Moving into Malaysia
The scene has been repeated all over Asia, including in some predominantly Muslim countries. In June 2008, Amway held a national convention at Putra Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The crowd that jammed the stadium, including Muslim women with their heads covered, wore Amway T-shirts that read, “Life Is Good. Live It!” The people in the stadium jumped up and down, waving light sticks, as if they were watching a championship game. Doug DeVos made an appearance as the “face” of Amway.
The spectacle showed just how far Amway had come in adapting to foreign markets. Gone were the Christian-leaning messages. In a country where Islam was the dominant religion, Amway toned down the evangelical rhetoric and revved up the pulsating pop music and the excitement of entrepreneurial freedom. Amway entered Malaysia in 1976. Six years later, Foo Howe Kean left his previous jobs in the trading and hotel industries to join Amway soon after graduating from college. “My main objective in starting a business was to obtain financial rewards and freedom,” he explained.18 He and his wife, Shu Chen, have grown their business beyond Malaysia to Taiwan, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Indonesia. After hearing his personal story, others in Malaysia were eager to emulate him.