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Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

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To Russia with Love . . . and Money

But it was Russia, where Amway launched its business in 2005, that became one of its biggest, most important markets. Entrepreneurialism exploded there after the end of the Soviet republic. The first year in operation, Amway rang up more than $100 million in sales in Russia—its highest first-year total for any market. The next year the figure doubled, and Amway counted more than 300,000 distributors. Again, Amway had to change its previous business models to adapt to the Russian market and accepted business practices. It opened product selection centers where Amway independent entrepreneurs, as they were called there, could buy Amway products and receive training about them. By 2008, Amway’s sales in Russia topped $600 million, and the number of distributors grew to more than 1 million. One of them, Natalya Yena, was named a Crown Ambassador in 2008, while four couples rose to Triple Diamonds, and dozens of others—with names such as Mikhail, Tatiana, Olga, Igor, Sergey, and Vladimir—attained Diamond levels after only a few years in business.

Amway set about creating a high profile in eastern Europe by sponsoring sporting events such as the “Chestnut Run” in Kiev, Ukraine, where green shirts branded with “Amway” and “Nutrilite” logos were all over the streets of Ukraine’s capital. Its products and programs won awards, such as a “Favorite of Success” rating among home cleaning products in a Ukraine competition called Favorite of Experts 2007. Amway ...

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