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Enterprise worth the effort

G. MANJULA KUMARG. MANJULA KUMAR

Displaying loads of marketing skills, unspoken camaraderie and an unshakable conviction, the women achievers of Tupperware network in the twin cities are going places.



WOMEN POWER: There are women from all walks of life in the Tupperware network

SHE IS confident and hard working with an unwavering focus on her goal and in all probabilities may be the next person to knock on your doors. She is the Tupperware woman. Armed with loads of marketing skills and an unspoken camaraderie these women achievers take their work seriously with an unshakable conviction. And what is it that sets them apart from the other marketing personnel?

Well, it is an all-woman enterprise that actually mixes `partying' with business to achieve its goal. This is the unique feature of their brand of marketing that has made their product popular and the person handling it feels a winner.

There are women from all walks of life in the Tupperware network. From teachers, doctors, nurses, lecturers to government officials and of course, housewives. But here there are no losers, only hard-working professionals who have chosen marketing as their full time or part time occupation.



SPACE REVOLUTION: The products are very popular.

"Tupperware has given an opportunity to housewives to come out of their cocoons and re-mould their lives to suit their individual needs," says Niharika, founder distributor of Tupperware in Andhra Pradesh. "Take my case for instance. I was not doing anything for a while and slowly realised over a period of time I may have nothing to show for all those years that have passed. This was the time when Tupperware came my way. They trained me about the product and the aspects of marketing. And I decided that this was the line. Initially it was tough marketing the product because it is expensive and nobody knew about its unique features. Though we get good commission, money was the last thing on my mind at that time. I wanted to achieve my goal and I did it successfully. Now I have 64 managers and 4000 consultants working in my group, which is called Oyster party group," she says.

Niharika's group has a party plan concept where a consultant gets either her friend or an acquaintance to host a small party and invite her friends, relatives and neighbours. The concept here is `shop for Tupperware in your friend's drawing room'. The consultant goes there with the kit and explains the features of the product. "Basically it is a fun party. We conduct games and contests and give away small gifts to the participants. Women just come to participate but they are so influenced that by the end of the party they enrol themselves as consultants," says Niharika, who incidentally, is one of the six delegates from India to visit Tupperware head quarters in Orlando, U.S. Another successful Tupperware member Kamala, distributor of Shining Star group says, "I did Rs. 1.25 crore worth of business in the first year itself and become a distributor within a year."

One finds that Tupperware marketing is an appealing concept for many owing to no prerequisite academic or professional criteria called for apart from zeal. "Being just an Intermediate I did not pursue any career and defined myself as `just a housewife' when I was approached by my friend to become a consultant. I was a customer first and then a consultant and therefore was convinced about the product and confident about selling it because I was in a better position to explain the features. The two most important things for doing a good job is to do your homework and handle the demonstration well," says Harini, who joined this January but was able to meet the targets and became a star consultant in the very first month. "Now I am financially independent and quite happy with the job, which is not very demanding. I am able to take care of my home and also supplement the family income," she says. "There is nothing that a woman cannot achieve," says Kamala, who also feels that education is not a scale to measure one's success, especially in marketing.

About the concept, "we need to explain to people about the unique features of the product. This is not possible at a supermarket or a departmental store. A person-to-person marketing is necessary to convince them, hence the party plan concept emerged. Besides, women can handle it better since it is a kitchen product.One should not get disheartened if there are no sales initially because there is always better luck next time," she says.



WINNING WAYS: Niharika

Sudha Prakash too agrees . "The first time I held a demo, the host's husband dissuaded her from buying it saying why waste so much money on a piece of plastic. I decided then and there not to do any more demos. But after some time I went to a school and several orders came my way and there was no looking back after that," says Sudha.

Sudha had to sacrifice her full-time job as a teacher to take care of her children and is now quite content marketing Tupperware and also earning money in the process. "This way I am able to work at my own pace without affecting the family obligations," she says. Enthusiastic to achieve star status every month, she says, "it is not the money but the feeling of achievement and the recognition that we get. We are called up on the stage and are introduced to our fellow consultants as `star achiever of the month'," she adds.

For Tupperware members, the enthusiasm is beyond the monetary incentives. It is a sense of achievement that the networking and marketing process brings and with that a renewed self-confidence and fulfilment.

"When my aunt suggested that I become a consultant I brushed aside saying that I don't have time to spare, since I am already in a job and also have a family to take care of. But she insisted that I attend the demos. Later she took me to one of the weekly assemblies, which impressed me, and I decided to enrol myself. It is not for the money but for the experience that I continued selling the product. Besides, I have a wide circle where it became easy for me to sell. Now I have honed my marketing skills. The quality of life goes beyond money," says Geetanjali, a pharmacist in a government hospital. "I never dreamt that I would be marketing Tupperware some day," she says.

A rewarding experience financially, emotionally and socially, the Tupperware network continues to attract new members even as the existing members reach greater professional heights.

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