Citizens' Issues
Tycoon Empire launches new MLM plan despite police probe

The company, which is under the scanner for duping investors with the promise of 10% monthly returns, is now trying to draw many more with a new tea project in Ooty

Another multi-level marketing company, Tycoon Empire International, has duped investors of thousands of crores of rupees under the pretext of promising 10% monthly guaranteed returns on investment. The company is under the scanner of investigators in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. But despite this mess, information available on various blogs on the web indicate that the company has come up with a new plan to lure investors with a tea project in Ooty.

Chennai-based Tycoon Empire International had collected Rs370 crore from 50,000 investors. The company's owners are from Chennai, but it has promoters from Kerala. According to media reports, the Kozhikode police has intensified investigations into alleged money swindling to the tune of Rs370 crore by Tycoon. Police said the company had collected money under the pretext of products, and that its claims to be an ISO certified company are false.

Tycoon offered Rs10,000 per month, besides a commission for enrolling new members, to anyone who could invest Rs1 lakh. According to media reports, most of the people duped by Tycoon are from Payyoli and Vadakara regions and Palakkad and Thrissure districts of Kerala. A majority of those duped are police personnel, government employees and teachers.

According to complainants, the company had paid returns for the first three months, but stopped abruptly after that. There has been no payout since April. One such complaint on states: "I am a member of Tycoons Empire for monthly investment plan @ 8.5% monthly and 1.5% by TDS claim. But after completing one year I have not received TDS form on my submission and have also not received my monthly payouts for the last more than 2-3 months."

Another complaint on the same website reads: "Since April 2011, they have been telling that they are facing legal conflicts. But are not revealing the actual problem, and are simply telling that they would like to do the operations under safe mode. Now all customers are very anxious. Why these guys are so silent? Once they raise amount from the public, they are answerable. From last week they are not updating. At least return our principle amount immediately. This is not the way of treating their customers."

Despite being under investigation, Tycoon has stated on a blog that everything will be solved with the support of the law and that no official will be available for the next ten days as they are engaged in legal work. Interestingly, it has asked its members to refrain from talking about the company's current situation with anyone and holding any group meeting.

The new scheme, advertised on the Internet, promises a unit of land in Ooty tea and real estate that can be re-sold on prior intimation. It also promises active income on creating more unit holders.

A broucher uploaded on one of the blogs says that the membership for the scheme is Rs10, 000, which entitles the member to a unit of land in the tea-estate project. "One unit is equivalent to 1.5 cents, which in turns equals 654.5sq ft. The value of 654.5 sq ft is Rs100,000 for an existing member. Add land value (LV) by paying Rs15,000 against each unit (this total sum will be deducted from the unit cost) and register land in your name immediately. Balance unit cost can be paid back from your green incentive every month. Maximum of 15% on unit advance value is your green incentive. This may differ and it depends on the cultivation output and natural calamities."

For new members, the entry package is Rs15,000 and each membership will get one unit registration. (1 unit = 1.5 cents = 654.5sq.ft = Rs125,000). Basic registration charges and 5% service charges are applicable on each membership. The company also promises price value, land value and online declaration on its official website.

Experts point out that promising such huge values for a piece of land engaged in tea cultivation is a doubtful proposition. Also, given the dubious business operations of the company, the plan appears to be another fraud.

The tea estate scheme brings to mind memories of numerous plantation companies in the 1980s and 90s that collected money for grand land development and agro projects with the promise of guaranteed returns through post-dated cheques. Thousands of investors lost their money and estimates of the losses are in the region of Rs8,000 crore.




6 years ago

This is a fraud Money chain company. They have cheated many innocent people. According to reports they have swindled more than 300 crore rupees.

Kishore N

6 years ago


NANO EXCEL website vanished !!!


6 years ago


The Kerala Police is investigating the case and the police is taking steps to attach their Ooty land.


6 years ago

Dear Madam,
I want to know about "Variety Consultancy" company having website: And also registered in below mentioned address, dealing MLM plan with trading in stock markets. Is this a real company??

