DSN Honors the Global 100 with a Special Celebration

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For the seventh year in a row, Direct Selling News honored the 100 largest direct selling companies in the world with the unveiling of the DSN Global 100 list at a special celebration. DSN’s Ambassador John Fleming and Publisher and Editor in Chief Lauren Lawley Head welcomed nearly 400 executives from around the world to the awards ceremony and dinner, held April 7 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas.

“The seventh-annual Global 100 list recognizes the efforts of millions of independent business owners who are embracing a unique model for sharing products and services,” said Lawley Head. “Each year, we are honored to shine a spotlight on 100 companies that are leading the way.”

The Global 100 list represents companies based in 12 countries this year and is a collective effort that shows the impact and potential of the $182.8 billion direct selling industry. 

“Direct selling companies utilize a channel of distribution that engages people from all walks of life who make possible the experience of products and services that cannot be found through traditional retail channels,” Fleming said. “The impact on the world economy is unmatched with over 100 million lives engaged in servicing consumers and providing unique entrepreneurial opportunities for those who want to be a part of micro-enterprise, which is more and more being referred to as the new YouEconomy. Congrats to the DSN Global 100 for 2015!”

For the fourth consecutive year, Ada, Michigan-based Amway claimed the top spot as the No. 1 direct seller in the world, with $9.5 billion in revenue in 2015. The company is truly a global giant, with a large portfolio of brands—including the best-selling nutritional brand in the world, Nutrilite, as well as the newly acquired XL Energy Drink business. Amway does business in more than 100 markets through more than 3 million independent Amway business owners.

In attendance and accepting the award on behalf of Amway was David Vanderveen, Vice President and General Manager for Amway’s XS business globally, as well as Kyle Van Andel, grandson of Amway Co-Founder Jay Van Andel. “I just want to thank you for inviting us to be here,” Van Andel said. “Without our distributor network this wouldn’t be possible. Every penny is for them. Thank you so very much.”

DSN’s Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming welcome honorees and guests to the seventh annual Global 100 Celebration in April.

Individual Recognition

In honor of Ambassador John Fleming, who recently completed his 10th year of service to Direct Selling News, Lawley Head and SUCCESS Partners Founder and CEO Stuart Johnson presented him with the first-ever DSN Lifetime Achievement Award. During his tenure, Fleming has set the standard for unwavering dedication and excellence in sharing the direct selling story with professionalism and commitment. His style of leadership has grown the Direct Selling News brand into a trusted source for the channel, and he continues to be a strong, supportive voice for the opportunity it provides.

Dallas String QuartetThe Dallas String Quartet provides a contemporary performance with an electric flair for the event.

“John has been a dear friend for over 20 years,” Johnson said. “He may be the only person I know who has consistently demonstrated a passion for building this industry that has on many occasions surpassed my own. He has always been a calm voice and a statesman for the industry, and I must say a person with integrity and character beyond reproach, which he brought often to DSN. From the beginning he was the clear choice, the only choice that I saw for running DSN.”

Guests of Honor

DSN welcomed very special guests to the dinner, esteemed members of Direct Selling Association’s Hall of Fame and the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Circle of Honor, Charlie Orr, CEO of Canada’s Immunotec; Brian Connolly, CEO of Advocare; Larry Chonko, Ph.D., the Thomas McMahon Professor in Business Ethics at the University of Texas at Arlington; and our own John Fleming. Special guests also included Nancy Burke, Vice President of Membership at the U.S. Direct Selling Association, as well as many members of Fleming’s family, who were in attendance as we honored his leadership of Direct Selling News.

DSN Global 100

In all, the Global 100 companies achieved more than $82 billion in net sales in 2015, up from $80.8 billion in 2014.

The Top 10 companies, which collectively represented 557 years of direct selling business across the globe, achieved $42.23 billion in revenue, with total number of salespeople at 22.5 million. It is also a testimony to the power and strength of the direct selling channel that each of the top 20 companies recognized have achieved more than $1 billion in sales during 2015.

