Monday, September 25, 2023

All about QNET India

QNET is an international direct selling company that started in 1998. QNET was one of the first companies in the world to incorporate e-commerce into traditional face-to-face direct selling. The company expanded seamlessly across borders, bringing products and services to customers around the world. Today, QNET is a leading global direct selling company with over 25 offices in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Sub Saharan Africa, Russia, and the CIS region. QNET’s global headquarter is in Hong Kong. In India, QNET operates through its local sub-franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd with its registered office in Bengaluru. Over the years QNET India has touched the lives of millions across the country.

QNET’s aim is to help people take charge of their lives — live healthier, focus on personal development, improve the quality of their relationships with their family and friends, and plan for a secure future for their children.

Millions of customers have benefited from QNET’s products and services over the last two decades. Many have gone on to become distributors of QNET’s products in their countries and earn commissions on their sales. In India, around 600,000 QNET distributors are registered with the company. Thousands of customers and distributors have bought products for themselves and earned commissions on selling products and services to others.

QNET is a member of international associations such as the Direct Selling Association of Malaysia,  Direct Selling Association of Singapore, Direct Selling Association of the Philippines, Direct Selling Association UAE, and Direct Selling Association of Indonesia. QNET is also a member of Hong Kong Health Food Association and the Health Supplements Industry Association (Singapore) In India, QNET is a member of ASSOCHAM, CII (Karnataka), PHD Chamber of Commerce, and Health and Dietary Supplements Association (HADSA) through its sub-franchisee company.

What is direct selling?

QNET India: A direct seller presents an opportunity to a female customer

Direct selling is a network marketing method where products and services are sold directly to consumers without big advertising campaigns or brick and mortar shops. These products come with unique features and are exclusive to the direct selling company. In direct selling, sales are mostly generated through word-of-mouth referrals.

Relationship-based marketing is the core of direct selling and this type of marketing has existed for over 150 years. In the last few years, the industry has gained significant momentum both globally and in India.

Globally, the direct selling industry generated $192.2 billion in sales in 2018 (As per the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations). Approximately 117 million people globally are direct sellers in both part-time and full-time capacity. According to a report by FICCI-KPMG India’s INR 98.5 billion direct selling industry is growing at a steady pace and retail sales are predicted to reach INR 645 billion by 2025.  The report cites that 18 million Indians will be self-employed distributing direct selling products by 2025.

Statistics of the Direct Selling Industry provided by World Federation of Direct Selling Association (WFDSA) through infographics

QNET business in India

In 2011, QNET appointed Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt. Ltd. as its sub-franchise in India. Vihaan is incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and possesses all valid licenses required to operate its business. The company adheres to all statutory mandates and the direct selling guidelines issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs in 2016.

In 2019, India recorded an annual sales of $2.47 Billion in the direct sales industry with a Year-on-Year (YOY) growth of 12.1 %. It was also noted that India moved to the 15th spot in 2019 from an earlier 19th spot in 2018 with 60% female independent representatives in the industry.

Through Vihaan, QNET markets home care and personal care products, nutritional supplements, luxury watches, and holiday packages. More than 80% of the products available to customers in India are sourced locally from small and medium enterprises in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

All products meet stringent quality standards and are backed by guarantees or manufacturer warranties. QNET audits the quality of all partner companies that supply our products through visual inspections, and rigorous testing standards. Third-party tests are conducted and certifications such as FSSAI and Ayush for consumable products are also sought for certain products.

QNET’s market strategy for India includes partnerships with leading brands to develop products that address vital lifestyle challenges such as clean water and air. Prominent household consumer durable brands Kent and Sharp have chosen QNET to market and distribute specific models of their technology.

