KUCHING: International e-commerce pioneer QNet (M) Sdn Bhd (QNet Malaysia) has evolved significantly with the advent of the digital age, resulting in its business becoming borderless.
According to its general manager V Navaratnam, QNet Malaysia was recognised as a strong contender in the global Direct Selling (DS) industry. Its ability to withstand challenges was attributed to its capability to adapt to changes that revolved around its business operations and its fluidity in turning challenges into opportunities.
The company utilised the power of network marketing combined with e-commerce. “We provide information technology knowledge and business tools for Independent Representative (IRs) to run their businesses, whether it be on a full-time or part-time basis,” he said.
Having a global reach and a strong local presence, QNet Malaysia was the affiliate company of international direct selling company, QNet Ltd (Qnet) established in 1998. “QNet Malaysia was established to meet the growing demands of QNet’s strong Malaysian market. This move has allowed localised services and support tailored to the specific needs of the network,” said Navaratnam.
He further pointed out that with the localised operations, QNet Malaysia worked closely with the relevant Malaysian ministries, local product suppliers and distribution channels to better serve its IRs. “We also work with QNet’s international operations, headquartered in Hong Kong, to maximise the strategic development of both companies.”
Over the years, QNet has built its range of innovative and exclusive lifestyle products to meet the demands of a global market. Through strategic partnerships and industry investments by QNet’s parent company, QI Group, both QNet and QNet Malaysia were able to offer unprecedented quality within the range of exclusive brands and products that were offered to the network.
QI Services (M) Sdn Bhd corporate communication manager Dominic Tan revealed, “More than 2,000 products are shipped every day to customers in more than 160 countries around the world. At an international level, QNet offers products ranging from wellness, energy and nutrition products, to holiday packages, telecommunications as well as luxury and collectible items.”
“Today, QNet offers approximately 80 exclusive products to millions of IRs and retail customers around the world. This is coupled with the millions of people who have also changed their lives through QNet’s business opportunities,” added Tan.
According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Association (WFDSA) statistics report, direct selling businesses recorded worldwide sales of US$114 billion (RM358.64 billion) in 2008. That came with worldwide sales force of 65 million people.
Tan explained that direct selling was a growing and exciting industry that provided a way to sell products and services directly to customers, away from a traditional retail location. The industry allowed businesses to connect with customers one-on-one, be it in groups, online, by phone or through catalogue sales.
“Particularly during tough economic times, direct selling is an extremely viable and successful avenue to provide supplementary or complete income streams. The direct selling industry is one that thrives during global recessions and also presents an attractive career path during the more economically stable times as well,” said Tan.
QNet Malaysia operations manager Venie Kandiah commented, “In emerging markets, direct sales companies benefit from both strong market growth and an attractive earning opportunity. In more mature markets, direct selling creates the togetherness that many are seeking and brings additional income and personal growth.
“What really sets direct sales companies apart from the more traditional retail industry is the ability for a person to start his or her own business without major investments in inventory, office space or shop fronts. Further, the marketing, packaging and advertising of the products are already taken care of by the company,” she added.
Apart from Malaysia, QNet also had logistics hubs with computerised warehouses and advance warehouse management systems in Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Navaratnam said the systems were fully integrated with the virtual office of IRs.
“Those IRs are able to track their shipments in real time, 24 hours a day, anywhere around the world. The logistics cover information from pick-up, uplift, departure origin, arrival destination and customs clearance, right up to the products’ arrival.”
Internationally, Navaratnam revealed QNet’s top three key markets were Indonesia, Middle East and Central Asia. “The European market is picking up with future expansion plan for North and South America.”
“We will soon set up a few more affiliated localised companies in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, UAE, Thailand, Brazil, Japan, USA and few other key regions. Among all the countries, Malaysia is in the top 10 list, being one of the most active markets for QNet,” he pointed out.
On Thursday, QNet Malaysia opened its first new office in Sarawak, which would serve as a logistics hub for shipment of its products in East Malaysia. It would take on a dual role as the logistics hub for both Sabah and Sarawak.
QNet Sarawak was targeting to enlarge its presence here in the state by setting up few more support system hubs around the surrounding towns before moving up to the northern region of East Malaysia.