iGalen Review: Pay to play $79.95 onion powder?
iGalen operates in the nutritional supplement MLM niche.
The company launched in early 2017 and is headed up by co-founders Chan Heng Fai and Rajen Manicka.
Both Fai and Manicka hold executives positions in Holista Colltech Limited.
Fai (right) is Holista Colltech’s Director and Manicka is cited as Executive Chairman.
An ASX announcement dated February 2015 reveals iGalen is a Malaysian MLM company that launched in January 2015.
Holista entered into a supply contract with iGalen a month later in February.
Sometime between February 2015 and late 2017, Malaysian based Holista merged with CollTech Australia Ltd.
This created Holista Colltech, which according to their website is ‘headquartered in Perth with extensive operations in Malaysia‘.
In September 2017 Holista CollTech acquired a 47% stake in iGalen for $1.
Holista CollTech’s press-release at the time also revealed
iGalen’s major shareholder is Singapore Exchange-listed Singapore eDevelopment Limited.
Singapore eDevelopment is headed up by Holista CollTech’s Chan Heng Fai.
There’s obviously some corporate nuance here but given that Holista CollTech executives own and operate iGalen, for all intents and purposes they’re the same company.
iGalen do provide a suite address in Florida on their website, but it seems the company is for the most part run out of Malaysia.
One thing I noticed on Singapore eDevelopment Limited’s website is that they conduct their network marketing business through Health Wealth Happiness.
As far as I can tell, Rajen Manicka doesn’t have an MLM history.
Read on for a full review of the iGalen MLM opportunity.
iGalen market two nutritional supplements, Uncarb and Gennisi.
Uncarb is marketed as “the world’s first carbohydrate optimizer”.
Its all-natural, patented blend of four ingredients work in tandem to significantly reduce the negative effects of carbohydrates, giving sustained energy throughout the day.
Uncarb is sold in a bottle of 80 capsules.
Up until recently iGalen was marketing Emulin, also marketed as an “an all-natural carbohydrates manager”.
Earlier this year Holista CollTech filed a lawsuit against ATM Metabolics and Milton Joseph Ahrens.
The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants breached an Exclusive Product Management and Distribution Agreement by failing to to keep confidential information on Emulin, an all-natural carbohydrates manager, and by intentionally interfering with the Plaintiffs’ distributor and customer relationships.
According to an iGalen “corporate legal announcement” dated May 21st, ATM Metabolics and Ahrens were ‘seeking to … (work) with another MLM company‘.
A FAQ on iGalen’s Uncarb product page of their website asks “How is this different from Emulin?”
EMULIN is a blend of flavonoids that helps the body manage carbohydrates.
Uncarb contains a flavonoid (an extract of onion) in addition to other powerful metabolic-supporting compounds found in other classes of botanicals.
There’s no indication whether Emulin’s flavinoid blend or Uncarb’s onion extract formula is more effective.
Gennisi is marketed as an anti-aging and skin-repairing algae-based supplement.
(Gennisi is) a revolutionary and powerful nutritional supplement that has been shown to boost stem cell production in the body.
Gennisi is sold in a box of 28 sachets.
Both Uncarb and Gennisi retail for $79.95
The iGalen Compensation Plan
iGalen affiliates sign up for autoship and purchase commission rank every four weeks.
Retail is possible but unlikely. Analysis of iGalen’s compensation plan suggests the majority of commissions paid out are tied to ongoing purchases by directly and indirectly recruited affiliates.
Commission Qualification and Affiliate Ranks
iGalen affiliates must purchase one or more products every 8 weeks to qualify for commissions.
Exactly qualification costs are determined by what rank an iGalen affiliate chooses to buy every 8 weeks:
- Distributor rank (one product) costs $79.95
- Bronze rank (three products) costs $215.87
- Silver rank (six products) costs $383.76
- Gold rank (ten products) costs $559.65
- Platinum rank (twenty products) costs $1039.35
iGalen affiliates are paid to market and sell products to retail customers.
Retail commissions are paid out as the difference between the wholesale and retail cost of products ordered (cited as up to 35%).
Given Distributor ranked affiliates seem to pay the same as iGalen retail customers, I’m not sure how retail commissions are paid for this rank.
iGalen affiliates are paid to recruit new affiliates who purchase rank.
- recruit a Distributor and receive a 5% commission
- recruit a Bronze affiliate and receive a 7.5% commission
- recruit a Silver affiliate and receive a 10% commission
- recruit a Gold affiliate and receive a 25% commission
- recruit a Platinum affiliate and receive a 30% commission
Recruitment commissions are recurring for every 8-week qualification period.
iGalen pays residual commissions via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.
At the end of each week iGalen tallies up sales volume on both sides of the binary team.
Sales volume is a combination of affiliate purchases and any sales to retail customers through iGalen (resale volume is counted as affiliate purchase volume).
When 500 BV on one side of the binary team is matched with 1000 BV on the other side, a “cycle” is recorded.
A cycle commission is paid out as a percentage of the 500 BV generated on the weaker binary team side.
How much of a cycle commission percentage is paid out is determined by which rank an iGalen affiliate has purchased.
- Bronze – $25 commission per cycle, capped at $1250 (50 cycles) a week
- Silver – $37.50 commission per cycle, capped at $3750 (100 cycles) a week
- Gold – $50 commission per cycle, capped at $10,000 (200 cycles) a week
- Platinum – $62.50 commission per cycle, capped at $25,000 (400 cycles) a week
Once cycle BV is matched and paid out on, it is flushed from both sides of the binary team.
iGalen pays a Matching Bonus on residual commissions earned by downline affiliates.
