After launching in May 2010, in just under a year Speak Asia Online had amassed a membership base of 1.8 million (or 2.2 million, depending on who you talk to) members.
Make no mistake, this in itself is a majorly impressive feat that a lot of MLM companies can only dream about. Let that sink in for just a second, 1.8 million members in twelve months is some astronomical growth any way you look at it.
So what spurred Speak Asia on to grow so rapidly in such a short amount of time?
Was it their product line?
Was it their sales model?
Was it their company leadership…?
The answer is of course ‘no’.
Speak Asia is a company that uses a compensation plan that directly rewards members for recruiting new members financially. This and this alone is what contributed to their massive success in expanding their memberbase most likely beyond their wildest dreams.
Unfortunately for Speak Asia, it’s also why it means little if they win their ongoing court battles.
One way or another, Speak Asia is simply not going to survive.
Despite what Speak Asia’s members will tell you, Speak Asia do not have a shopping portal up and running and currently there are only two ways to earn money in the company.
The first way is via the completion of surveys, this pays a maximum of $20 US a week, which might sound ok but keep in mind you must pay the company $240 to join as a Premium Panelist first (otherwise you pay $220 to join and have your survey earnings capped at just $7 a week).
The second way is via the recruitment of others. Members are paid a $20 once off commission for each member they recruit, $2 and $1 a week in recurring commissions for each premium and regular panelist they recruit respectively and two binary commissions which are bonuses paid out based on the amount of daily ‘pairs’ of new recruits you bring into the company daily (for a more detailed guide, see my Speak Asia business opportunity review).
This and this alone is what contributed to Speak Asia’s massive membership growth. And despite mentions of retail commissions on Yug products and members being forced to spend reward points in the Yug store, or any other ‘future’ plans Speak Asia tell you the company has instore for its members, will continue to be the driving force of growth behind the company.
In a nutshell, if the courts of India granted Speak Asia permission to continue their operations, business would continue as usual – and for Speak Asia, that means massive recruitment drives.
So why does that mean Speak Asia wouldn’t survive? I mean, with the government and regulators off their backs, surely they’d prosper and everyone would be getting paid right?
To understand this, let’s have a look first at the maths behind Speak Asia’s 1.8 million membership growth in the year May 2010 to May 2011.
Starting off with just one member, to reach 1.8 million members in 52 weeks means that for every 2 members in the company, 1 new member was being brought in each and every week.
Keep in mind that these are averages of course and the reality is that the recruitment numbers would not have taken off until word spread and exponentially the company was looking at massive week to week growth.
Putting aside the binary bonuses, which are ridiculously difficult to earn money off (daily recruitment quotas), the main draw here is the residual bonus offered ($2 and $1) for the recruitment of panelists.
Recruit 10-20 panelists under you, and along with your own $20 US a week, within the context of India’s living expenses, this doesn’t look too bad.
Of course those ten to twenty then need to go out and find ten to twenty, who then… well you get the point.
On whatever scale it happened, this recruitment is at the heart of Speak Asia’s growth, and will continue to feed it as long as the compensation plan remains the same.
Pending a court decision in their favour, what then happens if Speak Asia are allowed to continue their business?
This is best explained by putting things within the context of the whole population of India, which currently stands at 1.1 billion people.
Starting off with the current 1.8 million number, if each day those people brought in just one new member to the company per week, it would take just 6 weeks for Speak Asia to exhaust the entire population of India.
Now obviously that’s not going to happen. Firstly because not everyone in India is a sucker for pyramid schemes and secondly because not each and every one of Speak Asia’s 1.8 million members needs to go out and recruit more people. Many of them already have recruited enough new people to live comfortably on residual incomes.
So what will happen?
Well, what we’ll most likely see is what we have now. Those members who have recruited enough people under them running around proclaiming Speak Asia to be the best thing since sliced bread, and those who don’t crying scam (or filing FIR’s for non-payment against the company as is now the case).
There’s clearly not enough people in India for everyone to have 10-20 people under them so within another 6 months at best the memberbase would reach critical mass and fall apart.
The bottom line is you don’t attract 1.8 million members by getting them to pay $220-$240 a year and telling them they can earn $7-$20 a week by filling out surveys. The only way you attract this kind of growth is by directly financially rewarding people for growing the memberbase for you.
In his latest press release, All India SpeakAsian Panelists Association Secretary Ashok Bahirwani wondered
why our Authorities are not allowing immediate payments to these panelists when they have funds under their control and with Speak Asia repeatedly begging them to be allowed to make payments.
Ashok, you think the current mess of 1.8 million members caught up in the Speak Asia pyramid scheme is a nightmare?
Try cleaning up the aftermath of a few hundred million members demanding payment after Speak Asia implodes, as all pyramid schemes eventually do.
And why are you wondering about the amount the government seized? It’s chump change in comparison to the hundred million US dollars CEO Harendar Kaur siphoned off to Singapore.
Where is that money?