QNET products

In India, the diverse range of products include health, wellness and lifestyle products:

  • Health and Wellness products under the Nutriplus range includes supplements like DailyHealthDiabaHealthLivHealthImmunHealth, BoneHealth, SkinHealth and Virgin Coconut Oil. This health range further includes exotic teas sourced from an SME and a range of organic monofloral honey from rural communities.
  • ORITSU Premium Tableware brings to you a timeless dining experience, reflective of an opulent lifestyle and an ideal gifting choice for all seasons.
  • BeYoute Advanced Skincare range brings to you beauty products like the Intense and Deep Moisturizing Lotion, Moisturizing & Nourishing Hand Cream and Deep Cleansing & Purifying Gel to replenish and promote beautifully soft and super smooth skin.

Our homegrown Indian watch brand CHAIROS collection includes an attractive range of elegant daily wear timepieces to sporty and high-end luxury pieces for both men and women. Kinnari – The Royal Collection defines elegance with luxurious and magnificent jewellery crafted for the modern woman. For more information related to our products, please visit our website.

How does the QNET business opportunity work?

You can get started with QNET in two ways:

  • Simply buy our products and services as a retail customer, using a referral ID of an existing QNET Distributor. This results from a QNET distributor sharing the benefits of a product or service and you purchasing through our e-commerce portal. Your referrer earns a retail commission on your sale. There is no commitment to become a distributor at any point of your purchase.
  • You buy the product but also register with QNET as a Distributor, as per the company’s policy. This allows you to promote QNET’s products and services to earn commissions on their sale. QNET’s robust compensation plan enables you to build a sales organisation and earn commissions from your personal sales as well as the sales generated by your team.
  • You buy the product but also register with QNET as a Distributor, as per the company’s policy. This allows you to promote QNET’s products and services to earn commissions on their sale. QNET’s robust compensation plan enables you to build a sales organisation and earn commissions from your personal sales as well as the sales generated by your team.

Note – A distributor acts as an independent contractor and is not an employee of QNET or Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt. Ltd.

The choice of remaining a retail consumer or becoming a distributor is completely yours. It is important to note that distributors never earn commissions on registering new distributors.

QNET compliance in India

All distributors go through a KYC process in order to begin their journey as a distributor with QNET in India. The KYC process requires PAN card  for verification of your identity.

  • New distributors receive a phone call or email from our support team. They are asked specific questions to ensure they understand the business they signed up for, what product they have purchased and their right to a refund within the 30-day period.
  • This is followed by a standard KYC check.
  • QNET enables the transfer of commission earnings once a cancelled cheque is obtained to verify the relevant bank.
  • Then a One Time Password (OTP) is sent to the registered mobile number of the distributor to be on-boarded in order to authenticate their user ID and provide access to the QNET eStore.
  • ID Cards are issued to the distributor after due verifications in accordance with the direct selling guidelines of the Central Government.

Once this process is complete, the new distributor can log in to their Virtual Office on the QNET website and find all the relevant documents related to their business, including the Code of Ethics for their marketing behaviour.

As per the Direct Selling Guidelines:

  1. There is no sign-up or registration fee for individuals who would like to register as a QNET distributor.
  2. A 30-day refund period is available if the customer is not satisfied with the product.

Personal development and training programmes

Our products rely on well-trained distributors. Being a part of QNET in India means

  • You will enjoy world-class and quality products
  • Have access to the tools and training needed to build your own business
  • Be able to grow on a professional and personal level

QNET supports its distributors with multiple levels of training programmes, business tools, and webinars. A Basic Training programme is given to newcomers to educate them about the company, its products and services, the compensation plan, code of ethics, and knowledge about the industry. Other levels of training include goal setting, planning, presentation, public speaking, leadership development, and mentoring.

QNET India entrepreneurs at the QNET's bi-annual celebrations, VCON

Participants learn from the best in the business not just in their country, but from other countries as well and these range from small training events to large conventions involving thousands from around the world.

QNET – Myths & Realities

QNET in India has been surrounded by baseless rumors and controversies. These false allegations have raised questions about the legitimacy of the QNET business.

Myth: QNET India runs a pyramid scheme

Reality: Illegal pyramid schemes pay commissions for recruiting more people. Direct selling companies pay commissions only based on the sale of products. No sale of products means no commissions.