Local Address:
Plat No 10, HNO 8/2/293/10/k,
G2, Ala Enclave,
Kamalapuri Colony,
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India-500073
We are shortly opening our office in Delhi
Email : [email protected].in, [email protected].in



In Reply to nisha 6 years ago

Dear Variety consultancy,

you yourself don't know about your own company. Yet "you" are shortly opening "your" office in Delhi? !!!!!!!

Dont try to fool others. you MLM cheat #*##*###


Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

Where are our checks and balances?
Are our Regulators just toothless watchdogs that can't even growl leave alone bite? They are quick to end up in signing "settlements" when they ought to send the guilty behind the bars. The Tihar Jail has more room for such guilty fat cats and not Anna and Arvind!

Share prices to see small bounce-back: Wednesday Closing Report

Nifty may go up to 5,130

Despite weak global sentiments, the Indian market closed in the positive today, snapping a three-day decline. The Nifty managed to evade yesterday's lows, but it could not breach yesterday's high. We expect a small bounce-back in the days to come, till the level of 5,130, if the Nifty manages to hold above 5,017 tomorrow.

The market opened flat despite negative global cues and domestic political developments. The Nifty opened six points lower at 5,030, while the Sensex gained 51 points to resume at 16,782. The indices overlooked weak Asian markets and continued their upmove, with banking, metal and oil & gas stocks in demand.

The market moved steadily higher with the indices touching their intra-day highs at around 11am. At the day's high, the Nifty rose to 5,112 and the Sensex crossed its psychological level of 17,000.

However, profit-booking set in, pulling the benchmarks briefly into the negative zone and to their intra-day lows in noon trade. At the lows, the Nifty was at 5,017 and the Sensex dropped back to 16,709. The market pushed back into the green a short while later, but volatility persisted, pressuring the indices.

The market finally settled higher, the Nifty closing at 5,057, up 21 points, and the Sensex gaining 110 points to 16,841.

The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was 450:1230.

In the broader markets, the BSE Mid-cap index slipped 0.87% and the BSE Small-cap index declined 1.61%.

The sectoral gainers were led by BSE IT (up 2.23%), BSE TECk (up 1.57%), BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 1.38%), BSE Capital Goods (up 0.59%) and BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.57%). The main losers were BSE Realty (down 2.82%), BSE Auto (down 1.20%), BSE Bankex (down 1.10%), BSE PSU (down 0.28%) and BSE Power (down 0.15%).

The top gainers on the Sensex were TCS (up 3.13%), Hero MotoCorp (up 2.80%), Coal India (up 2.64%), Infosys (up 2.36%) and HDFC Bank (up 2.26%). The laggards were led by DLF (down 6.03%), Maruti Suzuki (down 3.19%), Tata Motors (down 2.80%), ICICI Bank (down 2.63%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.67%).

The best performers on the Nifty were HCL Technologies (up 3.27%), HDFC Bank (up 2.97%), TCS (up 2.71%), HDFC (up 2.56%) and Hero MotoCorp (up 2.43%). The major losers on the index were DLF (down 6.27%), Axis Bank (down 3.61%), Maruti Suzuki (down 3.27%), Tata Motors (down 2.69%) and ICICI Bank (down 2.47%).

Markets in Asia settled mixed as the meeting between German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday did not yield any concrete announcement towards easing the problems of Eurozone members. Shares in Hong Kong rose after the visiting Chinese vice-premier announced an expansion of investment options for overseas yuan holdings that could also boost capital inflows from the mainland.

The Hang Seng gained 0.38%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.32% and the Seoul Composite surged 0.68%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.26%, the Jakarta Composite fell 0.17%, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.55%, the Straits Times shed 0.15% and the Taiwan Weighted slipped 0.73%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs261.12 crore on Tuesday. On the positive side, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs251.67 crore.

State-run Coal India today toppled billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries as the country's most valued company, with a slightly higher market valuation at around mid-day. At around noon on the NSE, Coal India (CIL) commanded a market cap of Rs250,759.67 crore compared to RIL's market cap of Rs250,580.21 crore at the same time.

A few minutes later, CIL's market valuation exceeded that of RIL on the BSE as well. At 12.06 pm, RIL's market cap on the BSE stood at Rs2,50,468 crore, slightly lower than CIL's Rs2,50,538 crore. CIL ended at Rs398 on the NSE, up 2.83%.

