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Malou Caluza On the New Normal, Direct Selling, and Its Benefits For Women (Interview)

Written by FDM

She is the CEO of one of Asia’s leading direct selling companies. With a 23-year career and counting, Malou Caluza is insisting on making a global impact, while being inspired each day by QNET’s service-driven culture. As the pandemic continues to result in financial insecurity for individuals, Malou endorses direct selling and entrepreneurship as viable solutions for women. 


1 ° You are the first woman CEO of QNET. What are some of the challenges that you encountered and what do you expect future ones to be like?

Although I’m very proud to be the first female CEO, I just feel privileged to have this position, and I’m sure I will not be the last woman to occupy it. In terms of the challenges that I immediately faced when I got the job, they were related to strategy. The first thing that I looked into was how to future-proof QNET. As a 21-year-old company [back in 2019Ed], we had to make sure that we were prepared for digitalization so we embarked on a transformation project to streamline our processes and attend to our customers’ needs by reconstructing our technology. Also and most importantly we invested in the growth of our people’s skills and mindset in order to become a sustainable company.
As for the future, as soon as we complete our transformation journey, the new challenge will be how to sustain and maintain it to continue to be competitive and relevant. Whatever we do today should impact our future and how we resolve that challenge.

2 ° What is the secret of your success and your exemplary career?

There’s no such thing as a secret! For me, it was hard work, resilience, perseverance, and most importantly, I had faith in the founders and in the purpose of our business. When I first came in as a junior customer service officer, I was taking up other responsibilities. That’s what allowed me to absorb everything and open myself to learning. After I saw the impact of this industry on our customers I adopted this foundation of serving others and I fell in love with it!

3 ° For International Women’s Day, you organized a webinar around the  “Impact of the pandemic on the labor market: Direct Selling and its benefits for Women”, what are the main messages you would like to convey? How to encourage women to keep them going?

The main message is that direct selling is a very viable opportunity for women who are looking for either a full-time job or a part-time job. Even before this sanitary crisis, there were a lot of issues surrounding employment, and I truly believe that direct selling will provide an income to women while liberating them from a restrictive environment. It is also a business that allows you to be your own boss and use your time accordingly which is a big bonus, especially for women. Not to mention the aspect of self-development that naturally comes along with this job as direct selling strengthens the character.

4 ° Do you think that Direct Selling is a field where women can excel?

Definitely. In fact, our distributors around the world are mostly women. Why? because women are natural networkers, we love sharing, whether it’s a good restaurant, or a good movie … etc. Likewise, by nature, women are helpers and nurturers who love to make a difference. So I’m confident when I say that this business was created for women first, and then the rest.

5 °  How do you assess the evolution of direct selling around the world after the health crisis? What are your thoughts about its progression in Morocco?

In my opinion, the health crisis only highlighted the importance of direct selling and entrepreneurship. Because, again, it’s a business that you can do anytime and everywhere, which came in handy in what we call the new normal, especially for those who lost their jobs in the pandemic. In Morocco, we continue to support this market by providing a lot of online training, online events, and tools to help our leaders. Actually, Morocco was the first market where we had a lot of women distributors and women leadership in QNET. So we have great plans for Morocco to make sure to sustain this progress.

6 ° What advice could you give to women to succeed in direct sales, and perhaps one day become the CEO of a large group like yourself?

For those who want to break into direct selling, I would suggest that they study hard and know the company and the products they’re planning to work with. They have to know the compensation plan of the company and make sure to know the amount of time they’re willing to allocate for this business.

As for the corporate world, moving up in the hierarchy comes with its challenges, which require a different set of skills for each. I believe a lot of women have the chance to become CEOs if they’re willing to put in the work. Moreover, women have this instinct that they should not neglect, even though they tend to be very critical of themselves and nurture the doubts for a longer period of time. However, from my experience, they have to learn how to overcome this, recognize their efforts, and move on. Finally, and most importantly, women ought to develop a holistic approach that caters to their physical, spiritual, emotional, and social needs in order to live a well-balanced life.

About Malou T. Caluza:
Malou has been awarded Best Executive in both Asia Pacific and Global categories in the Top Ranking Performers Awards of Contact Centre World held in Singapore and in the United States respectively. She was also awarded the CRM Director of the Year by Asia Pacific Customer Service Consortium in Hong Kong and is presently a CRE Community Leader, Honourable Speaker, and Panelist in a number of Customer Service Quality Standard events arranged by Asia Pacific Customer Service Consortium in Hong Kong and Malaysia.