• September 22, 2023

QNET Scandal: Three Representatives Exonerated, as Company Charts Course for Rebranding in Africa

Amid the tumultuous whirlpool of allegations surrounding QNET, a direct-selling juggernaut in Asia, a fresh wind of exoneration has blown from Benin, a small nation on the western flanks of Africa. In a court ruling that made waves in July 2023, three QNET independent representatives were acquitted of fraud charges by the Court for the Repression of Economic Offences and Terrorism. This development offers a modicum of relief to the company, as it struggles to salvage its reputation from the quicksand of public perception that often equates direct selling with fraud.

Biram Fall, the regional general manager for sub-Saharan Africa, minced no words about the company’s intent. QNET is not merely lifting its head above the parapet; it’s actively arming itself with facts and alliances to dispel myths. “We collaborate with security and judicial authorities providing accurate information to correct misconceptions,” said Fall.

If you’re still unfamiliar with the term, direct selling is not some clandestine operation but a legitimate retail channel embraced by various businesses worldwide. In this model, independent representatives sell products directly to the consumers, bypassing the traditional retail set-up. The process is not just an alternative way of doing business; it is often an escalator of financial mobility for micro-entrepreneurs, with a low threshold for entering the market. The Global Direct Selling Market 2023-2027 report augments this point, indicating an expected growth of $78.81 million and a CAGR of 5.04% between 2022 and 2027.

QNET, born in the cradle of 1998, has burgeoned into an international purveyor of wellness and lifestyle products. It is an arm of the QI Group, a conglomerate with a footprint that spans almost 100 countries. “The more products they sell, the more commission they earn,” Fall clarified, drawing a line of demarcation between the legitimate commission-based model of QNET and illegal pyramid schemes.

Read: The Truth About Qnet Scam in India

That said, every organization has its own Judas, and QNET is no exception. Malcontent independent representatives have occasionally sullied the company’s reputation by misrepresenting its business ethos. These erring actors have been terminated, but not without leaving scars on the company’s image.

To stem this rising tide of disinformation, QNET is acting with dual vigor. It has set up a virtual Direct Selling Disinformation Centre, a first of its kind initiative. On the other side of the continent, in Ghana, the company launched the Mama Campaign, an informative advertising effort aimed at educating the public about the distinctions between legitimate business and scams.

QNET may have battled adversity but it has not lost its sheen. It is committed to battling not just for its survival but for the ethical sanctity of the direct-selling industry at large. With the exoneration of its representatives in Benin, it has gained a new battle standard to rally around, as it takes firm steps to rewrite its African narrative.