speak-asia-online-logoWhilst Speak Asia, 115 panelists and former Justice RC Lahoti discuss in secret how best to carve up the 50 crore Speak Asia has deposited amongst the 115 signed writ 383 petitioners, whoever runs Speak Asia Online Marketing has in the meantime put out a press release regarding its exit option.

Launched last year in October, the Speak Asia exit option was seen to be some sort of joke rather than a serious attempt to record any relevant information.


Because for starters the exit option form merely collects data and itself does nothing to verify it. The information entered into the form is not verified and you can enter any information into the fields, click submit and have the website accept your application.

Speak Asia themselves note

Your details will be verified with the company’s database and a confirmation mail will be sent to you. This is subject to gaining access to the company’s servers from EOW Mumbai.

At the time of publication the EOW haven’t handed over access to the website, yet that didn’t stop Speak Asia today from stating that

A total of 94,334 panelists decided to exercise this option (this is less than 7% of our entire universe of Speak Asians.)

Without verification, where are they pulling the 94,334 figure from? And given that in reality there is no verification (anyone can enter anybody’s details if they are known to them), further still how can this exit option process be remotely seen as secure and accurate?

The mind boggles.

Regarding the statement that only 7% of Speak Asia’s panelists have opted for the exit option, that in itself is no surprise.

Considering the exit options:

  • members who earnt 0 RPs are entitled to a full membership refund
  • members who earnt less than their membership fee in RPs (220-240) are entitled to a refund of their membership minus the difference in RPs they earnt
  • members who earnt more than their membership fee in RPs are entitled to nothing

Is it any surprise that when released, most people thought it was a joke?

Forget the massive recruitment commissions Speak Asia were paying out, even just doing surveys entitled members to 20 RPs a week…. meaning that in roughly 3 months (12 weeks) by doing nothing more than filling out fake surveys panelists would be entitled to nothing via the exit option.

With the bulk of members ineligible for payments… is it any wonder that (questionably) only 7% of panelists have opted in for it?

Without any sort of verification I’d peg that percentage much, much lower than 7%… and not out of any misguided loyalty or belief in the legality of Ponzi schemes – merely because most of Speak Asia’s panelists are excluded by default from opting for the exit option.

Pretty much the only members even eligible for the exit option are those who joined in the last three months of business (March to May of 2011) and failed to generate at least 220-240 RPs.

The EOW have previously released the figure in RPs owing to all panelists at 6.1 billion (30,000 crore rupees converted to USD with 1 RP equal to 1 RP).

With 1.2 million reported panelists, that’s a staggering 5083 RPs average per panelist, far above the 220-240 maximum to qualify for the exit option. Now obviously in reality the RPs are going to be spread heavily skewed towards those who recruited the most but it gives you an idea of what Speak Asia is trying to weasel out of paying here.

What’s stopping Speak Asia from just depositing 30,000 cr to pay out the entire RP balance owing and if the business is legit, pick up from where they left off?

I hope Lahoti has his eyes wide open because if the press release put out today is true, it appears Speak Asia is yet again trying to pull a fast one…