speak-asia-online-logoLast month in response to public complaints and a media expose into the inner workings of Speak Asia,  Indian regulators announced that they were launching investigations into the company.

Since then however we haven’t heard much.


Some regulators began squabbling over jurisdiction issues whilst others cited outdated laws restricting them from even looking at Speak Asia.

Oh dear.

First up we have the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The RBI are now claiming that

Speak Asia does not come under its purview because it is a marketing-cum-chit fund company and “gives users some kind of service in exchange for money”.

Then there’s the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). SEBI
claim that

Speak Asia does not come under its regulatory purview because it has issued no securities till date. “This is a marketing company which has just sold a software through its website for a price.”

Both institutions seem to have failed to actively investigate and analyse the Speak Asia business model. This model, when analysed, clearly shows that the bulk of income of successful Speak Asia members originates via the direct recruit of others.

And as for SEBI’s software claim, I’d assume they’re confusing sending out an e-Zine of surveys every week with actual software. As far as I know Speak Asia don’t distribute software.

As for the rest of the Indian authorities involved?

They can all conveniently hide behind the ‘Companies Act’ of 1956. This fifty five year old law has no provisions or guidelines for dealing with or forcing the registration of companies based on the internet.

That’s because (drumroll please)… there was no internet in 1956.

With outdated laws almost sixty years old and no provisions for handling the internet, now would seem like a great time to launch an online scam in India.

Just make sure you register it offshore and make sure you have full compliance from the company you’re operating out of (which should be easy, seeing as you’re not actually going to do anything other then transfer money in said country).

In order to prevent people getting scammed and at the very least open up companies like Speak Asia to analysis and investigation, India needs to urgently update it’s laws.

It’s 2011 guys and technology has come a long way. Trying to address internet scams with laws dating back to 1956 just doesn’t cut it.