Thousands of delegates flood Penang for controversial firm’s conference

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The QNet convention in May 2016

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.

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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Manoj Raj Som
24 Jan 2019 6.58pm

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 who 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.

Kiran Sarpotdar
Kiran Sarpotdar
14 Nov 2016 8.10pm

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… Read more »

owc
owc
6 May 2016 2.53pm

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’:

Salrajeet
Salrajeet
6 May 2016 3.30pm
Reply to  owc

It is obviously a scam.
If it is so easy to make money, why then share the secrets to others?

tunglang
tunglang
7 May 2016 12.14am
Reply to  Salrajeet

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!

Ravi123
Ravi123
6 May 2016 12.52pm

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 ?

Utopia
Utopia
5 May 2016 8.41am
tunglang
tunglang
5 May 2016 12.05am

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… Read more »

Ravi123
Ravi123
5 May 2016 2.10pm
Reply to  tunglang

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 !

Tc Yokohama
Tc Yokohama
4 May 2016 5.55pm

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

Alex
Alex
4 May 2016 10.51am

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.

Dalbinder Singh Gill
Dalbinder Singh Gill
4 May 2016 4.41am
Lapala
Lapala
4 May 2016 2.31pm

Dalbinder, r u saying ex NST editor quit to join Qnet in Spice? If not, pls post it elsewhere otherwise confusing readers not able to link up.

Dalbinder Singh Gill
Dalbinder Singh Gill
8 May 2016 5.27am
Reply to  Lapala

Silap post, apologies

Gwynn Jenkins
Gwynn Jenkins
4 May 2016 1.11am

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!

Andrew Hwang
Andrew Hwang
4 May 2016 1.31am
Reply to  Gwynn Jenkins

100 buses would only make sense if there were less than 6K delegates.