India's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India today launched the new version of its premium hatchback 'Swift' at an introductory price ranging from Rs4.22 lakh to Rs6.38 lakh. Built on an all-new platform, the company and its suppliers have invested over Rs500 crore on the new car. The company's stock declined 3.27% to close at Rs1,185.10 on the NSE.

Mahindra Satyam (Satyam Computer Services) has been selected by insurance regulator IRDA to develop and implement an IT system for monitoring surveyors.  The selection was made following a detailed scrutiny of the commercial proposals submitted by shortlisted IT firms and further evaluation, the regulator said. Satyam fell 1.79% to Rs71.35 on the NSE.


Independent [email protected]: Inclusive growth for Bharat remains an elusive dream

Achieving inclusive growth continues to be the biggest challenge for our country, as it concerns integrating 600 million people living in rural India and several million living in urban slums, into the mainstream economy, in a fair manner

While there are many reasons to celebrate 64 years of India's independence, there are good reasons to introspect as well. The primary cause for concern is that the dichotomy has rendered our nation into two unequal worlds. The miniscule part is the India 'shining', with its small number of people who have access to the majority of resources, and the larger part of Bharat, with its teeming millions struggling for even one square meal a day.

Many people take pride in the fact that the Indian economy has been growing at rates between 7%-9 % in the past few years. In fact, some people even argue that a testimony to India's progress is the improvement of the country's Human Development Index (HDI), from 0.406 in 1975 to 0.571 in 1999. They also cite legislations enacted in recent years to show that India is on the highway to progress; like the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments passed in 1992 that are said to have strengthened political participation at the grassroots level and brought more than a million women into public life.

These trends, however positive, are accompanied by a paradox-the ever-looming spectre of the 'other' India of urban poverty and rural inequities that refuses to go away. A shocking 30%-35% of India's total population still lives below the poverty line and as the graph (Various estimates of the number of people living in poverty) suggests, more and more people are becoming vulnerable and poorer, with each passing day.

Poverty, accompanied by low health and nutrition levels, high infant mortality and illiteracy, is now almost uniform, in terms of the proportion of population in rural and urban areas. Using the Indian definition based on income needed to acquire food, to provide the minimum required calories (2,100 for rural and 1,800 for urban adults), roughly 260 million people or 26% of the population falls below the poverty line.

Using another definition of poverty—those living on less than $1 per day—the number of poor would be much larger, say around 400 million, or about 36% of the population. This becomes even more serious when one considers the report of the Arjun Sengupta Commission which estimates that about 903 million are vulnerable to becoming poor. Sixty four years after independence, these are disturbing statistics and in many ways a serious indictment of the effectiveness of our policies and the efforts so far.

And within these poor are the poorest, who live on an income of less than $0.50 per day. Most of this population lives in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, collectively called the BIMARU states. With the carving out of the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively, these are more BIMARU states.

There are several variations within these states too. For instance, very high poverty rates of up to 60% exist in southern Bihar, southern Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and southern Uttar Pradesh. These regions are either mainly tribal or rocky and dry, yet densely populated because of their agro-climatic features. Low poverty reduction in the poorer states is because of their lower initial levels of rural and human development and large disparities between rural and urban areas.

Therefore, while inclusive growth, as a paradigm, has gained significant acceptance in India among policymakers and some others, and it is being touted as the mantra for success in modern India, there are several good reasonsii  why this paradigm has not achieved serious success on the ground, so far. {break}
First, in India, a huge proportion of the population (over 60%) is based in rural areas, where agriculture is the primary source of livelihood. Barring a couple of years (2005-06), the performance and growth of agriculture has by and large been rather indifferent and continues to be so. Even when agriculture performs, the benefits accrue to the larger and better off (corporate) farmers and not the small/marginal farmers.

Indeed, what has become more apparent with this kind of skewed growth is the dualistic nature of the Indian economy, where the gaps are indeed deepening and widening across various sections of society. The classic manifestation of these gaps and the failure of the economy to re-adjust and ensure equitable economic opportunities for wealth creation, especially in relation to the work and inputs, can hardly go unnoticed. One manifestation is the suicides by small and marginal farmers and others at the grassroots. That several farmers and low-income people have committed suicide in the last few years tells us that the causes of these problems are not short-term, but they are due to serious structural weaknesses in the system of livelihood of low-income people that requires urgent and systematic attention.