A pyramid scheme’s way of making a profit is mainly through recruiting new distributors and not product sales. These schemes usually involve large upfront fees and front-loading a large amount of inventory that is not returnable. QNET condemns front loading and has adopted all domestic consumer protection laws.

Pyramid schemes inevitably collapse. QNET’s business is based on a sustainable sales model of commissions through product sales. That is why even after 20 years we continue to grow, thrive, and expand internationally.

QNET operates in countries with the most sophisticated and stringent laws and regulations governing this industry. We have built a strong market presence and reputation in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Germany where our operations are completely legal and compliant with local laws.

QNET has always complied with local regulations in any country it has operated in, paid taxes, contributed to numerous community development activities, and supported the local economy. We also instill strict professional conduct in our distributors and penalise those who violate our Policies and Procedures.

Myth: Only those in the top get rich

Reality: It does not matter when a person registered as a distributor or where his/her position is in the team. Since commissions are only paid on product sales and not member recruitment, the only way to make money is through hard work. The distributors that generate the most in sales make the most commissions. Often distributors will earn more than the person that introduced them to the business. The way the QNET compensation plan is structured, no individual can succeed on their own unless they help others in their team succeed.

Myth: QNET India does not refund customers

Reality: Customer satisfaction has always been our top priority. Our business is built on word-of-mouth marketing and trust in our products. Unfairly withholding refunds would be severely detrimental to our business and contrary to the law.

Any customer who is unsatisfied with his/her product purchase needs to contact the company within a 30 day buy back time period and the company will accept the refund request. It is important to note that many customers try to demand a refund after the refund period, sometimes after 2 to 3 years. Like any other business, QNET cannot honor such refund requests.

Myth: QNET is a money deposit/money chain/ investment scheme

Reality: It is very crucial to understand that QNET is not an investment scheme. QNET is a direct selling company that sells products and services. Customers only pay for the purchase of these products and services. QNET has never accepted any deposits and has never paid any type of interest payment.

QNET India issued a Public Notice on the company policies

Like in any other business, you need to work hard, be committed, plan your business strategy and set goals in order to achieve success in direct selling. Your success depends entirely upon you and the hard work you put in. There is no timeline to how quickly one can earn commissions.

All this information is clearly stated on our website and marketing material.

Challenges faced by QNET in India

QNET in India does not fall under the purview of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 (PCMC Act) and The Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act (MPID Act)

The PCMC Act provides a framework to ban ‘Prize Chits’ and ‘Money Circulation’. The Act deals with the banning of a scheme which is aimed at making quick or easy money and on the happening of a contingent event. The PCMC Act is a variation of colonial laws that was then updated in 1978 to fight the scourge of small-time lotteries and Ponzi schemes. This was years before direct selling companies started doing business in India in the ‘90s.

QNET’s India business is neither prize chits nor money circulation because there are specific products and services that must be purchased for any acceptance of payment. In other words, the consumer always gets something for their money.  Also, there is no ‘entry fee’ or periodical subscription required pursuant to Section 2(c) of the Act.

The state regulators have alleged that some of the companies involved in direct selling conduct ‘money laundering activities’ by promoting or conducting a scheme to make quick and easy money. Those regulators really have no other clear direction when misconceptions of the industry are coupled with the lack of clear guidelines. Direct selling may be the only industry pushing for further government intervention and regulation.

Similarly, QNET in India also doesn’t come under the Maharashtra Protection of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1999 (MPID) as there are no deposits involved in the business., No offence under the MPID Act can be attributed when there is no deposit scheme involved. Vihaan and QNET are not financial establishments as they do not accept any deposit or any money or valuable commodity for any monetary return. Purchasers have no right to the money paid to the company, outside of refunds for products. Thus, any payment for products and services is not a ‘deposit’ for the purposes of MPID Act, as the orders for goods and services falls within the exception of section 2(c)(v)(d) of the MPID Act.

