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Moneylife » Life » Public Interest » Cheaters in paradise: True lies of SpeakAsia's Goa bash

Cheaters in paradise: True lies of SpeakAsia's Goa bash

    • Kishore
    • Kishore
    • Anubhav
    • John
    • Khalid
    • 143 comments

Moneylife Digital Team | 11/05/2011 06:12 PM | 

SpeakAsia Genx

The progress of this MLM company reminds one of the Home Trade scam, where the company spent huge money on advertising and signing mega celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Shah Rukh Khan to gain publicity, before duping several people, including the stars

Many agents of SpeakAsia, the self-proclaimed 'biggest online survey company', have posted comments all over the Internet about the company's 'Gen X Bazaar' event being held in Goa from May 9 to 11 and the special train that was booked to take participants for the programme.

Some agents said, and we quote, "In the entire history of India this has NEVER happened - it's spectacular. SpeakAsia arranging a special train for SpeakAsians only is a BIG news." More about the special train and Goa bash later.

The company or its agents-sorry panellists and distributors-are spending huge money on advertising, social gatherings and trying to buy credibility for its dubious MLM scheme. Over the past few weeks, SpeakAsia or its distributors have published half-page ads in leading dailies and run ad films on TV channels, especially during the ongoing IPL cricket matches. So many more people have started searching for information about the company and its online survey scheme.

The company had also issued a public notice some time back. But despite the notice, many other people are also coming together on the Internet, forming groups and forums to prevent the MLM scheme from spreading further.

Following letters from Moneylife to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the issue, the central bank is said to had discussed it and is contemplating action against the MLM company, according to our sources.

Now to the special train and the Goa bash. There is no doubt that booking a special train for a big bash at a beach resort in Goa was done to attract more eyeballs and so hook more gullible people who might choose to join the MLM scheme. For one, booking a special train is not a big deal and can be done by any one who has the money to pay for it. The Indian Railways charges Rs9 lakh as a minimum registration-cum-security amount and the booking must be done 30 days before the date the train is required.

Also, a special train is nothing so special, as people in and around Mumbai are aware. Every year, hundreds of thousands of of people travel by special trains to Mumbai, to pay tribute to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on 6th December. (About 200,000 people visited Chaityabhoomi, the memorial site, on 6 December 2010.)

Some SpeakAsia agents have been gung-ho about the cheap fare by the special train. On the contrary, we learn that each agent had to pay $170 for a ticket in the three-tier AC and they were required to pay from their e-wallet accounts, for which the currency conversion rate is Rs50 a dollar. This means the agents paid Rs8,500 or equivalent for the journey by the special train as against the scheduled fare of about Rs1,450.

Some agents said that the $170 included ticket charges and meals. However, even if one were to take into account the ticket fare from Delhi to Goa and back along with meals, the charge should not have been more than Rs5,000 per person. So, the agents paid at least Rs3,500 of their hard-earned money over and above the actual charges from their e-wallet. This excludes the cost of accommodation.

Now about the event. As SpeakAsia often said, it was a Gen X Bazaar, where people (its agents) would come together to shop products from companies like Levis, IFB, Maruti, Skoda, etc. As is the practise with many manufacturers and service providers, they offer additional discounts for a group. (Check some group buying sites) The same logic applies to the Goa bazaar as well and there was nothing special for the agents.

How the agents would carry the products they bought, back home, is a different story. Except for the Levis jeans (that they could wear or carry in their bags) and automobiles (they would have to drive back in the vehicle and forget the special train ride back), all other products would have to be transported and this would cost more money. (Try offering money from an e-wallet to the 'truckwallah' or any local goods carrier.) In addition, the goods purchased at a discount at the bazaar would likely attract local levies, like octroi, that would have to be paid in real currency.

Some agents were very excited about the entertainment programmes in the evenings. According to the information obtained from some blogs, Bollywood actor Rani Mukherjee and Neha Dhupia and performers like Mika Singh and Abhijeet Sawant were there to entertain the agents. All the names mentioned are commercial artists who do entertainment shows anywhere and everywhere for a fee. Here again, nothing special.

A gathering of people under the pretext of a seminar or a bazaar is not unusual, especially in MLM circles. In fact, all multi-level marketing (MLM) companies have such gatherings at posh locations regularly to keep their flock intact and growing. Remember, how JapanLIFE and GoldQuest or QuestNet used to invite people to functions at five-star hotels?

Just for reference, a few years ago, Home Trade endorsed mega celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan to cover up its meticulously planned financial scam. (Read, Home Trade's 'starry' gameplan.) 

You may also want to read...

