The company that took pride in calling itself 'India's largest integrated market research agency', now finds itself in big trouble.
After a Headlines Today investigation into the false claims made by the firm, the CEO of Speak Asia has now apologised for misleading subscribers.
But it is lying about high profile clients like Airtel and ICICI. Or is there something far more sinister?
Sudhir Gupta, distributor, Speak Asia, says, "We just surveyed Tata Nano. We launched Samsung's new range of LCD-LED TVs. Speak Asia also did surveys for Airtel's logo change."
A Headlines Today special investigation has exposed the workings of the wonder website Speak Asia with its CEO having been pushed into a tight corner.
Manoj Kumar, CEO, Speak Asia, Mumbai, said, "I apologise to those brands whose names were taken by my management or sales team."
"Since there was a miscommunication, I as the CEO own up on behalf of the entire organisation," added Manoj Kumar.
Speak Asia top management is now squirming at the tough questions coming their way.
But for over a year now, the online company has been collecting large sums of money, rapidly luring and enrolling lakhs of people all the time, assuring them of phenomenal returns, while all that they had to do was simply fill out some online surveys.
But suddenly Speak Asia is backtracking on all its get rich quick claims.
Sudhir Gupta, distributor, Speak Asia, says, "There is no limit to earning. From 4000 to 40000, you can earn as much as you want. Some people even get Rs 4 lakhs to Rs 4 crore a month.
Manoj Kumar says, "We do not say or believe that anyone can pay us Rs 11,000 and earn X amount of rupees. That is not our promise."
This statement coming from Speak Asia is bad news for over 19 lakhs people who have signed up and paid money to Speak Asia in the hope that it would multiply.
The company had earlier claimed that it was in the business of doing surveys for big business groups and then distributing the money to its members.
The Reserve Bank of India is now probing Speak Asia's business in Singapore, where it is based.
Speak Asia is not registered in India, nor does it possess any evidence of legal documentation. It is still not clear what exactly the business model of Speak Asia is. Yet it hopes to make one crore enrollments by the end of this year. Experts contend that there is enough cause for concern to expect a probe in to the functioning of Speak Asia.
The modus operandi
It's the lure of easy money that most find impossible to resist. Invest Rs 11,000, answer two surveys every month and recover your investment in three months. After that it is all profits.
The online survey groups that promise you to pay while you sit at home have always been under the cloud of suspicion.
The Headlines Today investigation reveals that the leading integrated market research agency (Speak Asia) has been peddling a pack of lies.
They promise easy money and all it takes are a few clicks. Claiming to be an internet survey company, Speak Asia promises to make its members five times richer. The method is simple and easy to fall for.
All one needs to do is pay Rs 11000 to Speak Asia and open an e-account. Speak Asia sends two surveys to the member every week.
On an investment of Rs 11,000, the member earns Rs 4000 every month for a period of one year.
That's Rs 48,000-return on an investment of just Rs 11,000.
The promise of easy money has lakhs of Indians hooked to Speak Asia, with many opening multiple Speak Asia accounts.
The company claims that it does surveys for top MNCs in India but when Headlines Today contacted these companies, they refused to have any business links with Speak Asia.
The future of the company remains in a cloud after the various allegations that have been launched against Speak Asia.
Even the members of the company have started raising doubts about its authenticity.
Shitij, member, Speak Asia, said, "They have given us one number of Singapore and a few helpline numbers in Delhi, which are never available and if you call Singapore, they never pick up and sometimes it says that the number does not exist. I have not got any information from these numbers ever."
Even as the legality of Speak Asia is yet to be established, at stake is the money of lakhs of investors who have put their hard earned money into this scheme. Some investors stand to lose crores if Speak Asia goes bust.
BJP leader and president of Investor Grievance Forum (IGF) Kirit Somaiya has lodged a written complaint against Speak Asia Online Ltd with the EOW of the Mumbai Police. In his complaint, he has asked EOW to initiate inquiry against the company Speak Asia, with an allegation of dubious modus operandi in India.
(Courtesy Headlines Today)