speak-asia-online-logoThis morning I read Ashok Bahirwani’s 2nd October 2011 AISPA update.

As usual, whilst Bahirwani’s report does contain some useful information and clarification, it’s still riddled with mistruths, distortions and at times completely false allegations.

I’m starting to think dissecting Bahirwani’s updates might make for a regular feature on BehindMLM.

First Bahirwani (photo right) falsely accuses the Mumbai Mirror and quotes them reporting that ‘another Speak Asia Official behind bars”, yet this text does not appear anywhere on the Mumbai Mirror website, in any article.

Bahirwani goes on to claim then that in regards to Sanjeev Dandona’s arrest, Dandona

is in no way a SAOL consultant or a direct employee of the company SAOL. Mr. Sanjeev Dandona was an associate of the Master Distributor/Franchisee of HVP M/s Kritanj Management & AlliedServices.

What is this company Bahirwani mentions? Master Distributor/Franchisee?? That sounds a lot like Speak Asia talk. I can only assume that HVP is Haren Ventures Ptd Ltd… was Ms Kaur running two MLM’s?

Quite obviously whatever this company is there’s a strong relationship to Speak Asia. Whether technically or not he was directly employed by Speak Asia is irrelevant, in the game of scams association is association and the EOW are obviously confident enough to prove in court that he is directly or had a defacto financial arrangement with Speak Asia.

Amusingly, Bahirwani states that ‘It seems that Mr. Dandona has parted ways with Kritanj almost 6 to 7 months back‘.

Well of course he did. Being in October now, 6 months ago puts us in May, whereupon you’ll recall that this was the month Tarak Bajpai was arrested and officially marked the start of Speak Asia’s regulatory troubles.

What’s so surprising about senior scammers within Speak Asia bailing out at the first sign of trouble and protecting their money?

Bahirwani continues to lambast the reporter for claiming that

>The funny part is that how the reporter is falsely reporting that he (Mr. Dandona) was involved in transferring crores of rupees to Singapore trying to make this absolutely legit transaction into something illegal and wrong.

I wish to remind the reporting team that M/s Kritanj Management & Allied Services are the Master Franchisee of HVP and it is evident that all the money is routed through this account into the accounts of HVP in Singapore. What may I ask the reporting team is wrong in this transaction when the entire transaction is through proper legal banking channels?

I don’t know what Bahirwani is talking about, but none of these claims appear in the Mumbai Mirror report he’s supposedly referencing. Dandona’s name appears only twice in the last paragraph of the article.

The only thing the Mumbai Mirror accuse Dandona of being is a proxy owner. Which is not at all surprising, seeing as Speak Asia itself appears to have a proxy owner(s) in Satish Pal and his brother Ram.

Scammer see, scammer do?

After crapping on about the grand legitimacy of Speak Asia for a while, Bahirwani asks

I ask you what is wrong in the business model of the company or the transactions. Various reports from your bureau have been published on the matter of SAOL may I ask you what is the inference drawn by your bureau upto now.

I am sure you must have at least figured out prima facie what is wrong with the company.

To which there is a simple reply, in that the bulk of revenue coming into Speak Asia was from membership fees and that there is no retail side to the business. Member’s are merely peddling new memberships and earning a commission of that.

Despite all the attempts at misdirection (“the company paid out everyone, there was never a problem!” etc, etc.), this fundamental flaw in the business model is ultimately what will bring Speak Asia down. Pyramid schemes using this model are illegal the world over, and India should be no different.

On page 2 of his report, Bahirwani then addresses the fake survey claim. Bahirwani claims that in claiming the surveys were fake, the reporter is

Passing judgmental reviews in a matter which is sub judice is again bad in law and amounts to the highest degree of “Contempt of Court”.

Apart from the fact the reporter isn’t even involved in the court case (and how can you have contempt? Has a judge put out a suppression order on discussing the case or analysing what the EOW publicly put on the record?), what we have here is Speak Asia claiming they have corporate clients for their surveys in the past, and the EOW now claiming their surveys were solicited internally.

These are polar opposite statements and both Speak Asia and the EOW have gone on the public record with their claims. You either think Speak Asia are lying, or that the EOW are lying. There’s no two ways about this.