Special report on SpeakAsia by Star News

(Courtesy: Star News)


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143 Comments
Kishore

Kishore 3 years ago

Dear Sir,

If u r so convinced abt the Business Model of SpeakAsia and 20 other similar companies operating at present, pls answer the following questions:

1. U say that the subscription fee of 11,500/- is for the E-zine. Pls let me know u or for that matter who ever has joined SPOL, r they really interested to subscribe the E-zine to gain out of the product OR the objective is to make QUICK money, that too with out any real effort ???

2. When SPOL promises to give ~500% return (with referral, the returns are astronomical even), the company must be making sure shut return of much more than 500%. Tell me which business in the world make such kind of return ? Even the high risk Equity market generally gives avg. 25-30% p.a. return. Conventional business men target a return of 5 to 30% depending upon the business. If business of SPOL is so lucrative in making hefty returns, should not Mukesh Ambani be thinking of starting this biz, rather than getting standard returns in his risky conventional biz ?

3. Further u or for that matter any one may be in a conventional job or biz, makes limited hard earned money after toiling hard for 12-15 hrs a day. If SPOL is so lucrative (min 500% return), that too without any real effort, is it not making sense to go out of job/ stopping the conventional biz and put hugh investment in SPOL after selling out assets and make quick money too fast. It will really sort out the prob of unemployment in the world yaar !!!

My dear friend...pls don't get scared of my hard questions...think with a cool mind, see ur self in the mirror and answer to urself. And in case u really get the answers, pls let us know to the point so that it can really benefit many.

I'm not against u or SPOL. But just really interested to know the exact answers to the above questions. Country India will really benefit.

So far I always believed in one thing, there is no result with out hard work. However if the hard work can be channelised in right direction, one can make Big money in short span, which is legal.

Thanks n regards,

Kishore
Prosperity Consultant
+91 9650991215

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Kishore

Kishore 3 years ago in reply to Kishore

Surprising that there is no constructive reply to my questions asked in my earlier post. If any one has, pls post those for larger benefit of the society.

One request - Pls maintain the decorum of the forum for constructive critism. Whoever thinks of putting any abusive thoughts, he/she shd mind that it is directed to him/herself.

Rgds

Kishore

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john

john 3 years ago

*जिंदगी की असली उड़ान अभी बाकि है !*

*जिंदगी के कई इम्तेहान अभी बाकि है !*

*अभी तो नापी है मुट्ठी भर जमीं हमने !*

*अभी तो सारा आसमां बाकि है !!*

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Speak Asia Team

Speak Asia Team 3 years ago

Speak Asia is creating a panel community of empowered consumers, which earns rewards points by participating in various companies activities ( e.g. -e-zine sales , surveys filling , product referrals / sales , advertising based surveys , self development training programs ) on the website, including for India market entry activities.

RP payouts happen when the panelist burns those earned reward points for purchase of products and services from the website. The company’s business model is to make profits from product and service sales after providing for the cost of servicing the reward points.
Speak Asia gets research done ‘on’ and ‘for’ different companies, products and services; panelists earn reward points (RP) for participating with their valuable opinions in the surveys.
Effective June- July 2011, advertisement based revenues will start where panelists earn reward points (RP) for watching the ads carefully and giving them feedback on the same.
Products are available with Speak Asia at special rates; panelists earn through saving on purchase or reselling of products.

The Reward Points thus earned, are redeemed through consumption of product and services offered by the company .i.e. Panelists can book products ( such as mobile, LCD, white goods etc … aptly demonstrated in recent GenX bazaar at Goa where over 4,00,000 reward points were used by just 3,000 panelists for booking goods ) .

They can also buy subscription codes for distribution. The left over reward points can be encased on request made on the website. All cash requests are processed through the bank and money is sent from Singapore to respective banks through TT.

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k a prasanna

k a prasanna 3 years ago in reply to Speak Asia Team

Fraudulent schemes. From where does the revenue come from? Stay away from Speak Asia.

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ansari siraj

ansari siraj 3 years ago

Hi,.....I m really surprised by u r comment....media can get so low...i m really ashamed of media.Madam starnews has started its own survey company.This is nothing but Business rivalry.If one person is corrupt then, it doesn,t mean others r also corrupt............Speakasia is a revolution in the making.....History tells us that any new revolution people has rejected it.......dont worry u will get all ur answer with interest....Dont be baised in writing.

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Khalid

Khalid 3 years ago in reply to ansari siraj

You r nothing but empty head Ass hole cant believe one can be so stupid............This bloody company is fraud STAY AWAY.

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ansari siraj

ansari siraj 3 years ago

I dont unterstand why U people r after a genuine sompany like SPEAKASIA.STARNEWS is also starting thier survey business......why u r not reporting about them.They r paying $7...how they r paying....report about them.This is nothing but CORPORATE RIVALARY nothing else.

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