Sunday, May 29, 2011

Obituary SpeakAsiaOnline ??

Born May 10, 2010
Media-Paralyzed May 25, 2011

Much water has flowed since Star TV exposed the tip of the deceptive iceberg carefully laid by Speak Asia in India after the GEN-X meet in Goa on May 9-11, 2011.

Empowered Sovereign Consumers and Team India has been there theme. They stated that they wanted panelists to refer their friends as panelists or family members only who the panelists felt were fit to be empowered consumers. However, they have turned the Nelson’s eye when their panelists have used the medium of websites and blogs to go hammer and tong in recruiting panelists whom they have never seen or spoken let aside ascertain that there referrals were fit to be empowered consumers or merely to use the medium to increase their “investment” four-fold in a short span of 12 months. As far as Speak Asia was concerned the term Empowered Sovereign Consumers was a red herring as they allowed a panelist to have three IDs in one’s name with nine sub-panels under each; thereby, a person could get a tidy return from doing similar 30 pairs of surveys every week.

Team India was another red herring while the management and owners fleeced Indian panelists and Indian exchequer dry. After all they had not made their initial investment of $40 million not for philanthropic purposes. They entered India via their franchisees and distributors. There office was on the global net whereby they could bye pass all regulations of Reserve Bank of India, FEMA, Companies Act, Income Tax, etc. as they had no physical presence in India. Money was transferred to their bank in Singapore by their franchisees not in Singapore dollars but US dollars. What they may have missed is the bilateral agreement between India and Singapore on unearthing unscrupulous elements and their extradition. Their franchisees and distributors (which they called as their agents) collected all the dough and transmitted in dollars via ICICI and ING Vyasa Banks to the company’s UOB bank account in Singapore. All the talk that they are concerned for their panelists and their families would not have been nonsense if they had maintained at least a bank account in India to which part of their collections could be transmitted by their “agents” or from their account in UOB Singapore from where via online banking, payments could have been made to the accounts of panelists of their earnings in full (only for panelists online US$1=Rs50) without deduction of bank transfer charges of 3% with minimum of US$7.50 per transaction and then further currency conversion depletion when panelists’ banks credit the amounts to their respective accounts by purchasing dollars at Rs42 each and not Rs50. That is Team work where one thinks of each other and moves as an empowered group.

Press Conference of May 16, 2011

Who did the tutored India Management of Speak Asia think that they were addressing? Kindergarten kids or captive audience? They dumped 1.25 lac panelists from Bangladesh by saying that they do not have any operations in Bangladesh. All subscriptions codes to become a panelist are issued online by Speak Asia. Then why did they issue the same to the panelists from Bangladesh and later informed them by an e-zine to open bank accounts in the branches of Prime Bank?

They stated that 11k was being charged for an ONLINE SURVEY’S TODAY E-Zine that is sent by e-mail to the panelists. I never received one. Well the only online magazine is E-bulletin comprising of articles on each every survey that panelists have already done. What they refer to as E-Zine is their propaganda e-mails they send to panelists from time to time. On Imagine TV they had given a breakup of 11k as follows:

Rs                               Purpose
1000                `           Service Tax
1000                            Franchisee income
1000                            Referral income
2000                            Training Charges even when they charge for such training from applicants attending seminars and training programs.
6000                            Binary income up to 12 levels @500 per survey.

In the above, where is the component cost for that so called online magazine? That clearly means that you are paying 11k for doing surveys ONLY.

Again, in order to carryout their bluff of an increase in charges from May 20, 2011 by nearly 4k they changed the Service Tax component in above table to Registration Charges and played innocent that the service tax hitherto paid by their agent who now have to be paid by the panelists and that is why there was an increase in charges. STUPID.

As far as data collection from surveys is concerned they do not have a single client. Who in his/her right frame of mind would be interested in such data where panelists are given same surveys whether they are minors or young or old people and regardless of gender? Giving surveys to minors on owning diesel cars or that to girls and women on shaving blades. And as mentioned above where a panelist can have three IDs and open nine sub-panels under each. Who would be interested in such duplicacy? STUPID.

Speak Asia had used the concept of huge incentives to recruit panelists fast. Other than giving a one time 1k for each referral a panelist secured, 6k of the 11k charged was only for distributing binary incomes up to 12 levels. Look at like this. Starting operations on May 10, 2010, by November 2010 (seven months of commencing operations) it had just 1 lac panelists. However, by end of March 2011 it had 1.2 million panelists, an exponential growth of 11 lac panelists in just four months. The incentive for this exponential growth was the huge binary income. Such exponential growth emboldened Speak Asia to increase the enrollment and renewal charges by another Rs4000 starting May 20, 2011 on the pretext to pay for service tax hitherto paid by their agents and to cover the cost of setting up their own 42-server farm in Singapore on the lines of the Indian Railways to cater not only to their huge number of panelists being online but for a GEN-X online bazaar. What crap. A company makes such futurist investments from the profits it accumulates and not ask their paid panelists to pay more. I believe that in a single year of operations, Speak Asia has already accumulated billions of dollars as profits.