Thus with the EOW on record and the reporter merely pointing out the logical conclusion to be drawn from their statements, what Bahirwani is really claiming (and being the official spokesperson for AISPA, what AISPA as an association, and by proxy all the members of Speak Asia who are apparently automatic members of AISPA are also claiming) is that the EOW is lying and are in contempt of court.

Of course they won’t state this directly, but given what their comments on the reporter, who is merely quoting the EOW directly, this is effectively what Bahirwani (and AISPA and Speak Asia’s panelists by association) are stating.

They’ll of course tell you they aren’t, citing decorum and other such nonsense, but in their roundabout way of attempting to chastise the reporter who merely quotes the EOW and only states the obvious – they’re pitting themselves squarely in opposition of the EOW’s statements.

With no margin of error and the confidence of both parties to go public with their statements, thus one of the parties involved is obviously lying.

Speak Asia, who have previously been caught out lying about their survey clients before and Singapore compliance, or the EOW?

Bahirwani continues,

The company SAOL has never said anywhere that they conducted only “commissioned surveys“.

On the contrary the company has gone on record to say that the company is into “Precision Mass Marketing” and one of the activities undertaken by the company is to gather opinion of its panelists on various issues and subjects spread over various verticals, industries and services.

I’ll concede Speak Asia never stated they exclusively conducted commissioned surveys, but ‘precision mass marketing’?


There isn’t some eBay style marketplace out there for uncommissioned surveys. Let alone uncommissioned surveys where one person can have up to 9 submissions (sub-panels) of the same response, thus completely destroying the accuracy of the survey results.

Bahirwani has missed the main point in this revelation of ‘fake surveys’, as evidenced by his next question;

The moot question is: what is a fake survey? A survey at worst may be a useless survey which has no takers or may not be saleable, but how can any survey be called fake?

The surveys conducted were most of the time “stock surveys” for the survey data bank of the company they may not have been commissioned but in “NO WAY ANY SURVEY OF THE COMPANY CAN BE CLASSIFIED AS FAKE”.

When claiming the surveys are fake or not, this needs to be put into context. The context being that a crucial point of analysis in whether or not Speak Asia is a pyramid scheme, is in establishing whether or not the company made more money selling surveys to clients than it did on membership fees.

In this sense Speak Asia would need a hell of a lot of high paying commissioned surveys to achieve this and as such, any non-commissioned surveys would then be fakes as they do not count towards contributing to proving Speak Asia is a pyramid scheme or not.

As it stands Speak Asia have recorded 1.8-2.2 million panelist accounts (depending on who you cite). Even if we take the 1.8 million panelist number however, that’s still 11,000 rupees per panelist coming in at 19,800,000,000 rupees, or 1980 crore.

This is shy of the commonly quoted 2000+ crore figure that Speak Asia have earnt in membership fees, but note that I didn’t include premium panelists in the above calculation. Factoring in Premium Panelist fees (which are slightly higher) I believe covers this discrepancy.

Either way, Speak Asia have to not only match this figure, but they have to prove they exceeded it with the money they made from survey clients.

At 2 surveys a week and roughly a year of operation, that brings us to a staggering requirement of 190,384,615 rupees per survey (with no room for any unsolicited surveys).

Do you know any company in India who would be willing to pay Speak Asia at least 190 million rupees ($3.8 million USD) per survey?

Note that with the confirmation of fake surveys by Nayan Khandor, this figure would be even higher per commissioned survey once all the non-commissioned ‘fake surveys’ by Khandor were factored in.

To date not one company has stepped forward and claimed a public relationship with Speak Asia via the commissioning of a survey.

What are the chances of Speak Asia being able to prove this astronomically high figure (cmon guys, 3.8 MILLION USD PER SURVEY minimum!)  in court?!

And finally, Ashok closes with the now all too familiar cry of

The only crime of this company SAOL is that its business model is way ahead of its time.

It is a revolutionary business model and it is one of the few avenues where one can earn millions of rupees in a 100% legal way and most importantly in the time frame you feel comfortable in.

Yeah because y’know… it’s not like ponzi schemes haven’t been around since the 1920’s or anything.


Footnote: Whilst I appreciate that Speak Asia’s activities mostly affect Indians in India, please respect that this is an English blog. Comments in Hindi will not be published.