Thousands of delegates flood Penang for controversial firm’s conference


Thousands of delegates, most of them apparently from India, have converged in Penang for a large but low-profile direct selling convention at the Spice conference centre in Penang.

The main organiser of the convention is QNet, a direct selling or multi-level marketing firm using e-commerce founded by Penang-born Vijay Eswaran. Eswaran, who made it to no. 25 among Malaysia’s richest in 2013, is the founder and chairman of the QI Group, whose headquarters is in Hong Kong. QNet is their flagship company.

QNet convention, Spice, Penang

The conference is being held from 3-7 May at Spice.

QNet convention, Spice, Penang

Some 15,000 delegates are believed to be in town for the conference dubbed #VCON16. A hotelier told me they had been booked into top-notch hotels in the state, including five-star joints.

QNet showcases its links as the “official direct selling partner” of Manchester City football club. It also signed up former world number one tennis player Martina Hingis as “brand ambassador in India”.

QNet convention, Spice, Penang

But in India, the company is mired in serious controversy. Read these reports carefully: Kirit Somaiya, MP demands quick action against the MLM and CM Devendra Fadnavis has assured detailed inquiry into QNet: BJP.  Check out other controversies in Wikipedia.

In 2013, QNet reportedly distanced itself from the operations in India, saying a franchisee firm handles the operations there. On the QNet website, the franchisee firm is known simply as QNet India with a PO Box address in Bangalore. Eswaran lamented back then that India had not legislated the direct selling industry or done enough to protect foreign investors; he also complained about “weak standards of journalism that can tarnish the reputation of a company or individual”, placing “great constraints” on doing business in India.

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Yet, at the Spice convention centre foyer, delegates from all over India and elsewhere were in rah-rah spirits, with the noise levels rising a few decibels.

QNet convention, Spice, Penang

A caterer at the venue said they were providing food for a thousand people.

Delegates had to have a security wristband to gain entry into the arena proper, and hired security personnel were stationed at the various entrance doors to check incoming delegates. Even while wandering in the foyer, I was approached by a security personnel who asked me where my wristband was!

Inside the arena, check out the razzmatazz:

This was EPIC! #Repost @thev_official ・・・ WHOA! Chief Pathman Senathirajah's grand entrance here at #VCON16

A video posted by QNET Official (@qnetofficial) on

See what I mean by rah-rah?

Anyway… so now you know why George Town is suddenly so full of visitors.

QNet convention, Spice, Penang

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  1. If the QNET is a a good ethical corporate / organization and has guts (Mr Vijay Easwaran, Pathman, Dev Wadhwani, Sachin Gupta Kavita Sugandh and all such …), ask them to come to India and face the trials. Face the victims, who have been (allegedly) cheated by them. They won’t because their strategy is simple… fool as many people as fast as they can and once people realize, move to other destinations, hiding under the cover in countries who protect them. But those countries also are coming under pressure now from world, because the (alleged) cheating / fraud of QNET has passed the patience level of the countries in the world. They don’t have guts… simply because (allegedly) their do fraud and they know they can be put behind bars, their “easy” earned money can be confiscated and assets attached in courts in India and money refunded with interest to the victims…

  2. QNET is (allegedly) a Fraud company, which has looted the wealth and hard earned money of many people, like me, across the world. Just because some greedy, (allegedly) fraudulent people are driving this company’s fraudulent operations. They call themselves direct selling. The direct selling of (allegedly) scam and fraud to continue getting the innocent people into trap. A Trap, so very well designed that, by the time people understand, their hard earned money is gone.

    This is the time, unit and join hands against this company. Indian courts and government agencies have declared the company operations as prima facie illegal and a possible threat to national security. If you are from any other country, this may be threat to security in your country too. Whenever they are caught, they say its their franchise, which is problem or their one or two representatives, who are doing false practise. But trust em, its their entire modus operandi, which is (allegedly) a scam. a BIG BIG SCAM. Their entire operations are (allegedly) by hiding from the governments, police, intelligence agencies and threat to the world.
    BEWARE OF THIS (allegedly) FRAUDULENT COMPANY NAMED QNET. It sells only (alleged) fraud, directly, calling it as direct selling.