Why is this happening? The key point to note here is that the case of farmer suicides is neither a cotton specific problem nor a paddy crop germane issue. Rather, it concerns fundamental problemsiii  associated with one of India's largest livelihood sectors, agriculture and allied activities, a sector in which over 600 million people and a majority of India's low-income and pooriv  people still depend on to earn their living. More importantly, it is a sector without whose produce/products we will be deprived of sustenance and cannot survive in the long run. Therefore, without question, agriculture and allied areas, as sectors, and with low-income people dependent on it for their livelihood, must be 'properly and fairly' included in the overall growth paradigm.

This is an urgent imperative and the inclusive growth paradigm must redress this immediately. Merely relying on new top-down schemes like the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) will not help. Fundamental changes will have to occur with regard to inclusion of agriculture and rural livelihoods in the Indian economy and this must draw on a variety of lessons from past programmes/schemes which have a lot of valuable lessons.

Second, from the perspective of supply-side management, growth in agriculture is very vital for keeping manufacturing prices under check, ensuring food security and keeping inflation under control. India knows this better from its own experience of the last few years. In fact, if there is a single dominant issue in the minds of the masses today, it is burgeoning prices of essential commodities.

Therefore, price stability is not merely important as an anti-poverty measure, but also as an instrument to ensure stable and sustained growth. And let us not forget one important aspect here-the fact that the farmers who grew these commodities hardly got returns/rewards commensurate with their effort, investment and risks taken. This again points to very fundamental weaknesses in the structural aspects concerning agriculture and low-income livelihood systems.

Here again, the inclusive growth paradigm must build on practical lessons from the experience of the past few years, so that the bargaining and staying power of low-income people, including farmers, is enhanced, so they can get returns commensurate with the efforts/investments and risks they have undertaken. That alone will ensure their natural participation in the growth process as equal partners.

Third, the limitations on increasing production and productivity in agriculture are forcing people to migrate to urban areas, which results in increased population pressure in urban areas as well as larger numbers of urban poor. And this burgeoning urbanisation has several important consequences for low-income people who tend to migrate and live in slums. As an NSSO survey revealed (a few years ago), nearly 40% of farmers claimed that they would like to quit farming if they had the option to do so. Unfortunately, there is little option for them, except moving into urban slumsv .

Thus, migration to urban areas primarily implies greater growth of urban slums, which hold a lower quality of life for the poor. This growth of urban slums, typically, is associated with greater unemployment for the poor living there, harsh living conditions, enhanced crime, greater negative impact on health and several aspects including environmental degradationvi . Therefore, the major point to be noted is that the infrastructure in urban areas is simply not enough to cater to the growing needs of these migrants. Huge and appropriate investments are therefore needed in housing, sanitation, water, lighting and power, solid and other waste management, education, health, and so on and so forth.

Therefore, we need "inclusive and enabling investment" in these areas to deal with the huge and ever-increasing flow of low-income migrant population into urban areas. This is yet another new area of focus for the inclusive growth paradigm. It also calls for a serious paradigm shift in urban planning, which must also become more inclusive and pro-poor.

Fourth, in countries such as India, the growth process is essentially knowledge-based and primarily services-led. These new growth areas will continue to have a lot of potential going forward. Hence, the requirement of skilled labour is rather huge in comparison to the current levels of availability. Therefore, in order to ensure availability of adequate supply of labour skilled enough to tackle opportunities in the new growth areas mentioned above, we also need huge enabling and inclusive investments in areas such as practical education and skill development and this has to happen quickly. This is to enable the vast majority of people who have the latent potential, but cannot afford these to gain access to such practical skills and knowledge, and thereby perform to their potential. This is one more aspect for the inclusive growth paradigm.

