Global CEO, QNet
In an exclusive interview with The Afternoon D&C, Trevor Kuna, Global CEO of QNet, one of India’s leading Direct Selling companies talked about, the changing policy and regulatory landscape and the bullish outlook for the company in times to come on the sidelines of the company’s annual convention in Malaysia recently.
How can a strong Direct Selling Industry benefit a country like India? Are there some global examples?
The United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) released its 2017 World Employment and Social Outlook report in January this year. The report shows that unemployment in India is projected to increase from 17.7 million last year to 17.8 million in 2017 and 18 million next year. India performed slightly well in terms of job creation in 2016 but the growth in jobs has not kept pace with the rising number of aspirants.
The direct selling industry provides a potential solution by promoting entrepreneurship and self-empowerment. In fact, direct selling companies are some of the only organisations that offer significant, substantial training to the people who need it most—those who are currently unemployed—for little to no cost. Companies in the direct selling industry provide invaluable training skills. Not only do people learn financial principles, which they can use to build their business, the training they receive helps them with their personal growth that is also transferable to other careers they may have in the future.
The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) completed a socio-economic study in 2014 (conducted over a 10 year period) in the world’s largest direct selling markets: Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Japan, India, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. In every single market, the industry was able to demonstrate its positive impact in areas in economic, fiscal and social contributions.
What are the future plans for India?
We are planning to launch 8-10 new products this year. Some of the products are available for preview at our annual convention here in V-Convention Malaysia, 2017. These new products will help us strengthen out nutrition, personal care & home appliances segment. We are in the process of finalizing a strategic partnership with a top Indian company in the home appliances category.
We will continue to introduce products made in India as we have been doing over the past few years, supporting SME’s and MSME’s. The new guidelines have helped instill confidence in both direct selling companies as well as consumers in India. Hence, the outlook for the entire industry is very positive.
In the financial year 2015-16, QNet’s revenues in India were INR 591 crores (audited). We are confident of 15-20% growth for the coming year.
From 1st July GST is going to be applicable. How will it affect QNet?
GST is a very good thing for a company like us. It simplifies the product sourcing process as well as benefits the end consumers. We have different products sold across markets which lead to multiple taxes. GST will add to ‘ease of doing business’ for QNet.
What is your growth target by 2020 for India?
By 2020, we are looking at 50% growth approximately.
Tell us something about your annual convention V-Malaysia?
V-Malaysia is the biggest gathering of QNet’s customers and independent representatives from across the world. It is an intense 5-day convention that covers a series of training programs, product demonstrations, Q&A with product and business experts, a mega exhibition of all of QNet’s products from around the world, motivational speeches, entertainment events and much more. This convention is an opportunity for a QNet distributor to understand the company better. It is also a great opportunity for the distributors to interact with the officials of the company, touch and feel new products, get their customer support issues addressed in person and gain a deeper insight into their journey in the direct selling profession. This year we have around 20,000 participants from around the world.
We saw Vivek Oberoi on stage at the convention. Is he the next Brand Ambassador?
Vivek’s work with the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) in India brought him in contact with our global corporate foundation, RYTHM Foundation. RYTHM stands for Raise Yourself To Help Mankind. The foundation works with organisations around the world to support community development projects in the area of education, child welfare and women empowerment.
At our anniversary convention in Dubai last year, we invited Vivek to talk about CPAA, which has been doing some amazing work towards the total management of cancer as a disease for more than 40 years. CPAA has also provided assistance to cancer patients from low-income families who cannot afford treatment. Vivek has been associated with CPAA for over a decade creating awareness about cancer prevention, treatment, and fund raising.
Last year RYTHM Foundation signed up with CPAA as a strategic partner to provide treatment to 20 children with cancer. This year, Vivek brought three of these children who are now cancer free, to the convention along with CPAA officials to express his thanks to the Foundation and to announce a long-term partnership between CPAA and RYTHM Foundation.