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Phnom Penh (Ah!) Travel Tips - Faces & Places - GOLD QUEST(ion) - Pyramid Scheme Or What? - April 2005

James Loving NR

Gold Quest execs from left Alex Wenger, JR Mayer and Patrick Tsang proudly display gold coin watch.


DJ Ken


Gold Quest Comes To Cambodia - They Q1 and GQ have a history of being criticized as being a pyramid scheme. It's an image they would like to clean up.


Monday April 24, 2005


GOLD QUEST - They Came, They Saw, They ???

It was billed as the Presentation of the official Angkor Wat coin. It came off a mix of the opening ceremonies of the Super Bowl, pep rally and a religious rival.

A crowd of 500 strong turned out to witness Q1 executives strutting their stuff as they charged into the Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh ballroom March 14th with zest and enthusiasm and a spirited sprint in their step.

They dashed through the doors into the ballroom down and isle made a sharp left and sprinted to the front row sofa seats.

Q1 employees chanting Cambodia, Cambodia, Cambodia stimulated the largely Khmer audience. The crowd responded.

Q1 is a Hong Kong based company that commenced operations in 1998. Under the Q1 umbrella they have companies that are involved in Interactive Marketing & E-Commerce, Resorts & Holidays, Training & Education, Corporate Investments & Finance, Media Works & Technology, Business Consultancy & Strategic Planning. They specialize in coins with numismatic value.

They have made and distributed the Athens Olympic 2004 coin set and the Mother Theresa Coin.

Khmer dance provided the entertainment for Gold Quest affair. - NR photo

Thong Khon of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism - NR photo

Sochanna Ten - NR photo

Gold Quest IR's Chhoeurm Pheap, Panit Put and Say Kim Ang. - NR photo

Five hundred IR's attended Q1/Gold Quest meeting in Phnom Penh - NR photo


The Q1 group has over 700,000 IR's and retail customers in 128 countries. They have a direct presence in 12 countries including Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, UAE, Oman and Sweden.

Thong Khon of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism was there gave a speech. Top GQN brass from Malaysia, Singapore and the Asian region were all trumpeting their brand of spirit and togetherness. One by one the Q1 execs gave inspiring speeches to the IR's (Independent Representatives) that encouraged to sell, sell, sell and tell, tell, tell the world about their products.

The event had everything including a massive stage set and entertainment that was provided by Khmer dancers. If it was energy you were looking for it was at the Intercontinental Hotel that night

Q1 CEO Vijay Eswaran gave a speech. He wore enough sparkling jewelry to blind someone. His presentation was spirited and glitzy as he stated that the event was not that big, "Today we have 500 next time 5000."

The crowd responded with enthusiasm to other executives that rallied their troops with pep talks filled with an abundance of sizzle and a minimal amount of steak.

"I'm very surprised of our leadership," 20-year-old Sochanna Ten said assuredly. Ten also has a day job as a receptionist at Samart Communications a cell phone company.

Ten came to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap to attend Business Management School. A classmate introduced her to the gold watch product. She thought it was a good way to make money to help support her three brothers and a sister.

Within 75 days she brought in five IR's. A month later she now has eleven.

Six IR's must be signed with three on the right side and three on the left before she receives $250. She has accomplished that.

"(Gold Quest) teaches me how to set up a business and lead people," she said.

Ten pointed out that we met me a few months earlier when I came to Samart to interview the top five Freshie contestant winners and she accompanied me the way to the board (interview) room. In this case it is a small world.

Chhoeurm Pheap 32 works at the NGO Salabai Hotel School in Siem Reap. To date he has brought in 22 IR's. A month ago he had 14.

Pheap has been paid $250 twice and has learned a few things in the process.

"Money is not the only thing," he said. "Before I thought about just being a good employee, now I feel I have to do something more. I like the idea of working with people."

Some IR's said they paid $600 for the watch. JR Mayer, GQ Director of Product said $480 was the price. A special promotion price of $430 expired April 15th.

After an IR makes a presentation of the item the buyer makes the purchase via the Internet and pays with a credit card or E-card. The product is then shipped directly to the buyer.

Q1 and GQ have a history of being criticized as being a pyramid scheme. It's an image they would like to clean up.

The IR enthusiasm was overwhelming given it was the first time I've ever witnessed such an assemblage of unity and energy in Cambodia, including sporting events.

Whatever one might think about the ethics of the company one thing that was evident was the thinking of the IR's. It requires organization, planning and working together. For Cambodia… that's a good thing.


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