  3. Multi-level marketing firms target people who want to get rich quick.
    Remember the scam from that self-proclaimed ‘future richest man’ Zhang Jian?|

    Here is a report how Qnet ‘takes people for a ride’:

      • Saw some delegates wearing orange t-shirts with a slogan: PROVE THEM WRONG
        Looks more like a reverse psychology tactic.
        But the truth is already out there!

  4. Anil
    The boss of Veloo Villa at D’Piazza opposite Spice is very happy with big turn-ups patronizing the food. Not far away at Zamruud also we witnessed long q for Nasi Kandar.
    This 3-4 day event Bus Persiaran drivers and makan shops able to cash in on this once a year carnival; so do the nearby hotels and motels.
    so MICE (conferences) at sPICE do bring benefits to the local community ?

    • Any idea who owns the company assigned to handle the travel and tour bus arrangements? I bet it will be interesting to find out.

      And should Penang be encouraging such conventions, given what is happening in India?

  5. Go to any MLM convention & you will most likely see familiarity to evangelical pulpit exaltations + frenzies of fellow MLMer testimonials, life-for-money experiences & blah, blah, blah. Rarely do you see product selling at the core value but recruitment as-fast-as-you-reap. This frenzy of MLM teetering at the blurry edge of pyramid schemes is also in the practices of some insurance companies / groups for fast + furious leader path to wealth generation. BUT the ones who will reap the rewards are the pioneers when the ballooning reward-pressure on financial balance sheet is just beginning.
    Most MLM will attract you with nice pictures & dreams of shopping with your families @ malls in any afternoon of your choosing while the rest of us are still rat-racing 9 to 5 in corporate sweat-houses. Or living the dreams of leveraging incomes i.e. others (the down-liners) making massive money for you leaders while you whistle – MLM is working smart while it lasts mah!
    But they won’t tell you where you are to stop & still can continue to earn the dream incomes. The frenzy of keeping up with the ‘tempo’ to maintain your income stream means there is no stopping at any point.
    One example is a MLM health business financial disaster case shared with me by a credit card advisor & debt restructuring – a leader was supposed to maintain her level of income stream via continuous recruitment, downline performances & monthly personal stock fulfilment as a high-performance distributor. Due to competitive business climate & poor downline performances, she faced financial difficulty to continue maintaining her monthly stock fulfilment. In the 12 months that ensued with her accessing her 10 credit cards for stock fulfilment just to maintain her distributor income status quo, she accumulated more than 100K in credit card debts.
    Is this a nice MLM dream worth the risks?
    Some says MLM is ponzi scheme. Again, the line is as blur as any pyramid scheme sold as hot dream of income leveraging in the Giza Desert of desperate souls thirsting for a sip of dream lifestyle of MLM.

    • This sPICE event is conducted like an evangelical event with the speaker on stage like a passionate pastor working hard to convert newbies. Buy Buy Sell Sell, Debt belakang kira !

  6. Explains seeing groups of up to 15 on three different Rapid Penang buses. Asked what they were enjoying in Penang but got no real answer

  7. For once I thought Superstar Rajanikanth was at spice yesterday, to promote the premiere of movie made in malaysia called Kabali.

    Anyway, no time to write. Now to stock up cold drinks to sell outside spice to make some money from big delegates.

  8. am told its 18k with 100 tour buses! from someone involved in getting them from hotel to the conference. another source confirmed 100 buses – how can any traffic master plan cope with this influx? I’d love to know if those figures are correct!

    • Well, in one Twitter update, they said they had reached the 15,000 mark. Presumably, that refers to delegates. I saw dozens of tour buses near Spice and farther away.


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