broken Orange Pekoe which is a superior quality traditional second flush Darjeeling Black Tea and a new variant of honey – Sierra Brew's Premium Lychee Honey.
Given the success, you have seen with your enterprise already, what's next in your plans for the same?
Our current plan is to open additional IBC centers across the country, starting from the major metros to tier-1 and tier-2 cities. We plan to open 8-10 new IBC centers and one additional regional office by FY 2019. Our IBC centres would be a one stop shop for all things Zillonlife and help us grow further and stronger.
We are planning rewarding incentives and recognition plans for our IBCs in the coming year along with international tours and performance bonus programs. We are also looking at bringing in easy product financing options using digital EMI, without the need for a credit card or a credit score.
On the product front, our aim is to deliver innovations with great speed and efficiency. We intend to establish a long-term partnership with a world-class manufacturing and home décor company, to begin in early 2019 and details of which will be disclosed shortly. We also intent to revamp our technology product portfolio to make it completely DIY plug-n-play. Through the working relationships built over the last two years, we have special access to the latest breakthroughs, and we will continue to work with our partners to build a robust innovation pipeline.