The entire process is in compliance with the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act as well as the model direct selling Guidelines from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

QNET’s legal status in India

In August 2013, an investigation into QNET’s Indian franchisee Vihaan was started on the basis of a fraudulent allegation against a non-existent commercial transaction. After a 3-year-long investigation arising from this, the case went up all the way to the Supreme Court of India, which in March 2017 stayed all pending FIRs and investigations into the company.

The order from the Supreme Court was passed soon after the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka had quashed a charge sheet filed by the CID in Bangalore. It may be noted that the Hon’ble Justice had categorically stated that “QNET is not a Ponzi scheme and the company does legitimate business”. Similarly, the Hon’ble High Court of Telangana and AP had stayed all proceedings against the company in 2016.

In January 2019, 58 distributors of QNET India were arrested by the Cyberabad Police on alleged MLM fraud. However, justice was served once again, when in January 2019, the Supreme Court ordered no coercive action to be taken upon the FIRs filed by the Telangana Police. The Telangana High Court also ordered the state of Telangana, the Commissioner of Police of Hyderabad, and the Commissioner of Police of Cyberabad, to refrain from taking any action against the distributors of QNET.

These verdicts have helped strengthen and reinforce QNET’s legitimacy in India as a genuine direct selling company.

Direct selling guidelines issued by Government of India

The Direct Selling Guidelines 2016 were issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution as guiding principles for State Governments to regulate the business of direct selling and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM). These guidelines also aim to strengthen the existing regulatory mechanism on direct selling, prevent fraudulent business practices, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

The guidelines have been constructed to differentiate between legitimate direct selling businesses from Ponzi schemes and help consumers make more informed decisions.

All direct selling companies were given 90 days to register and comply with these guidelines. Some of these conditions are-

  1. Legal entity under the laws of India.
  2. Provide accurate and complete information to prospective and existing direct sellers concerning the reasonable amount of remuneration opportunity, and related rights and obligations.
  3. Minimum quantity of goods to be purchased shall not be fixed.
  4. Sales promotion materials shall not be charged.
  5. Buy back policy within 30 days.
  6. Companies should maintain an updated register of Direct Sellers.
  7. Company website shall show full details.
  8. Members shall pay VAT if exceeds the limit.
  9. Commission payout shall be based on sales.
  10. Marketing plan shall clearly show the calculation of income.

QNET is in full compliance with these guidelines. As of June 2019, the guidelines are implemented in the states of Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Mizoram, Sikkim, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan.

QNET Code of Ethics

When a customer decides to become a QNET distributor, they must agree to a comprehensive Policies & Procedures document that provides guidelines for conducting the business in a professional manner. This includes QNET’s Code of Ethics and professional guidelines set by the company.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for any misrepresentation or unethical practices by distributors promoting the QNET business. Distributors found to be in violation of our policies and procedures are dealt with strictly, leading to suspension or termination in many cases.

Grievance redressal

However, the company can take action only when a complaint or grievance is filed. Unsatisfied customers can cancel their order and terminate their contract with us within the 30-day period. We will process their refund. We will also get the details of the distributor who misled them and take necessary action against that distributor.

Vihaan also houses a grievance cell where customers can report product or service-related grievances. We have a dedicated customer support team to help you find the best possible solution to your problem.

QNET commitment to communities

QNET India entrepreneurs celebrate Diwali with underprivileged children
More than 1500 entrepreneurs spread joy under the ‘Spirit of Giving’ initiatives during Diwali 2018.

At QNET, we care about the communities in which we do business and work towards making them more sustainable. The life and work of Mahatma Gandhi have profoundly influenced the founders of QNET. Thus, the principle of RYTHM – Raise Yourself to Help Mankind – is at the core of the business. Through RYTHM, QNET has spread happiness and brought smiles to millions worldwide.  In India, QNET often partners with the Lions Club to carry out various CSR initiatives across the country.