Off the cuff the management at the Press Conference of May 16, 2011 threw figures of US$80.5 million as their gross revenue as of March 31, 2011 having commenced operations on May 10, 2010. They also stated of an earning of $18 million from sale of their survey data, and having paid through their agents Rs68 crores in the same time, $35 million transmitted to panelists as survey and panel income, and having expended $9 million for marketing, training & business development in the same period. As of March 31, 2011 they had 1.2 million panelists. As of May15 the figure had jumped to 1.9 million most probably panelists jumping on to their bandwagon to avoid the proposed increase charges from May 20, 2011. Let us analyse these figures. Rs68 crores service tax @10.4% paid by its agents at Rs45=US$1 implies a gross revenue from making of panelists of about $145 million and not $80.5 million. What about the panelists who have used their online points/income to get new referrals as panelists? One can safely say that another 50% turnover was a result of the same on which no service tax is paid. Therefore, gross revenue would be $217.50 (for near about 1.2 million panelists some of which would be standard panelist having paid Rs6500). Now let us work out the rough profit and loss account.

US$ (in millions)         Details
217                              Gross revenue recruiting panelists.
  18                              Sale of their data as claimed by them
235                              Gross Revenue
Less Expenses
  15                              Service Tax (Rs68 crores) as claimed by them
    9                              Marketing, training & business development as claimed
  52                              Paid to panelists being binary and survey income
159                              Net Revenue in 10 months. Their accounting year end is May 31

The above is the figure for 1.2 million panelists as declared at the press conference of May 16th for period ended March 31, 2011. They added another 0.8 million panelists in less than two months the exponential growth factor being the proposed increase in charges by Rs4000. So they garnered another $ 106 million gross from new panelists of which only on 50% there agents would have paid service tax amounting to $5 million. The rest of the income would have come from panelists surrendering their income in panel and survey wallet to make new panelists while retaining the cash paid by the referrals. As of around May 20, 2011 they were sitting pretty on around US$260 million when their two bank accounts at UOB, Singapore got frozen on request from the Indian Government. As declared in their e-zine sent by e-mail to all its panelists on May 27, 2011, they had not made (or were unable to make) any payment to panelists beyond May 12, 2011.

My above calculations were made on the basis of figures provided by them at the Press Conference of May 16, 2011. However, their CEO by a message of May 29, 2011 has proved me wrong. He has stated that he has got $482 millions in the bank accounts of Speak Asia at UOB bank and that he can pay survey income for up to two years without new panelists joining. Read further crap here.

At the above stated blog it is also stated that Payment Requests will remain disabled till next week. For the fact at speakasia’s website one is only informed that payments have been suspended and panelists will be informed when the same are resumed.

Seems like either the management of Speak Asia or some Indian panelists who have already made a lot of money from Speak Asia are attempting to make fools of all and sundry. By Jove! The Indian Authorities are bound to kick their chuff.

Cheat India

The owners, management and panelists were referred to as being part of a team. However, they failed to reveal their accounts to the panelists. Any panelists daring to inquire about them or asking uncomfortable questions were blacklisted and their login IDs stopped functioning. Their survey and panel income was confiscated. To the best of my knowledge a case is pending in the Supreme Court filed by 20 such panelists from Kanpur and Delhi.

The emails (which is the only e-zine) sent from time-to-time by Speak Asia management including Harendar Kaur to panelists were just half-truths. Via their e-mails they clearly stated that panelists should believe only in what was stated in their propaganda e-mails and not what was depicted by the media or what was written at various forums of Speak Asia like or

The Rs11,000 being charged to become a panelist is inclusive of 10.4% service tax paid to the Indian Authorities. Excluding this service tax of Rs1036 and franchisee charges of Rs1000 per referral, the balance Rs8964 was transmitted to Speak Asia’s UOB bank by the franchisees through their bankers at dollar sale conversion rate of Rs45 to Rs47 which is around $190 to $200 per panelists. The panelist who got the referral got #20 online while the rest was retained by Speak Asia for future distribution as binary income, survey income and their profits. Their much touted training sessions or “Torch” meets were carried out by enthusiastic group of panelists who charged a fee for every entrant. Speak Asia spent nothing on such sessions. The owners and managements were guests of honor for getting a good crowd that paid for watching the event. Speak Asia had neither filed its balance sheet in Singapore nor ever disclosed the same to its panelists while all along using the deceitful term Team India, which I am now sure means Cheat India.

