Cheaters in paradise: True lies of SpeakAsia's Goa bash
Moneylife Digital Team 11 May 2011

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)

1 decade 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,

Prosperity Consultant
+91 9650991215
Replied to Kishore comment 1 decade ago
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.


1 decade 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 !!*
Speak Asia Team
1 decade 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.
k a prasanna
Replied to Speak Asia Team comment 1 decade ago
Fraudulent schemes. From where does the revenue come from? Stay away from Speak Asia.
ansari siraj
1 decade ago
Hi,.....I m really surprised by u r 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.
Replied to ansari siraj comment 1 decade ago
You r nothing but empty head Ass hole cant believe one can be so stupid............This bloody company is fraud STAY AWAY.
ansari siraj
1 decade 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 $ they r about them.This is nothing but CORPORATE RIVALARY nothing else.
shashi sharma
1 decade ago
u know that star tv singapore is also non-complaince there in singapore. and star panel which also runs same business is also paying in dollars and there address is also not mentioned properly .so, why u people are jealus of speakasia .. i think u people dont want to see other people happy .
1 decade ago
Without any office or any legal permission to do business in india...yeah company crores ka chuna laga gayee bhaiya...hindustan mein public ko Chutiya banane ka kafi scope hai...
Speak Asia Team
Replied to reetesh comment 1 decade ago
Speak Asia is not registered as a company in India as it is not a PE (permanent Establishment). The nature of business is such that legally the need for a PE does not arise as per prevailing laws in India. However to effectively support the business in India, Speak Asia is now going to open a PE in India soon, as has been announced in the press conference by CEO India – Manoj Kumar.
1 decade ago
Hi folks, Pls get to know the latest develpments on Speakasia. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.. After the press conference by Speakasia in Mumbai, several news agencies have further investigated int o the matter. Especially, in a major revelation, Headlines Today has unearthed the shady ownership pattern of Speak Asia. Headlines Today has learnt that despite established knowledge, Speak Asia is not based in Singapore. The real owner or majority stakeholder is based in British Virgin Island, a known tax haven. Documents in possession of Headlines Today show while Harinder Kaur is a representative director of Speak Asia, the real owners or stakeholders have been identified as Podium Ring International Limited, based in Tortola in Virgin Islands. Headlines Today also visited Speakasia’s Singapore office and found it to be fake with 1-2 staffs only. Tax Authorities in Uttar Pradesh raided two franchisees of Speak Asia.The raids were conducted after allegations of service tax violations against these franchisees.The raids were confirmed to Headlines Today by the office of Commissioner for Excise and Service Tax in Lucknow. The Centre has also now stepped in to ensure that the company’s investors of Speak Asia are not taken for a ride. The Ministry of Company affairs has told Headlines Today that the government will ensure that the company does not indulge in any action which adversely impact the investors who have poured in millions into Speak Asia. D.K. Mittal, Secretary of Ministry of Company Affairs, said that the department will work in close collaboration with the RBI and SEBI to safeguard investors’ interest. The government will now look into the alleged act of irregularities of the market research company. In the Headline Today panel discussions, though CEO of Speakasia had earlier confirmed to participate, at the last moment he choose to avoid the expert panel members for disccussions. You can find all these clippings in Youtube. Pls see these very carefully. SO IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME FOR THE BUBBLE TO GO BUST !!! BEWARE ALL. I ONLY FEEL PITY FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOINED SPEAKASIA RECENTLY. THEY ARE BOUND TO LOOSE BIG BIG MONEY. THE SPEAKASIANS THOUGH KNOW ALL THESE DETAILS, STILL FAKE THEIR IGNORANCY, AND OUT OF UTTERSELFISHNESS TO MAKE MONEY THEY ARE STILL MISLEADING PEOPLE. DON’T KNOW WHETHER GOVT. WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE STRONG PENAL ACTION AGAINST THE COMPANY OWNERS/ OFFICIALS AND REALLY PROTECT THE POOR INVESTOR WHO WILL LOOSE THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY. IT IS JUST NOT SPEAKASIA..THERE ARE ATLEAST 15-20 SCHEMES LIKE THIS AT THIS TIME IN INDIA WHO HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THIS FRAUD OF MULTILE THOUSAND CRORES. IT IS HIGH TIME THAT GOVT. NEEDS TO FRAME LEGISLATION FOR NETWORK MARKETING BUSINESS SO THAT ALL THESE FAKE, FRAUD, FLY-BY-NIGHT OPERATORS CAN NOT TAKE THE PEOPLE ON A RIDE. NETWORK MKTNG MODEL AS SUCH IS VERY PROVEN MODEL AND IS BUSINESS OF THE 21ST CENTURY. HOWEVER, MOST MATURED MKT. IN COUNTRIES LIKE MALASIA, SINGAPORE, US, ETC. HAVE FRAMED SPECIFIC LAWS TO REGULATE THESE BIZ. THIS HAS BEEN A LONG PENDING DEMAND BY GENUINE & LEGAL NETWORK MAKETING COMPANIES IN INDIA.
Replied to Kishore comment 1 decade ago
hi Kishore,