By region, there were 51 companies from North America in the Global 100, including those recognized on our North America 50 list; four from South America; seven from Europe/Africa; and 38 from Asia/ Asia-Pacific. A total of 12 countries were represented on the list: Brazil, China, Cyprus, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

AmwayAmway receives top honors at DSN’s Global 100 Celebration, as it is named the No. 1 direct selling company in the world for the fourth year in a row.

Companies appearing in the ranking for the first time included from the U.S., New Avon (No. 19), Young Living (No. 20), Le-Vel (No. 48), Jamberry (No. 64) and Total Life Changes (No. 100); from Peru, FuXion Biotech (No. 90); from India, World Global Network (No. 77); and from China, Perfect (No. 7), Yandi (No. 34), Merro International (No. 50), Kang Ting (No. 55), Resgreen (No. 57), Kangmei (No. 81), Alphay International (No. 87), Loveast (No. 93), Ideality (No. 94), and Jimon (No. 95). Companies returning to the list are, from the U.S., JRJR Networks (No. 85), formerly known as CVSL Inc., and from Japan, Charle Japan (No. 79), which previously had been listed under Charle Corp Ltd.

The Bravo Awards

The Bravo Leadership Award was presented to Magnus Brännström, CEO and President of Switzerland-based Oriflame Cosmetics, who also was keynote speaker for the evening. Each year, the award goes to one direct selling executive who embodies exceptional leadership qualities—providing inspirational vision for their company, motivating their teams toward a common goal, serving others by equipping them to do the best job possible, and especially by empowering them to reach new heights. Brännström received the Leadership Award for leading his company to annual revenue of $1.35 billion amid a period of great economic and geopolitical change in many of its top markets (see story, page 94).

“I am very honored to receive this award,” Brännström said from stage. “Several of you have asked me, it must have been a long trip to come here and why. For us this is really about inspiration, about meeting peers, about getting new ideas, and feeling part of a really great industry. Thank you.”

TEXTHonored by its Global 100 ranking, Mary Kay’s Nathan Moore is proud of the company’s lasting legacy of enriching women’s lives.

Wellness and lifestyle brand Le-Vel received the Bravo Growth Award for its extraordinary 254 percent year-over-year growth, amounting to revenue of $349 million in 2015. At Le-Vel, technology is not only key to customer acquisition—the company reports 3 million and counting—but also the foundation of the business, in a manner of speaking. From its inception the company has eschewed a brick-and-mortar headquarters, opting to make its home in the cloud. Le-Vel leadership credits cloud technology with enabling the business to stay nimble and hire top talent around the world, while keeping overhead at a minimum (see story, page 108).

“One thing we tried to do early on was to be as mainstream as we could,” Le-Vel Co-CEO Jason Camper shared with the audience. “We didn’t want to be a direct sales company. We didn’t want to be a network marketing company. We wanted to have a product-driven customer acquisition model and it seemed to work out in our favor. It is a great industry. It takes a team to make this work, and the competition isn’t at the table next to us. It’s the naysayers, the critics and the friend of all of our distributors that is looking to take our products or not take our products, so thank you guys very much.”

Co-CEO Paul Gravette added, “This award goes to all of the promoters and customers that are very passionate about our product, and equally important to all of the leadership that drives our businesses to where they are today.”

The Keynote Address

Sweden-born Magnus Brännström had worked for a number of companies in Russia and never thought about direct selling, but a chance opportunity to help Oriflame build the company’s Russian business in the late 1990s proved to be a defining moment in his career. Not long after he started with the company, Brännström saw a taped speech by Amway Co-Founder Richard DeVos, who said, “Imagine that one day people will look back at this day and laugh. They will laugh because they will say ‘do you remember when once upon a time we used to go to stores to buy products?’ ” At the time, Brännström told the audience, what DeVos said made no sense to him. Some 20 years later, the emergence of e-commerce has propelled society into an age of heavy reliance on personal product recommendation. And what channel, Brännström asks, is easily best suited to compete in the recommendation business? Direct selling.

TEXTScott Schwerdt “shares” recognition of Nu Skin’s No. 10 ranking with the company’s team all across the world.