As if their share of profits from $200 retained/distributed by them was not enough from each the 1.9 million panelists as of May 20, 2011, they decided to go in for an increase of about $80 (Rs3950) from renewals and new panelists quite sure that yet they would reach their growth target of 10 million “empowered” panelists by December 2011.

Real Reason For Increase In Charges

The reason for the increase in charges from 11k to 15k to become a panelist is as explained by Manjeet to reduce the componential panelist growth factor from 5.42% reached by just getting 1 million panelists to 3.62% for the next million with further increase for the next million and so on. Speak Asia has already made its billions for setting up their own 42-server farm.

Well, well that is not to be Harendar Kaur. Your money making project stands paralysed as your bank UOB, Singapore, as frozen your two accounts as per request of the Indian Government pending investigation by various departments. They will remain so at least until July, 2011 when your case will come up for hearing before the Supreme Court.

Greed and trying to make a fool of the public got the better of Speak Asia’s senses.
They should have presented their business model right from day one to the media and public that paid surveys (or better still MLM as no one was buying their survey data) was Phase 1 to get the targeted number of panelists to start Phase 2 being M-Commerce. They must not have stated that 11k was for a non-existent E-Zine Magazine being mailed to panelists and should have kept the amount of joining fees at around 5k and not got further emboldened to increase fees within a year of operations. They should have had a registered office in India (be it not a company) and a bank account in India where part of their earnings from Indian panelists could have been retained to pay their panelists in full in Indian Rupees the income they had earned without deductions of bank charges and further currency conversion charges. Concealing facts from the media and their own panelists’ tantamounts to having something to hide. That they must never have done. They should have depicted at the website at least audited six-monthly accounts.

Honestly, I hope that they come clear only after mending their ways so that 2 million panelists from India do not suffer the ignominy of having wasted their hard earned monies.

Under what provisions of what Act, service tax of 10.40% is payable?

I think the Indian Government may take a shortcut by broadening the scope of Chit Funds (Banned) Act 1978 to include MLMs/Pyramid Scheme.

E-Bulletin.. Account at Speakasia Online Are these posthumous articles appearing after surveys on the same have already been done is what Speak Asia referring to as E-Zines for which they are charging 11k from each panelist? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Electric Geyser
Mobile Tariff
Dish Wash Bars
Diesel Car
Car Audio
Liquid Shoe Polish
Union Railway Budget
Heel Care Products
Touchscreen Mobile Phones
Health and Fitness
DND (Do Not Disturb)
Men's Shirt
Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
Mobile Advertisement
Herbal Toothpaste
Personal Skin Care
Windows Operating System
Liquid Mosquito Repellent Machines
Mobile Banking
Dish Wash Bar
Mineral Water
Mobile Telecom Operator
Internet Advertising
DTH V/S Local Cable Service
Food Inflation
Telecommunication In Modern Day World
Opinion - Has The Worlds Cheapest Car Nano Failed To Deliver
Internet Banking
Tariff War - Telecom Space In India
Men's Fairness Cream
Airtel Image Makeover
Packaged Milk
Television Censorship
Liquid Mosquito Repellents
Credit Card A Necessary Evil?
Most Trusted Mobile Manufacturing Company In India
Future Of IPTV In India
Cyber Security
Customer Service/After-sales Service
Consumer Spending Pattern In India
Business directory portals in India
Online Transactions
Most Effective Media Of Advertising
Internet / Web Browsers
Insurance companies in India
Insurance products in India
OTC Cough & Cold Brands in India
Adhesive Products
Commonwealth games
Debit Cards
Digestive Medicine Tablets
Baby Food
Confectionery Market
Consumer Preference of Medicine
Consumer AC Purchase Behavior
Evaluation of Inverter usage in India
Pain Relieving Balms in India
Awareness of Inverter Brands in India
Awareness of Online Travel Booking Websites in India
TV Channel viewing pattern in India
Journey of the TV
The Music Systems
The communication revolution
Gearless vehicles
Automobile sector in India
How to write effective online surveys?
What are Online Surveys

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I highly appreciate for the time you just wasted on collecting info regd various facts and figures related to speakasia...

Tell me One thing : Every Adult who joins knows very well about the risk factors in any business...

Also everything no business can say in open..

Can Maggie tell about the secret of its taste maker ?? It will never ever reveal it out....