Projects in partnership with Lions Clubs

  • In 2015, employees and distributors partnered with the Lions Dist.317 F Service Foundation, Bangalore Chapter, and organised relief kits for 200 families affected by the Chennai floods.
  • In 2016, QNET launched the Nutriplus Health Camp at the Government primary school Sahakarnagar in Bangalore in association with the Lions Clubs of Kodigehalli, and the support of BBMP Corporator. Around 180 students were provided Nutriplus protein shake every day for the duration of the project, and significant health changes were recorded at the end of 8 weeks of continuous monitoring of the students.
  • In 2018, the Lions Clubs in Kodigehalli, Bangalore organised a blood donation camp, in partnership with QNET in order to create awareness about the shortage of blood and educate people about the benefits of blood donation.
  • QNET India partnered with Lions Clubs International, a local chapter in Bengaluru to donate a Kidney Dialysis Unit to the Shirdi Sai Hospital located in Devasandra, Bangalore

QNET India and Lions Club officials donating a Kidney Dialysis Unit in Banglore

  • On 24 November, QNET’s India business in association with Lions Clubs organised Walk of Life, a walkathon, to create more awareness about childhood cancer.
  • In 2018, QNET in association with Lions Clubs, held an event in Hassan, Karnataka, to provide prosthetic limbs Jaipur Foot to 50 disadvantaged people who had lost a limb in tragic accidents.

QNET India with Lions Club provide prosthetic limbs in Hassan, Karnataka

  • On World Diabetes Day, QNET India along with Lions Clubs organised a Free Diabetes Camp for the underprivileged communities in Bengaluru.

QNET India organised a free Diabetes camp in Bengaluru

  • QNET partnered with the Lions Clubs of Hyderabad, Swarnapuri and identified 1200 deserving children from Grade 6 and above, who couldn’t afford basic school supplies. Under QNET India’s We Care initiative, the company-sponsored uniforms and eco-friendly school bags for these children so that they could start the new school year with confidence.
  • QNET partnered with the Lions Clubs of Hyderabad, Swarnapuri, Dist. 316 F, to fund the construction of a water storage facility for a Government Primary School in Sriram Nagar in Hyderabad. This storage facility delivers safe drinking water to more than 800 students every day.

Other charitable projects

  • In Mumbai, QNET in India had partnered with Our Children Trust to present the annual Children’s Meet, a showcase of talent by underprivileged children in the city.

QNET India and Our Children Trust joined hands to celebrate Children's Meet

  • Every Diwali, QNET entrepreneurs in India come together and help spread the festive cheer among the underprivileged communities across the country. In 2018, around 1500 entrepreneurs joined forces under the ‘Spirit of Giving’ banner to carry out nationwide voluntary programmes aimed at giving back to the society.
  • QNET in India partnered with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru to help promote nutrition awareness among three government schools in Bengaluru.

Partnerships in sports

QNET is passionate about sports in India and actively works to promote sports in the country, especially para-sports and para-athletes. Over the years, QNET India has associated with various sporting events and partnered with both famous and upcoming athletes.

Participants and winners at the National Para Badminton Championship by QNET India

  • QNET along with Lions Clubs sponsored Indian para-athlete Sandesh B.G. for the 31st World Arm Wrestling Championship 2018. He finished among the top 5 at the Championship held in Antalya, Turkey.

QNET India sponsored Sandesha BG, at the World Armwrestling Championship, Turkey

  • Amputee mountaineer Arunima Sinha became QNET’s India brand ambassador in December 2018. QNET sponsored her Antarctica Expedition and after successfully completing the expedition, she has become the only female amputee to conquer all seven peaks across the five continents.

QNET India's brand ambassador Arunima Sinha during her Antarctica expedition

The road ahead

With a growing consumer base and the introduction of direct selling guidelines, the future of this industry in India is bright. However, emphasis needs to be given on the proper implementation of guidelines across the states. For QNET in India, the focus in the coming years will be to develop and expand offerings in the health and wellness category, partner with Indian SMEs to bring their products to a vast audience and support underprivileged communities through our CSR activities.

Also read:

5 things you should know before beginning your direct selling journey with QNET

Why entrepreneurship is integral to economic growth

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