Last but not the least, whenever we talk of rural areas, the sector that comes first to our mind is agriculture. However, there is the (unorganised and informal) non-farm sector which continues to play an increasingly important role in absorbing large numbers of rural people. All put together, this non-farm and value-added agriculture MSME sector has huge potential for growth. This again requires investment in 'inclusive infrastructure and enabling mechanisms' for ensuring easier/quicker access to assets, skills, appropriate technology, wide range of vulnerability reducing financial services (including credit for post-harvest and post-production) and fair linkage to various markets and other market development infrastructure (both private sector and government procurement).

Without question, the inclusive growth paradigm should lead such efforts and facilitate these hitherto excluded sectors to become expanding bases for wealth creation for low-income people in a competitive manner.

Thus, it is clear that inclusive growth is very necessary for sustainable development and equitable generation of wealth and prosperity. However, achieving this inclusive growth continues to be the biggest challenge in a democratic country like India as it translates to the concern of integrating 600 million people living in rural India, and several (growing) million living in urban slums into the mainstream economy in a fair manner commensurate with their hard work and the investment and risks undertaken. Unless and until that happens, inclusive growth will continue to remain an elusive dream.

iSource: PRB, based on different recent estimates of the percent below poverty.
iiThis draws from several resources including: Inclusive growth - the role of banks in emerging economies by Mrs Usha Thorat and other web based resources as well as papers by this author
 iii"Farming is both a way of life and the principal means of livelihood to 65 per cent of India's population of 110 crore, Our farm population is increasing annually by 1.84 per cent, The average farm size is becoming smaller each year and the cost-risk-return structure of farming is becoming adverse, with the result that farmers are getting increasingly indebted. Marketing infrastructure is generally poor, particularly in perishable commodities. The support systems needed by farmers, like research, ex-tension, input supply and opportunities for assured and remunerative marketing are in various stages of disarray. Small farmers are forced to borrow money from money-lenders at high rates of interest, since less than 60 per cent of the credit requirements of farmers is met by institutional sources." (Dr M S Swaminathan, Chairperson, National Commission on Farmers, 2006 as cited in The Hindu Survey of Agriculture).
 ivAs noted earlier, despite significant progress made by India during the last decade or so, a large proportion of the total population still lives below the poverty line.
 vINDIA has always been considered a country that lives in its villages. But increasingly rural Ind1a is moving towards the town and the city.  The 2001 Census established that almost one- third of India's population, an estimated 285 million people, lived in urban areas. By 2020, half the country's population is expected to be city-based.
 viIn fact, as the data suggest, almost 50% of country's population and a large majority of the poor are likely to reside in urban slums in India by 2020. And Noted environmentalist Chandrasekar confirms the above trends and summarizes the issues with rapid urbanization, "Although on paper all cities have some kind of development plan, the actual development follows no particular pattern except that dictated by expediency, patronage and privilege. As a result, every city in India is the epitome of urban chaos - lacking in adequate water and sanitation, affordable housing, all weather roads, decent public transport and clean air. Cities generate wealth but increasingly Indian cities have become home to the urban poor. Every city is marked by the informal settlements where the poor are forced to live without access to basic services like water and sanitation. City administrations are unable to check the flow of poor people into the city and have failed to build affordable housing where the poor can live. As a result, in some cities like Mumbai, for instance, half the population lives in slums. And in Maharashtra, India's most urbanized state, 61 cities and towns have slum populations that together makeup over 27 per cent of the total urban population and a third of the total population of the State. Indeed, the slum has now become an inescapable part of the Indian urbanscape" (The Hindu, 2006).

(The writer has over two decades of grassroots and institutional experience in rural finance, MSME development, agriculture and rural livelihood systems, rural/urban development and urban poverty alleviation/governance. He has worked extensively in Asia, Africa, North America and Europe with a wide range of stakeholders, from the private sector and academia to governments.)



nagesh kini

6 years ago

You are very right Arun. The gap between the haves and the BPL less than $1 a day earners is widening day by day. The numbers of billionaires is also rising, Jaganmohan Reddy and other netagan are disclosing more and more assets. It is time for the authorities like the EC,CVC,CBDT,CBI set up separate wings to suo moto long prosecution without waiting for either the Joke Pal or Jan Pal to come into existence.

First make effective use of our available existing laws. IAC and Annagiri will take time.

Strike when the iron is hot. The investigating authorities can be assured of enough support fom whistleblowers if they choose to act, it is now or never!

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