Vijay Eswaran Offers The Best Of Old And New World Business Thinking

Even for “old school” shoppers, there’s no denying the allure of online shopping a thing many parents can understand. The speed of the purchase. The guarantee that the item is in stock. And all of this done from the convenience of the shopper’s home. But there are drawbacks to online shopping as well, first and foremost of which is the impersonal service with which these transactions take place. Wouldn’t be great if the best elements of both could be combined for a better overall shopping experience?

In 1998, a self-starting businessman from Malaysia named Vijay Eswaran tried a bold experiment with partners. They decided to get into the peaking market of offering commemorative 2000 Olympic medals for sale, but with a twist. They would take a direct marketing approach to these sales. Using this model, individual workers (known as individual representatives, or IRs) worked from their homes, using a Vijay Eswaran devised model to assist customers making purchases. In short, the IRs acted as their own employers. While competitors and others thought this approach was an exercise in futility, Vijay Eswaran and his partners concluded their medal sales run by coming in at number three among forty-two world wide distributors. In addition to proving that their experiment had merit, the company QNet was born.

Today, QNet still employs the direct sales strategy using IRs, but the company now focuses on sales of “beauty and wellness” products. QNet’s success led to Eswaran and his partners forming the QI (Quest International) Group of Companies, a business conglomerate that in addition to direct sales, works in retail, education, financial services, and the hotel industry. While QNet employees are self-trained with materials that are provided, other QI employees required more extensive training. To that end, Eswaran created a “QI University” for them and other students. Currently housed at a temporary location in Ipoh City, Malaysia, the school teaches a variety of disciplines, including medicine and business. It offers a Masters degree in science in addition to Bachelors degrees in engineering, communications, and computers. A new, permanent campus is currently being constructed in Malaysia, which will include a teaching hospital, a shopping complex, and student onsite housing.

Vijay Eswaran claims to be motivated in his personal and business dealings by Mohandas Gandi, as well as his own father, who urged “service to others before oneself”. In inspiring his thousands of independent representatives and other QI employees to follow suit, Vijay Eswaran feels that it’s important to train workers to understand the importance of determination and hard work. In this way, Vijay Eswaran feels, employees will not only feel proud of their jobs but assume ownership of them. This will cause them to improve themselves and their communities in the process.

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