QNet: Making Your Own Decision
The booming trend that is network marketing has left people on both sides of the fence. Is it really black and white?
By Nora El Hariri
22 February 2012, 6:51 pm
Over the past year, we have heard an increasing number of people talk about QNet, some describing it as ‘the best way to make money’ and others describing it as a ‘total scam’. While the jury could be out on this for a long time, the decision may very well be your own.What is QNet?
Quest Net (QNet) was established in 1998 by Vijay Eswaran and Joseph Bismark in the Philippines with company headquarters set up in Hong Kong that same year. To put it simply, QNet is a global, direct selling company which sells all its products online and is considered one of the world’s leading network marketing companies. It is a subsidiary of international conglomerate, QI Group.
Nour Tarek, an engineering senior at Cairo University who has been active in QNet for around 18 months as part of Team Faith — the most powerful QNet team worldwide — describes network marketing as “[…] what connects the consumer directly with the company, removing the need for ‘the middle man’.”
According to Tarek, the middle man represents the cost of advertising, shipping or any other cost added onto a product’s base price and eventually paid for by the consumers in the end.
“Network marketing is based on direct selling,” Tarek says, elaborating further that the way the company functions is by removing the cost of advertising and providing it to the network marketer as ‘commission.’
If you are part of QNet, you agree on the mission statement: ‘Raise Yourself to Help Mankind’ (RYTHM). That mission statement, which is ‘parallel to QNet,’ as Tarek puts it, was established by its mother company, QI Limited. The statement is obvious: making money through the company while helping other people earn money as well by spreading the word and bringing more people on board.The QNet dilemma in Egypt
Ever since the QNet circle started to grow in Egypt, people have been continuously raising questions about the company and the authenticity of its process and plan. Antagonists claim it’s all a pyramid scheme and that it could be haram; unlawful according to Islam.
Sameh Wahba, a recent graduate of AUC attributes the staunch opposition to the QNet concept to the community’s wariness of all that is novel. “I think [the allegations came about] because [QNet] is something new and people are always scared of new things. But, these are pretty big allegations and you know how rumors spread like wildfire in Egypt.
Tarek refutes the allegations that QNet is a pyramid scheme. “Pyramid schemes do not have actual products,” he explains, adding that pyramid schemes involve virtual products that are of no real value and sell them to recruits for unreasonable amounts of money. For example, Tarek pointed to an unnamed pyramid scheme has sold blank CDs to recruits for LE 200.
He adds that pyramid schemes also operate on a hierarchal system whereby the founder recruits one person who will go on to recruit another and yet another and it goes on. The founder, however, earns money for every new recruit and the further down the pyramid a recruit is, the less money they earn.How QNet works
QNet advocates taking pride in the system behind the network marketing company. A QNet Independent Representative (IR) sits down to talk to recruits and to explain the plan, which mainly revolves around the finances of the process. In a nutshell, the recruit will earn back the money spent on a product. In the plan, the IR explains ‘the worst case scenario’ that a person can go through once they sign up in QNet, and that happens when the latter or his recruits do not work as often as they were expected.
Providing believable evidence, the IR explains why QNet is not a risky deal, leaving the audience to make a choice of whether or not they want to join.
Once you’ve bought a product from QNet, you’re recruited and the hunt for new recruits begins. The recruiter A starts off by recruiting two people, creating a branch for the first B and another for the second C. Each one of these recruits has to recruit others in order to create their own branches. The commission for every new recruit is $41.67 (LE 252); however, A is not actually paid any money until three more recruits are brought on board under his/her two branches. When that balance is created, A receives $250 (LE 1,510) in cash.
So A does not necessarily get paid first — B or C could see their returns first if they succeed in gathering three people on their left branch and another three on their right branch.
“The more you work, the more you will get. It’s like anything else, but here you have the option of encouraging others to work and you will also gain, so it’s also important to stay in contact with your network. But, if they see that you’re encouraging them and telling them to do things you are not doing, they won’t do them either. Lead by example and you will win,” Wahba says.
