Asian e-commerce giant QNET has said it is seeking to establish a physical presence in Kenya and to grow a large network of independent representatives.
According to Kenyan press reports, the company already has a regional distribution hub in Rwanda, a presence in Cote d’Ivoire on the west of the continent, and over 250,000 independent representatives across Africa.
Inevitably the size of markets not just in Kenya but in Uganda and Tanzania, which apparently already have a significant number of online customers and growing demand for online distribution centres, is an incentive for QNET to grow its East African presence, not least with Kenya’s e-commerce penetration expected, according to one estimate, to hit 53.6 percent by 2025.
Of course smartphone growth is a strong driver for online shopping in East Africa, but another boost has come from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which has encouraged many African households to adapt to online business through companies like Nigeria’s Jumia and South Africa’s Takealot.com
QNET is a global e-commerce-based direct selling company that provides customers around the world with products and services, while giving them the opportunity to build a sales business by promoting these products. Its distributors are spread across the Middle East, South and East Asia, Africa, Central Asia and Europe. The company says its global footprint has helped develop micro-entrepreneurs in many emerging economies.
QNET also offers a corporate social responsibility arm, the RYTHM (Raise Yourself To Help Mankind) Foundation to offer support to needy communities worldwide.
Whatever the business model, local e-commerce is clearly optimistic about business prospects in a continent with a young and increasingly tech-savvy population.