Several global businesses have in the past decade placed their products or services on the Ghanaian market through various network marketing concepts.
Though the concept has yet to fully blossom, there is a renewed interest in network marketing as local businesses experiment the membership pyramid scheme.
Mark Stevens, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Trévo, traveled from his base in the USA to get his product on the local Kumasi market.
For him, network marketing is key to employment and wealth creation. “It’s not about you; it’s about what you can do by building teams of people and working together so that opportunity is for everyone if they are willing to do something about their lives”, he stated.
The strategy in Multi-level marketing (MLM) enables the sales force to be compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of other people they recruit.
Prince Cudjoe has been in network marketing for the past eight years. Two years after venturing the industry, he started making $2,000 a month.
He says his gain in network marketing is incomparable to what any formal employment, because of the ‘time and financial freedom’ he enjoys.
Ghana’s network market has typically revolved around sales of nutritional food supplements.
But there are local innovations in the business. Yaw DiOwuso-Agyeman’s CBNet Marketing Concepts for instance uses technology to drive culture in an income generation concept.
He says Ghanaians can make money along the lines of social interactions by using support systems in communities to raise money for individuals equally.
“If we have a fine culture that gives us the ability to raise money to bury the dead [through network of family and friends], why do we have to wait till somebody dies before we use that system to raise money? he quizzed.
Innocent Daniels travels around Nigeria and Ghana to grow his network to market his product.
“I earn over $15,000 a month; I drive a brand new car; I bought myself an SUV and to cap it all I’ve been making the kind of impact I’ve wanted to do – helping family members, helping friends – all within one-and-half years and I think I’m more happier”, he stated.
Experiences of people like Innocent often sound too good to be true which raises skepticism, even among accomplished sales executives like Edward Kpegah.
“It’s so deceptive in that when the money starts coming in, you tend to forget your future… I don’t see security of job here; I don’t see it so firmly rooted. You can enjoy it for a while, make money but if you don’t invest that properly, it cannot be said to be a lifelong business.
Innocent however believes network marketing is the next revolution in the world because of the unlimited opportunities to leverage income.
The view is shared by Prince, but he cautions against venturing network marketing without running checks on the credibility of the business organization activities.
“We have world bodies that have given certifications to some of these companies… the only ones that are a bit of a challenge are the online businesses; some don’t have physical edifices that you can check on them. Those ones if you’re doing it, it is at your own risk”, he cautioned.
Global network marketing players like Mark Stevens are confident Ghana could be a leader in the industry in the next couple of years, hence are committed to support Ghanaians to play on the global stage.
“Success, prosperity – money wise – is the effect of the effort that you do to help people…. We have not only a vision for Ghana, but for the people of Ghana to go global with the opportunity”, he emphasized.
Network Marketing is indeed growing at a fast pace, perhaps creating income for a number of Ghanaians. But the concept could also be an effective and reliable way for local businesses to distribute their products and services.
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