Tarek elaborates that the most important thing that ensures that QNet is not a pyramid scheme is that it has a ‘breakout’ or a limit. “The limit was a number that the UN decided upon in a study conducted before QNet was established,” Tarek says of the lengthy research conducted by the UN on the ‘line of poverty’ under which a person’s outcome is more than his income. “That limit — which is referred to as the ‘line of prosperity’ — is what defines ‘Financial Freedom’,” he says, adding that a person becomes financially free when they can spend ‘within average’ without the fear of becoming broke. The limit, as determined by the UN is $3,000 (LE 18,120) per day.
According to Tarek, every QNet member has a certain financial limit that they cannot pass, and that is what ensures that the company does not go broke. The limit per share is $780,000 (LE 4.71 million) per annum.
However, a person can only gain more money than that if they decide to recruit themselves, meaning that they will get double the amount for every recruiter.The products
Tarek boasts that the products are one of the main reasons why the company is successfully unique. The products are exclusively sold through QNet. The companies that offer their products on QNet are as follows.
Amezcua, a German company that specializes in bio-energy and specializes in treating and restoring energy in the human body. Amezcua offers some of its products like the Bio Disc and the Chi Energy Pendant. Bernhard H. Mayer, is another German company that produces hand-made Swiss watches. The company was established in 1871.
Swiss eLearning institute is an institute which offers five different courses in these fields as stated on QNet’s online blog; motorsport management, presentation and communication skills, career design, marketing and the art of management — winning concepts and strategies.
Why have these companies chosen to work with QNet rather than operating like any other product and utilizing conventional marketing? Tarek uses Porsche as an example. Porsche, being a high-end car maker whose latest models are rarely seen on the street, will only be able to sell approximately six new cars per year. However, if a businessman heard that a new car has been released that no one knows about, he would invest in this coveted, unique product. It helps that he heard about it from the right person — another businessman just like him.
“Word of mouth still works better than many ways of advertisement,” says Tarek.QNet and Sharia
If you call the Dar Al-Ifta’ hotline (107) to ask about the legality of QNet under Islamic law, this is the answer you will get: “This process is haram according to Islamic law and this is the latest statement issued by Dar Al-Ifta’ after lengthy research and investigation.
A true advocate of QNet, Tarek explains that in December 2010, Dar Al-Ifta’ had issued a statement saying that it was completely legal and consistent with the Islamic traditions as long as it does not involve trading in the prohibited commodities.
However, an aptly named opposition group, Anti-QNet, showed great dismay at that statement and demonstrated in front of Dar Al-Ifta’, causing it to revoke back its statement in March 2011.
“QNet representatives decided to discuss the issues with the Islamic Research Academy (IRA) to see if they agreed with Dar Al-Ifta’ (on it being unlawful to Islam),” he said explaining that the sheikhs of IRA said that they would take their time in order to look deeply enough into it, and on December 25, 2011 announced the conclusions that they had reached on QNet. The IRA issued a statement that QNet was legitimate.
On that same day, Tarek says QNet recruits were shocked to find out that Dar Al-Ifta’ issued a statement making QNet haram on the grounds that it could negatively affect Egypt’s economy. Tarek recalls his disappointment at the statement. “I was waiting to hear points that I would be afraid of or that would be hard to understand.
“My entire team and I had agreed, from the very first day, that if [QNet] appeared fishy in any way, we would quit the business and close down our accounts as well,” Tarek said. Some QNet leaders met with Dar Al-Ifta’ and after explaining the QNet process, the sheikhs admitted that they may have made an incorrect statement, promising to rectify. “However, that never happened,” Tarek says as he recalls that Dar Al-Ifta’ put up an announcement on the website stating that the QNet issue is still being researched. A new statement has not been issued.The conclusion is yours
“My problem was never with QNet itself or its policies as much as it is with some of the people in QNet,” Tarek said explaining that some IRs unintentionally tarnish the company’s reputation by explaining the plans in disorganized ways or by recruiting members under the age of 21, the minimum age to be able to participate in such a process in Egypt.
Wahba, who had joined QNet when he was a 20-year-old agreed that it is wrong that people do that but said that it is not the company’s fault.
“They say it works for anyone and everyone. There is an age restriction in the company. They say you have to be over 21, but you know how Egyptians are; they either use their parent’s IDs or they forge theirs,” he says.
After looking at all the information I believe there is nothing wrong with QNet. But the decision is yours.