Malou Caluza is the first female CEO of prominent international e-commerce based direct selling company QNET. Her journey began over 20 years ago when she joined a fledgling e-commerce start-up in Hong Kong as a junior customer service officer.
“I started with customer service, and over the years I’ve worked in operations, marketing, business development, and customer success. This has given me an incredible opportunity to experience every aspect of our business and organisation at close quarters," said Caluza who is also a mother to three boys.
Her journey to the top is an inspiration to hard working women around the world, who often struggle with balancing career with family demands.
Entrepreneurs write their own success stories
Caluza leads one of Asia's top direct selling companies. Offering a wide range of health, wellness, and lifestyle products, QNET has offices and agency representations in over 25 countries including the UAE, which serves as the MENA headquarters of the company, to support its growing base of customers and distributors. The brand offers customers a micro-entrepreneurship opportunity through its direct selling business wherein they can earn an income by promoting its products and services. QNET’s business model has helped empower millions of entrepreneurs in more than 100 countries since 1998.
Founded by Asian entrepreneurs Vijay Eswaran and Joseph Bismark, QNET’s mission is RYTHM, an acronym for Raise Yourself To Help Mankind. “Our founders envisioned a company that was not just about making a profit, but one that would make a difference in the world. When I first started, we were just a small group of people and everyone was multitasking,” Caluza recalled. “I saw how dedicated the founders were to the business, employees, and our customers. They were involved in everything, from presenting the business and handling customers, to managing inventory to packing products. Nothing was beneath them. Seeing them lead like that made a big impression on me and that has become my foundation of leadership. That’s where I learnt the true meaning of service," said Caluza, who recently won a Gold Globe® Award as the Female CEO of the Year in the consumer products category.
People as assets
QNET’s unique strength lies in its diversity; Asian by heritage but with employees and customers from all over the world, the company is truly global. “Our founders have always believed that our people are our greatest assets. At QNET we focus on people development, nurturing relationships, building leaders, and being customer centric,” shared Caluza.
Challenges as opportunities
While Covid-19 wreaked havoc on many businesses, QNET adapted to the new normal by focusing on delivering increased value through digital platforms. “We are already 100 per cent e-commerce. We seamlessly transitioned to virtual trainings, events, and people development programmes. We transformed our annual distributor convention into a three-day virtual event and attracted nearly half a million participants from 50+ countries last September,” she added. The company also enhanced the QNET Mobile App, improving its user experience and adding new functionalities including a digital learning library. Virtual training modules were introduced for distributors on a wide range of topics from product knowledge to personal development.
Empowering entrepreneurs to be instruments of change QNET is taking a future-ready stance and focusing on sustainable practices through multiple avenues, developing products with minimal carbon footprint, transitioning to eco-friendly packaging, ensuring an ethical supply chain, and working through its CSR arm RYTHM Foundation on long term social impact programmes in underserved communities in developing countries. Most recently, QNET has launched the first phase of its Green Legacy programme by planting forests in the UAE, Kenya, and the Philippines. “Our aim is to have a positive impact on the lives of people, make a meaningful contribution to communities, and safeguard the planet and its resources for the next generation,” concluded the QNET CEO.