“Everyone is talking about this new sharing economy, which I’m convinced we are now pursuing,” Brännström shared. “We are entering into a new world. The changes of values have removed trust in companies and trust in advertising. What people trust are other people who have experiences, people who have consumed.”

But there is another element to why the world is changing, he said. New global companies are not employing as many people as older companies. Therefore the changes in the economy mean changes to the working environment, which brings it back to the remarks that DeVos made 20 years ago. Echoing those words, Brännström said, “Imagine one day in the future, I don’t know when, when we will look back at this time and laugh, and say ‘do you remember when there used to be employees?’ ”

He ponders this because, “it’s clear that there’s something we have that others have to search for, and that is the understanding that this new business is commerce with the purpose of human connection.”

In times of economic turmoil in countries all over the globe, many companies may get lost in their difficulty operating internationally. He acknowledges that his own company lost $500 million in revenue during the last 30 months due to the devaluation of four currencies. But despite this, direct selling companies, perhaps more so than those in other industries, have a greater purpose because they are in the business of helping people improve their lives.

“We have a greater task, to unite the world to make it a better place for the people because they deserve it and we have the means to do it. So let’s unite and bring the direct selling industry into the future, where people who are seeking security will not seek it as employees through companies or governments but where they will be working as partners with great direct selling companies.”

Impacting Lives for Better World

Scott Schwerdt, who accepted Nu Skin’s award for its No. 10 ranking on the Global 100 with sales of $2.25 billion in 2015, reinforced the importance of companies working toward the betterment of all. “Here’s to the industry!” Schwerdt said. “This is truly emblematic of the sharing economy and the sharing team that we have, so congratulations to everyone. Thank you.”

No. 6 on the Global 100, Mary Kay continues to be a top beauty brand in direct selling, active in more than 35 markets. Nathan Moore, who accepted Mary Kay’s award, spoke about the lasting legacy the company’s founder set in place all those years ago.

“Mary Kay started her business some 50 years ago with a purpose. And that is to enrich women’s lives,” Moore said. “Think about how many millions of lives have been touched and positively impacted since then. I know she would be honored to know where we are on this list today, but she would be extremely proud to know we have never wavered from that purpose and we never will. Congratulations to all of you in the Top 100 for all of your accomplishments and I wish you continued success.”

TEXTAmway’s David Vanderveen and Kyle Van Andel, grandson of Co-Founder Jay Van Andel, accept the award for the company’s No. 1 ranking on the Global 100.

David Vanderveen, Vice President and General Manager for Amway’s XS business globally, who accepted Amway’s award for No. 1 direct seller in the world, spoke too about purpose and the one that all companies in the channel can embrace to build an inclusive future.

“I cut my teeth in the wine industry, and the coolest thing you learn in Napa Valley is that when Robert Mondavi created what became the appellation of Napa Valley it wasn’t about selling his wine,” Vanderveen said. “It was about creating a tide that raises all ships because he realized if he made the Napa Valley a premium wine appellation for the entire world (a geographic area named and recognized for winemaking) then every wine in that valley increased margin, increased value and became something that people desired everywhere. And that’s what we’re doing.

“I think what Magnus Brännström talked about is exactly what we need to be thinking about as DSA organizations, that what we are doing is changing people’s lives fundamentally in ways that can transform the future of enterprise and business. I think if we keep doing that together we can actually transform what business means to people so that it is not about being an employee but it’s actually about correlating your work and your reward so that we all own a piece of the action and all change the future together.”

SUCCESS Partners was the lead sponsor for the DSN Global 100 Celebration. The following companies also provided generous sponsorship for the event:

Platinum Sponsors: ACN, Amway, Isagenix, It Works!, Jeunesse, Le-Vel and Total Life Changes; Gold Sponsors: AdvoCare, Ambit Energy, Oriflame, Plexus Worldwide, Stream, World Global Network, WorldVentures and Zurvita; Silver Sponsors: ID Life, LifeVantage, Immunotec, Mannatech, Mary Kay, Nerium, New Avon, Nu Skin, Scentsy, and Young Living.

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