What is Speak Asia-Scam or Genuine ??

Disclaimer: I have not personally used Speak Asia service, so everything I write here is based on my study of the services offered by Speak Asia, discussion with friends, what is appearing on their website and my general impressions of this kind of services! I am also not passing any judgement on the service nor is it an effort to malign Speak Asia – This is my attempt at putting the facts in front of readers- to educate and inform them.

Speakasiaonline Pte. Ltd, Singapore (SAOL) is a unique web 2.0 company that empowers consumers to create and use their collective bargaining power to get unprecedented price advantages in goods and services procured through our portals. With a large pool of strong panelists and promoted from an Indian origin, that seeks to remind the world, that the FUTURE of the 21st Century is ASIAN, with its epicenter in India.

Says the Speak Asia’s website and claims to have 19 lakh customers(whom they call as panelists).
These numbers look realistic after seeing the traffic its website (www.speakasiaonline.com) is receiving. Alexa ranks this website 931 globaly and 81 in India. Its success has been phenomenol.

SAOL is a company where consumers pay around Rs 11,000 for a membership which will allow them to conduct some surveys online for the firm.The members also get paid for filling those surveys. It is believed that the Rs 11,000 investment could be recovered within three months.
Recently they have also launched an online electronics store under the brand name of YUG, members can earn by reffering these products or they can earn money by saving on purchase of these products on highly discounted price.

General apprehensions:

* If Speakasiaonline Pte. Ltd is a survey based company then why do they collect an upfront joining/membership fees of 11,000.

* The address mentioned on their WHOIS doesn’t match with their registered company address. The company website says the adress to be
Speak Asia Online Pte. Ltd.
Address: 10 Ubi Crescent, #07-68, Ubi Techpark,
Singapore 408564
RCB Number: 200618809D
Phone: 0065-63430887 / 0065-67493743
(Monday to Friday: 7:30 am to 2:30 pm (IST))
Fax: 0065-67422877
whereas the adress details of the company on WHOIS(domain registered with godaddy.com) website is completely different.

Well the reason for that could be that (lets assume) they are busy to update that just like the fact that their company was not able to be in compliant with Acra and hold timely AGM and submit their annual accounts on time due to the Directors travelling and expanding business in India.

* There were reports that during a trade fair in Goa, SAOL marketing team had claimed that ICICI, ING Vysya, Bata, Airtel and Nestle were its clients.But later, the satement from the company was that it has worked for companies such as Bata, Nestle,Airtel, ICICI and ING Vysya but has not provided commissioned services to them amidst media reports that the company had falsely claimed them as their clients.
“We have interacted and worked with these companies. But we have not provided any commissioned services to them,” Speak Asia India’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Manoj Kumar, told reporters.

* I found it amusing that they were using a hosted software at SurveyMonkey as their survey tool and only recently purchased Novi Survey. If its an established proven business with multi million dollars in revenue they should have built the survey system completely inhouse on which their entire business model works.

* A no. of complaints have been registered against speak asia on www.complaints-india.com.

* In May, Kirit Somaiya, president of the Investors Grievances Forum in Mumbai, filed a complaint with the EOW of Mumbai Police against Speak Asia claiming to have received several complaints from consumers related to fraudulent business dealings among other things.

* Speak Asia is a Singapore based company, then why all the contact and office timings are given in IST on their website.

* United Overseas Bank froze the bank accounts of Speak Asia, catering to 19 lakh panellists, vendors and staff.

WakeIndiaNow’s Verdict:

If you search about Speak Asia on the internet, you will come across varied opinions, but one of the strongest opinions in favour of Speak Asia you would get is , people saying that they have earned a lot through Speak Asia, and in all probability it might be true.
As in any ponzi scheme those who join in the beginning can earn a lot, the company advertises about the income of its first few members and gets its foot grounded into the market but those who join lower down the chain become the victime of the scheme.(In a ponzi scheme the company does not gain any profit by selling/manufacturing any products, instead it charges a membership fees from people joining it and distributes the money among people up the tree.)
Why does such schemes keep coming back? Firstly, its India, so they have a right to harass anyone innocent. Actually, people join such schemes in search of quick and easy money.

In the meantime, varies Indian agencies are investigating the charges against SpeakAsiaOnline Pte. Ltd. :

* The Registrar of Companies (RoC) Delhi, is investigating the company under section 591 of the Companies Act, 1956, which deals with companies not registered in India but having established business in the country and represented by an Indian citizen or firm.

* The ministry of corporate affairs, or MCA, is looking into why Speak Asia is not registered in India, its investments, how it conducts its business, where it gets its money and how it pays its members.

* Meanwhile on 29th July,2011 The economic offences wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police took into custody Tarak Bajpai, chief operating officer of Speak Asia Online, as part of its investigation into alleged fraud by the survey firm.

The police also detained four vendors of Speak Asia from Mumbai and Indore.

All those who are not SpeakAsians Wait till Speakasiaonline Pte. Ltd gets a physical office in India (which they have said is on the cards) and they get themselves registered in India .

For all those who have already joined Speakasiaonline Pte. Ltd earn your income by referral of the electonic products under the brand name of YUG. You can also sell e-zines, but avoid bringing new people into the chain until the investigations complete.

Lets wait till the investigations complete or till they come out with some substantial proof in their defence(except money and popularity).

Its NOW or NEVER!!

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  • Rajeev

    I have been making fortunes through SpeakAsia, How can it be a scam???

  • Radhika

    @Rajeev, ur Making fortunes does not prove it to be genuine.. does it?

  • Rajat

    I was almost duped by SpeakAsians. Now I wont invest a penny into it…ITS FRAUD!

  • Sahil

    Speak Asia is awesome… it has given us employment. it has given me a living.. how can u say that its a scam… THis bloody government could not give me any work.. but speak asia could… u are biased… u have taken money from someone to write this nonsense against speak asia.. plz don't spread all this rumour.