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SpeakAsia is a company that made the claim to provide consumers with the opportunity to participate in online surveys in exchange for payment. The business was established in Singapore in 2007, and it quickly gained a strong following in a number of other countries, including India. Unfortunately, due to a large number of legal issues, the firm was forced to finally cease all of its activities in the year 2011.
One of the main controversies surrounding SpeakAsia was the question of who was really running the company. In this article, we will investigate the many different people and organizations that have been connected with SpeakAsia in an effort to find an answer to the question of who was in charge of the company in its most recent iteration.
Founders of Speak Asia
Speak Asia was founded in 2007 by two individuals: Harendar Kaur and Manoj Kumar Sharma. Kaur was a Singaporean national, while Sharma was an Indian citizen. Kaur and Sharma both worked their way up through the ranks of the firm, with Kaur eventually becoming the Chief Executive Officer and Sharma becoming the Chief Operating Officer.
Kaur was recognized for her outspoken pronouncements about the firm, routinely participating in interviews and press conferences to promote the company’s business approach. On the other hand, Sharma preferred to keep a low profile and only occasionally appeared in public.
In addition to Kaur and Sharma, SpeakAsia had a management team that was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. In the management team were several people, including Tarak Bajpai, Sanjeev Dandona, and Ravi Khanna, among others.
The operations in India were led by Tarak Bajpai, who was the head of SpeakAsia. He was in charge of overseeing the company’s business activities in the country in addition to recruiting new agents for the company. Sanjeev Dandona was another key member of the management team, serving as the company’s chief marketing officer. Ravi Khanna was the head of the company’s research and development section.
When it came to member recruitment and promotion, SpeakAsia depended on a network of independent agents. These agents were paid commissions depending on the number of new members they brought in and were responsible for bringing in new members. Speak Asia claimed to have over 1.2 million agents in India alone, making it one of the largest network marketing companies in the country.
The agents were an integral part of SpeakAsia’s business model, and the company placed a significant amount of weight on the efforts that the agents made to expand its customer base. However, the agents were often criticized for their aggressive marketing tactics, which included spamming social media platforms and sending unsolicited emails to potential members.
Role of Offshore Companies
One of the most controversial aspects of SpeakAsia’s operations was the involvement of offshore companies. SpeakAsia has multiple offshore corporations incorporated in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Mauritius.
These offshore companies were involved in the survey business as well as used to funnel funds into Speak Asia, which was done through the use of these companies. SpeakAsia asserted that the surveys were carried out by these offshore companies and that the information gathered was used to generate reports that were subsequently sold to corporate customers.
Yet, there were concerns over the veracity of these polls, and it was not made apparent who was in fact responsible for carrying them out. There were also worries regarding the movement of cash between the offshore firms and SpeakAsia, with some charging that the offshore entities were used to siphon off funds from the corporation.
Role of the RBI and SEBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) were two of the regulatory authorities that were engaged in the SpeakAsia case. The RBI was worried about the company’s use of offshore firms to move payments, and it issued a warning to Indian banks to be careful while dealing with SpeakAsia.
On the other hand, SEBI had some reservations regarding the legitimacy of the company’s business model and the way it conducted its operations. The regulator launched an examination into the company’s actions and discovered that it was conducting a pyramid scheme, which is unlawful in India.
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