MonaVie vs Amway Redux

Back in 2007/2008 Amway in North America (then known as Quixtar) was involved in a deal of controversy after terminating several Diamonds associated with the organisation TEAM, led primarily by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. Eventually TEAM and many associated Diamonds joined another MLM company, MonaVie. There were then various legal battles between all parties over this, involving disputes of anti-Amway bloggers, stealing of corporate secrets, contract violations etc etc etc.

At the time these Diamonds were moving many in their groups to MonaVie, there were a lot of comments on this blog and elsewhere by people claiming that Amway was abandoning their distributors, changing polices, and would be opening stores, allowing their products to be sold in other retail outlets, and generally competing unfairly with the field. All of this was rubbish. What Amway has been doing around the world (though, ironically enough, not in the US) is opening up business centers to support the distributors. Some of these also act as retail outlets, but ultimately the PV and profit goes back to IBOs as usual. In my opinion these have been great innovations.

One place where Amway has been aggressively doing this is in India, with the opening of a large number of pickup locations where distributors can place orders and pickup products. It fits in well with the nature of India and seem to be working well. This week though, Times of India reports on a number of Diamonds who have stated they are leaving Amway, claiming rewards aren’t good enough and the company is focusing on showrooms and products instead of (believe it or not!) just recruiting people.  Comments left on that site, and also this site, have further claimed that Amway India was going to be selling products through retail outlets and were abandoning distributors.

It all sounds awfully familiar, and low and behold … some Amway Indian Diamonds , lead by Sajeev Nair, are now loudly promoting their  move to MonaVie India, just like TEAM did in North America.

This isn’t all that is familiar however. Back before the TEAM affiliated IBOs all left Amway (and there were reportedly hundreds of thousands), Amway was the subject of many complaints on the internet, people complaining of deceptive practices, hype, excessive pressure to spend money on “tools” etc etc. Since 2008 the emergence of new Amway critics on the internet has pretty much dried up. There’s a handful of diehard blogs (many run by the same person), but not really anything “new”. On the other hand, commentary from former distributors and others criticising MonaVie and MonaVie leaderslike Woodward for deceptive tactics has proliferated, with even a once anti-Amway blog like Amthrax now pretty much dedicated to anti-MonaVie commentary. Given Amway grew in sales last year by almost as much as MonaVie did total ($800M vs $854M) this can’t be attributed to MonaVie being more successful and attracting more attention. It appears that many of the tactics that helped contribute to these people getting kicked out of Amway were simply transferred to MonaVie, and the criticism has followed.

So how does this all connect to Amway India? Well, several times over the past months, a few visitors from India have left comments on The Truth About Amway regarding an Amway group called “Team One”, operating heavily in the Indian state of Kerala. The comments have complained about deceptive practices, excessive pressure to spend money on “tools” etc etc. All the same types of complaints we used to read about Amway North America, and which have diminished considerably since the TEAM dispute. I looked into Team One, and funnily enough it’s run by Sajeev Nair, the very same Double Diamond who says he’s now moving to MonaVie.

So, just like 2008 in North America, we have a large group of distributors, apparently the source of a number complaints, deciding to leave Amway for MonaVie and spreading a number of falsehoods about Amway as they go.

Amway North America suffered for a year or two from the TEAM exodus, but is now going from strength to strength (double digit growth in the past year) and is generating virtually no complaints about bad practices. Sajeev Nair – it may hurt for a bit, but I suspect Amway India won’t miss you. All the best with MonaVie.