The Matching Bonus is paid out using a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Using this unilevel structure, iGalen pays the Matching Bonus on up to five unilevel team levels.
How many levels the Matching Bonus is paid out on is determined by how much an iGalen affiliate spends on rank:
- Bronze affiliates earn a 5% match on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- Silver affiliates earn a 5% match on level 1 and 4% on level 2
- Gold affiliates earn a 5% match on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3 and 2% on level 4
- Platinum affiliates earn a 5% match on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3, 2% on level 4 and 1% on level 5
The Leadership Bonus appears to be a unilevel team volume bonus, paid down ten unilevel team levels.
- Ruby ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- Emerald ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on levels 1 and 2
- Diamond ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on levels 1 to 3
- Double Diamond ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on levels 1 to 4
- Triple Diamond ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on levels 1 to 5
- Crown ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on levels 1 to 6
- Double Crown ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on levels 1 to 8
- Royale Crown ranked affiliates earn a 3% Leadership Bonus on levels 1 to 9
Note that iGalen do not provide rank qualification criteria for Ruby and higher ranks.
Ruby and higher ranked iGalen affiliates are paid a monthly Lifestyle Bonus
- Rubies receive $250 a month
- Emeralds receive $350 a month
- Diamonds receive $500 a month
- Double Diamonds receive $750 a month
- Triple Diamonds receive $1000 a month
- Crowns receive $1500 a month
- Double Crowns receive $2500 a month
- Royale Crowns receive $5000 a month
Again note that iGalen do not provide rank qualification criteria for Ruby and higher ranks.
iGalen affiliate membership is $29.95 annually.
New iGalen affiliates are told they need to purchase at least “one bottle of iGalen product” every four weeks to qualify for commissions.
This equates to an additional affiliate membership cost of $79.95 to $51.97 every four weeks.
- Distributor – $79.95 every four weeks
- Bronze – $215.87 every four weeks
- Silver – $383.76 every four weeks
- Gold – $559.65 every four weeks
- Platinum – $1039.35 every four weeks
Note that the more an affiliate spends on their affiliate membership the higher their income potential via iGalen’s compensation plan.
iGalen is a regulatory minefield. Before we get into that though, the products.
I’m not saying Uncarb doesn’t work (iGalen fail to provide any peer-reviewed studies demonstrating their products have any benefits), but the line about “onion extract” stuck with me.
I really hope Uncarb isn’t just onion powder with some added stuff. Because if it is, then it’s massively overpriced.
I use onion powder in my cooking from time to time and it’s pretty cheap.
I did try to dig up anything on onion extract and carbohydrate management, but came up blank.
Whatever links between onion extract and carbohydrate management iGalen are claiming doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere other than on their website.
Gennisi is based on algae. A few algae-based product MLMs have come and gone over the years.
I noted on the Gennisi product page FAQ that iGalen reveals their “AFA algae is harvested from Klamath Lake in Oregon, USA” by a third-party.
Bottles of Klamath Lake algae supplements on Amazon start at $16.99 (60 capsules).
Gennisi sells for $79.95 and contains 28 servings a box.
At a retail level iGalen’s products make no sense. And this is wholly reflected in their compensation plan.
Off the bat there’s the issue of Distributors (one bottle autoship every 8 weeks), paying the same for iGalen products as retail customers.
If a Distributor has a retail customer, are they even paid a retail commission?
Bronze ($215.87) every four weeks and the recruitment of two affiliates (Distributor or higher), is the minimum required to qualify for MLM commissions.
At the Bronze purchased rank an iGalen affiliate earn a 10% retail commission ($8 a product).
Platinum rank iGalen affiliates are earning a 35% retail commission rate, but they’re also spending $1039.35 every four weeks.
Just to recoup their outlay, a Platinum iGalen affiliate has to sell thirty-eight products every four weeks.
When compared to the potential of just focusing on recruitment of iGalen affiliates who spend hundreds on rank (required to even qualify to earn retail commissions), the core of iGalen’s MLM opportunity becomes obvious.
During the enrollment process, you will be offered the option to set up an Autoship order to avoid having a lapse in activation.
Should you become inactive in your business (which means you no longer have an Autoship) …
When you decide to come back into the business, reactivate by purchasing at least 40BV in addition to turning on your Autoship.
Sign up as an iGalen affiliate, create an autoship order to qualify for commissions and then recruit others who do the same.
This model qualifies as a pay to play pyramid scheme.
To be clear, that doesn’t mean retail sales activity within iGalen isn’t possible – it’s just given their compensation plan and retail pricing, it’s extremely unlikely.
From a regulatory standpoint, any MLM company that generates more revenue from affiliates than retail customers is a pyramid scheme.
iGalen might be able to get away with this in Malaysia and the Philippines. Both countries aren’t known for diligent regulation of MLM opportunities.
If they want to get by in the US though and operate legally, pretty much the whole company needs an opportunity rework.
Update 28th May 2019 – Oh wow, so it gets even worse.
In the original review I’d stated autoship and qualification was on an eight week run. This was based on the following from iGalen’s compensation plan:
When you decide to upgrade during this 8-week qualifying time period, you only have to purchase the remaining bottles to make up the next package.
If you decide after your 8-weeks’ qualifying time period to upgrade your package, you may do so by purchasing the entire package.
iGalen’s Rajen Manicka to clarify that affiliate autoship is four weeks. I went back to look at the comp plan and there it is, buried right at the end of the plan in tiny font script.
Your initial product order containing 40 BV or more will provide 6 weeks of activation. Subsequent reactivation orders of 40 BV or more will provide 4 weeks’ activation.
I’ve updated the review to reflect the four-week autoship cycle. The only change is ongoing iGalen affiliate costs just doubled.