METADATA: QNET, a direct sales company, was perfectly positioned to adapt to the pandemic, and CEO Malou Caluza says its health and wellness offerings have become more in demand than ever.
You don’t need an MBA to understand that COVID-19 has impacted global business. The ongoing pandemic is responsible for changing and reconceiving almost every existing industry and market. There’s been a drastic shift in how work gets conducted daily, as the focus went from face-to-face to much of the world working remotely. The direct selling industry, while also impacted, has managed not just to survive but thrive. “It’s proven to be a recession-resistant industry,” says QNET CEO Malou Caluza. “The direct sales industry has prospered through all the major economic crises the world has faced over the years. It’s always proven to be resilient and adaptable.”
Due to the Pandemic, Customers Want Wellness Products
QNET distributors see an increase in demand for the company’s health and wellness products. Caluza is a fan of many of the QNET offerings. “Our home care products are my personal favorite,” she confirms. “I’m a cancer survivor, and it’s really important to me to use products in the home that will keep my family and me safe and healthy. We have an air purifier and a fantastic water purification product that runs without electricity. QNET also recently launched a completely natural weight-management product.”
Caluza notes that QNET and “companies that specialize in health, wellness, and nutrition products are seeing a spike in sales, as more people are looking for products to boost their immunity and protect their families.”
Why the Increased Interest in Direct Selling?
There’s been greater interest in direct sales since the COVID-19 pandemic began. “Many people who lost their jobs or other steady sources of income began turning to direct selling opportunities,” confirms Caluza. “It’s reported that after an initial slump, most direct selling companies, like QNET, are seeing an increase in distributor sign-ups across the board.”
Direct selling companies, like QNET, are being embraced globally. “Around the world, many businesses are using the direct selling business model to promote services as well as unique products in a range of categories, such as home care products, personal and beauty care, and even wellness and nutrition,” Caluza shares. “The direct selling business is a great equalizer, too.”
Caluza is the first female CEO at QNET. She reiterates that direct sales is a gender-neutral business that welcomes anyone willing to put in the work. “It doesn’t discriminate based on gender, education, socioeconomic background, or age,” says Caluza. “Provided they are willing to do the difficult work and have the right mindset to build a business, anyone can have access to the opportunity to become an entrepreneur at a very low cost.”
QNET CEO Malou Caluza Debunks Scam Myths
Direct selling companies like QNET are commonly misunderstood or mistaken for pyramid schemes, get-rich-quick scams, and Ponzi schemes. This seems to be especially true in emerging markets with fewer consumer protections in place to regulate the direct selling industry. But the truth is that they’re not all the same, which is why Caluza is debunking myths and reiterating the facts about QNET to help consumers differentiate between a genuine company like QNET and the pyramid schemes.
“For many people, direct selling offers a great platform to become micro-entrepreneurs and build a sales business promoting such products when they sign up as distributors of direct selling companies. Our distributors are present in many different regions around the world. That’s why we offer a diverse portfolio to suit different demographics,” Caluza explains. “We work with international vendors to design unique, high-quality, and advanced-technology products that are exclusively available on QNET.”
How Did QNET Adjust to the Pandemic?
QNET converted all of its training and mentoring programs to structured virtual events. “Our annual convention in 2020 attracted approximately 200,000 participants from nearly 50 countries,” says Caluza. By 2021, the participation increased to 350,000 participants from more than 50 countries.
“We realized we must continue with the virtual convention model even when it’s safe to hold physical events again, simply because so many of our people who were earlier limited by reasons such as visas or travel costs could now get access to our events and training from their home at a fraction of the cost,” explains Caluza. “Our European business even won an award for successfully implementing a digital support strategy for distributors. At the peak of the lockdown in EU countries, they were delivering 20 online business presentations a week in seven languages and also established an online business academy to coach new distributors in the business.”