Hong Kong-based direct selling firm QNet said it has entered the buoyant direct selling sector in Myanmar in a bid to tap entrepreneurs without business background.
Direct selling is the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location. The size of the global direct selling industry is $178.5 billion.
The launch of an agency office in Yangon marked the formal introduction of a local customer service centre for QNet in Myanmar.
“QNet firmly believes that there is nothing more empowering to individuals than the financial freedom that a career in the direct selling industry provides, and we believe the people of Myanmar, with their ambition and strong sense of entrepreneurship, will appreciate the quality consumer products we sell and the business opportunities we offer,” said Stevenson Charles, QNet’s regional general manager, Southeast Asia.
The company, optimising on the usage of the e-commerce platform, has contracted with local company, Kyi Min Brothers Group of Companies, to provide local customer support in Myanmar and display QNet products.
QNet, based on its projected plan, said it is optimistic that the direct selling industry in Myanmar will be as progressive as is trending in other emerging economies.
With direct selling gaining popularity, Myanmar is seen to have huge potential to become a leading market in the Southeast Asian region.
QNet, which sells a variety of products including energy, weight management, nutrition, personal care, home care, luxury goods and fashion accessories, is expanding its business in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) as business in the region continues to show growth, particularly in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
With the AEC arrangement coming up this year, QNet said it sees enormous growth opportunities and potential in Myanmar.
“The AEC 2015 is a game changer as it will enhance business facilitation and connectivity within ASEAN. Our objective in Myanmar is similar to that of the AEC which is to realise a community that is politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and people-centred,” said Stevenson.
Globally, the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), which QNet is affiliated through the Direct Selling Associations of Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, reported that global retail sales from direct selling in 2013 grew 8.1 percent year-on-year.
QNet’s new agency office will act as the main support centre for QNet in Myanmar and will provide consultations about the company, products, after-sales service and customer support for distributors.
Additionally, the local agency will provide training for QNet’s distributors known as Independent Representatives (IRs) and will facilitate coaching sessions to ensure all IRs are equipped with sufficient product knowledge and well-trained on business ethics of network marketing.
Currently, there are about 2,000 registered IRs of QNet in the country – mainly in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan, the firm said.
Kyi Min Han, managing director of Kyi Min Brothers Group of Companies, said, “We look forward to deepening our relationship with QNet through strong partnership with the local people in the areas of entrepreneurship and international trade.”