I am yet to see fool of first order like u. I am very categorically says that u do not have even 1% knowledge of law with respect to tax heaven iseland and business model of speak asia. The brat like u are non, but the frustrated one in life. Just wait we will make money and u will just keep on crying.
Replied to sudeep comment 1 decade ago
hi jealous buddy ,go to hell wid ur dirty mouth,otherwise i will break all ur teeth
1 decade ago
star tv has aslso entered this survey business...check out

that is the reason they are trying to bring little inconsistencies of SA to light. ppl ..u will agree there are little inconsistencies in all businesses...even urs maybe...but star tv is making a mountain out of a molehill to remove competition from the market... Down with Star!!!!
Replied to SHRUTI comment 1 decade ago
Ok. So you have a URL... how about this one
1 decade ago
I have not seen such a huge number (15 lacs) of fools at one place. You people are cheat and you are cheating to your dear friends and relatives or whoever you are telling to join this bloody fraud company... I request everyone to open your eyes... You people are not trying to agree on the fact that this is a fraud company since your own money is into it... Do something useful with your hard earned money rather giving it to those fools... and you are not accepting the fact shown on the news because you don't want to prove yourself wrong... That is it...
Replied to Sameer comment 1 decade ago
We are not as fool as u it's true there is some problem with SAOS but in real it's change my life style and I hope co. come out from this problem than the time come all as u remaning fool come and join at last rember wht i said foolish
Replied to Narayan comment 1 decade ago
Go to this website -

IF you have some understanding of facts (rather some common understanding on things) then you probably would stop cheating your near and dear ones.
Replied to Sameer comment 1 decade ago
sameerji jid choidia,bachha hein aap,thoda bada ho jao samajme aa a ga.abhi se mat ochilya.
Replied to somen comment 1 decade ago
I don't know what will happen to you in few days of time... RBI, MCA, SEBI were already probing Speak Asia. Today Income Tax is department is after their life... Making their life hell... See the picture... Bachcha main nahi app log hain... Do you know what RBI, MCA and SEBI does... If you would have known you would not have said that... Wait and watch...
Replied to Sameer comment 1 decade ago
sameerji,ham to uchal rahehein,aap kuin bina matlab ka itna uchal rahehein,just wait aap mundi me haat deke baith jayange.pahele aap bataea murgi se anda ya ande se murgi,aap sirf ahi sochia,baki ham log samajgaye.
Replied to soumen comment 1 decade ago
Dear Mr. Soumen, Is duniyaa mein ******* ki kami nahi hai... Ek dhundo 19 lakh milte hain... Aisi ki taisi karao apni...
Replied to somen comment 1 decade ago
Dear Somen,
This is for your information...

Dhyan se padhoge toh uchalna bhul jaoge...
1 decade ago
I am a speak asian.

I proud himself.


Replied to USMAN comment 1 decade ago
Hey you empty head open your eyes dont be a fanatic supporter of SA. There so many empty head like you in our country no surprise we have BABA's TANTRIK, GODMEN, corrupt POLITICIAN's and inspite of living in great country we r still poor.....For centuries we r made fools!!!!
1 decade ago
One simple thing is if SpeakAsia is fraud , they would not have advertise so much in IPL matches where millions of people watch advertisement.
I havent seen any fraud company who has advertised on television. :)
Replied to Prasad comment 1 decade ago
I fully agree with comment of Mr.Prasad regarding Speak Asia.Speak Asia are not fraud
Replied to Prasad comment 1 decade ago
Read this again, I think you missed it....
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

Neeraj verma
Replied to Prasad comment 1 decade ago
Remember Free India Concept that used to give advertisement during 2000 Cricket worldcup..

Brother Ms Haren Kaur( LOL..what a name )has duped so much money from all of you that probably she can ask P Chidambaram to endorse the co.
Replied to Neeraj verma comment 1 decade ago
Dear Neeraj,

I have recovered my money whatever amount i have invested in SA. Also I have not seen anyone yet who has invested and have not get paid yet. They are paying quite regularly.

Anita Shobha
Replied to Prasad comment 1 decade ago
yes I totally agree with you Mr. Neeraj
1 decade ago
starnews ne hadd kardi corruption ki . . . .even they can sell their integrity for their own benefit and TRP . . . . . . . .shame on u ppl . . . . .we gave u the responsibility to give the public righteous news and information . . .but u urself has entered into dirty politics and business rivalry!!!!!!!!

be afraid of GOD atleast . . . .varna tumhare paap ka ghada bhar jaayega bahut jaldi!!!!
1 decade ago
Few things which did not add up in press conference and I was surprised none of the business journalists were able to do this math. They said they made 325 Crores of which about 250 was given to Panelists and about 50-60 crores were expenses. They also mentioned they paid 68 crores in service tax. Few observations.
a) if they paid 68 crores in Service tax their income at the minimum should have been 680 crores
b) Where is this 68 crores accounted in 325 crore income.
c) Revenue figures are not adding up if they have 1.9 M customer and if 85 percent paid to be a panelist, assuming min a person gave was 10000, we are talking about 1600+ crores. how come they reported only 325 crore.
Replied to sanjay comment 1 decade ago
325 cr is not income, this is what SAOL remitted to Singapore, out of which they claim to returned 250 cr and this figures are for three quarters and not for Jan10 to 16 May 11. SAOL distributors (as they are not registered or have office in India) paid 68 cr service tax from the money that came back to India.
Replied to sanjay comment 1 decade ago
bhai service tax total sales per lagta hai not on income......ok
Replied to harsh comment 1 decade ago
Well my understanding is that service tax is being paid on the subscription fee other than that they are not providing any service. you folks are correct but they did mention on the web cast that 325 crore is the money they got and 250 crore is what they gave back. about 50-60 crore was expense. I am not able to understand where is this 68 crore accounted for.

Please note that in order to sustain they need either of 2
1) They need to continue to grow, they might be able to grow for another 5-6 months. Since they are growing right now every one has got money on time as money is being rotated right now. And please note that for first 8 weeks you are getting your money back.
2) After that if they are not able to make (Number of panelists+sub panelists)*52000 from their ads and selling of survey data where would they get money from to give to people. Lets me set the perspective for 1.9 million people it will be 9880 crore every year. If they don't get it from new panel membership they need to get it from sale of their data else it will not work
1 decade ago
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