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Friday, June 14, 2024

West African Journalists Visit QNET Head Office In Malaysia To Unravel The Truth About The Company

By James Kamara-Manneh

Five journalists from five West African countries namely, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Burkina Faso took a trip to the Head Office of QNET on 8th May, 2024 to unravel the truth about the company.

Over the years, there has been a number of negative media publications about QNET and in some West Africa countries, the company has been vilified repeatedly. There are some people who would quickly dismiss QNET as a scam, a pyramid scheme or a human trafficking group. These perceptions have negatively affected the image and reputation of the company in Sierra Leone.

As part of the proactive measures the 26-year-old global direct selling company is implementing in trying to provide accurate information about its business model, products and identity, and to fight misinformation, QNET organized a special media junket for journalists across West Africa, to visit and experience QNET in Malaysia and independently assess the values, culture, practice, business model, products, brand promise and authenticity of the company. The media junket comprises seasoned journalists with many decades of combined journalistic experience. Some of them are senior editors and local correspondents of leading global media organisations such as the Voice of America, VOA in their various countries.

Together with these journalists from West Africa, I arrived in Malaysia on 9th May, 2024 with an open and investigative mind. On Friday, 10th May, 2024, officers of QNET took us to the QNET office located inside the15-storey QI Tower inKuala Lumpur.  From the conversations and explanations that I had, I realised that theQI Tower is QI Group’s operational headquarters and it houses QNET as a subsidiary of the Group. The building is owned by QI, parent company of QNET and was acquired about 11 years ago. This is an important indication that the company is in business to stay for now and the future.

The Global Public Relations Manager of the company and his colleagues took us on a tour of the company’s offices at QI Tower. We were treated to an eye-opening presentation on the company, its history, business model, products, corporate social responsibility projects in Africa and across the world, its successes and challenges in Africa, among other things. Right there, we were presented with some amazing QNET products. It was the first time I met officials of QNET physically. I have seen and heard journalists or people in Sierra Leone erroneously refer to distributors or independent representatives (IRs) of QNET as ‘workers’ of QNET.

I realized that IRs are not QNET workers, they are promoters and distributors of QNET products who act on their volition and not officially in the name of QNET as direct employees. So, when an IR behaves in an unethical way, it is wrong to refer to him or her as a QNET worker or staff. It is also very important to separate the unethical behaviour or act of an individual from the general identity and reputation QNET.

At the QI Tower, we were given some QNET products and they include LifeCode Belite 123 (a 3-in-1 weight management formula), LifeCode Kenta (Vitamin-Rich Supplement for longevity), LifeCodeQafe (Safe and Effective Weight Loss Formula), LifeCode EDG3 Plus(A multi-functional beverage for elevating everyday health) and Omni wrist watch from the 150-year-old Bernard H. Meyer line of swiss-made watches.

We were told about how QNET products are developed. They are derived from extensive research from different parts of the world and they have been tried, tested and proven to be efficient in helping people achieve good health and wellness. They are also certified by many reputable certification authorities across the world. If those products were not real or good for the body, they would not be certified by the Hong Kong Health Food Association, the Health Supplements Industry Association of Singapore and other national certification authorities in many African countries where QNET products are promoted and distributed by their independent representatives.

On 12th may, 2024 I attended the opening ceremony of QNET’s global conference, known as the VCON. Thousands of people from different parts of the world, including dignitaries and VIPs from Africa were present.

At the opening ceremony, I saw in real life and for the first time, the two founders of QNET, Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran and Mr. Joseph Bismark, who established QNET in 1998. They told the inspiring story of how they started QNET and the hurdles they overcame for the company to become one of the leading direct selling companies in the world. If everyone in Sierra Leone were present at the event, I believe all the misconceptions and misinformation about QNET would suddenly disappear from their minds. This is because the truth about QNET was told in the simplest and most understandable way ever.

On Monday, 13th May, 2024, I had the opportunity of sitting at another presentation led by the top management of QNET. The team comprised the Regional General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Biram Fall, Chief Communications Officer for the QI Group, Ramya Chandrasekeran, Deputy Chairperson of QNET, Malou Caluza (former CEO of QNET), Chief Legal Officer, Nikhil Patel, Chief Marketing Officer, Trevor Kuna and others. I vividly narrated the current perception people have about QNET in Sierra Leone and asked them about what they company plans to do about it.

The team acknowledged the fact that QNET is misunderstood and misrepresented by some people in Sierra Leone. They mentioned they have embarked on public education and media campaign dubbed: “SAY NO CAMPAIGN” in some West African countries and would intensify efforts towards educating the media and the general public in Sierra Leone. They mentioned that they are engaging and collaborating with authorities such as the security agencies to wipe out the bad nuts and unscrupulous people who are tarnishing the company’s image. They said they will continue to work with them to ensure the general public is educated and protected against scam, fake jobs and human trafficking allegations that are sometimes leveled against the company. They are also increasing the rate at which they train their independent representatives or distributors so that they can keep practicing ethical marketing behaviours.

The media junket organized by QNET is a big step in the right direction. It helps to deepen engagement and rapport with journalists who are the news makers. It is also an effective way of passing the right information to the general public through the journalists that visited the company in Malaysia. Seeing, they say, is believing, I have seen QNET in its totality and I believe that though the company is facing challenges of misrepresentation, it is a real company with beautiful and amazing products that are sold across the world. Now, I also know that QNET is touching millions of lives across the world, empowering them economically and championing their health and wellness, so they can live the best versions of their lives.

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