SME Times News Bureau | 07 May, 2021
In an exclusive interview with SME Times, Rishi Chandiok, Regional Director
(South Asia), QNet Ltd., an e-commerce enabled direct selling company, said
that the Indian direct selling industry has the potential to grow exponentially.
1. Please tell our readers about
QNET India and how it provides an opportunity to become an entrepreneur?
is an international e-commerce powered direct selling company established in
1998. QNET offers a diverse range of health, wellness and lifestyle products,
through its proprietary e-commerce platform and has customers and distributors
in nearly 100 countries including India. QNET’s direct selling business model
allows aspiring entrepreneurs to become distributors of the company’s products
and services and earn commissions based on product sales by them and their referrals.
India, QNET has been offering a wide range of exclusive products, developed in
partnership with both SMEs as well as prominent brands, for nearly ten years
through a local franchisee operation. The QNET business opportunity is
available to anyone in India over the age of 21. We provide all new
distributors with an onboarding process, training programme and a support
system to help them build their business. In recent years, Direct Selling has
seen tremendous growth in India due to the flexibility it offers to those
looking for self-employment opportunities. We believe QNET in India is well
positioned to tap into this trend with our high quality products and our
attractive compensation plan that has helped thousands of Indian
micro-entrepreneurs build a successful sales business.
2. Please share your views on
growth of the Direct Selling industry in India & how it's helping
direct selling industry has the potential to grow exponentially due the
flexibility it offers to its distributor workforce. As per a report by
the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), the Indian direct
selling industry has recorded USD 2.47 billion sales in 2019 with a 12.1
percent YOY industry growth. This ranks India at the 15th
place globally, up four places from the previous year.
direct selling has always been a recession-proof business. People look for
supplemental income opportunities during an economic recession, or those who
have lost their jobs and are unable to find new employment turn to direct
selling as a means of self-employment. During the recent economic fallout from
the pandemic that derailed many businesses and industries, the Direct Selling sector is one of the few industries that has recorded
a positive growth by addressing issues of youth unemployment. A report by
Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) says that the sector saw 53 lakh new
entrants in the direct selling sector, in the first six months of the previous
Due to the flexible
nature of the business model, direct selling is very popular with women as they can schedule their business
requirements around their family and household responsibilities. Approximately 3.6 million (as per a report by
FICCI-KPMG) women are part of India’s direct selling workforce in a part time
of full time basis.
3. Growth in health, wellness, and home
& living segment in this regard... your views?
Owing to the pandemic, health & wellness have become
a major focus area for all of us. We have witnessed a steady demand for
products that help with boosting immunity and promote overall wellness. At
QNET, we have strengthened our Nutriplus range of health supplements with
ImmunHealth, GutHealth, DailyHealth, and LivHealth, a range of products
targeted at improving specific aspects of our bodily functions. This product
category also comprises antioxidants, wellness teas, energy boosters, bone and
skin health supplements, and superfoods like monofloral honey.
Our monofloral honey products are sourced naturally
from forests in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and
Jammu and they support local farming communities. Our Celesteal range of Green
and Black Tea is sourced from Darjeeling from a single estate helping to
support a local SME. We also ensure that
all our products are sourced ethically and responsibly with minimal
environmental impact, while providing support to small businesses and local
Over the next two years, we envisage our
health and wellness portfolio to grow substantially. Also, we have observed a rise
in demand for our home and living products. The home care appliances like SHARP-QNET ZENsational and the latest SmartAir room air purifier
cleanse indoor air and features Sharp’s patented Plasmacluster Ion Technology
(PCI) that helps deactivate airborne novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), when
exposed to the technology for approximately 30 seconds by 90% (As per report by
Sharp Global. This product has been particularly useful this part of the year
as more people have been confined indoors.
4. Please tell our readers about
the digital shift at QNET in the Covid situation.
Thanks to the fact that the QNET
business is primarily conducted on the e-commerce platform, we have been early
adopters of the digital ecosystem. The past year has shown all businesses that
digital transformation is a necessity to sustain and grow in these
Our focus has always been to support our
distributors through this challenging time. We have switched to online
trainings for our business and products. Every week, we conduct virtual
training programmes for our distributors to help them understand our products
and our business model.
Our business tools and marketing
materials are available as e-books and videos through our online content
library. We were pleasantly surprised that our distributors seamlessly shifted
and adapted to conducting their business in the virtual world
In March 2021, when our annual
convention was organized in a virtual format, we were amazed that it attracted
a record-breaking viewership of nearly 350,000 distributors from over 50
countries, including India!
5. What according to you will be
the industry trends in 2022?
Social selling has emerged as a big trend in this past
year. With the digital native Gen Z getting into the workforce, use of newer
social media platforms such as Instagram to promote products using creative
videos and visual posts has become quite popular. Millennials and Gen Z
continue to drive influencer marketing for brand and product awareness.
Virtual trainings which started as a response to
lockdowns have proven to be very effective providing access to many who were
otherwise hindered by monetary or logistics challenges. We think that virtual
trainings are here to stay even in the post-Covid world.
In India, the government’s initiative 'Vocal for
Local' is encouraging Indians to buy more locally made products. More and more
international direct selling companies operating in India are focusing on Make
in India products. With the increased focus on overall wellbeing, the industry
is focused on catering to this segment with indigenous products. At QNET India,
we have over 80 products in the health, wellness, and lifestyle segments, with
75% of them ‘Made in India’.
6. Please share your views on revising
the functioning of work for distributors to maintain social distancing
At the very heart of direct selling is the personal
touch and the one-on-one relationships that are formed between distributors and
customers. In the pre-Covid era, the best way to build the business was through
personal meetings and group presentations about the business. With social
distancing in force, the very crux of the direct selling business model was
under threat. However, as history has shown, this is a very resilient and highly
adaptable industry. Both the companies in the business as well as distributors
made the switch to virtual platforms and digital tools to keep in touch with
their teams and to organize presentations and training programmes.
All the leadership and personal development training
from the pre-Covid times came in handy as distributors everywhere remained
unfazed and found new, creative solutions to overcome the challenges posed by
social distancing. The results speak for themselves, as most direct selling
companies around the world are showing a positive growth.