Speak Asia to move Supreme Court against accounts-freezing

Speak Asia, the alleged chain marketing firm under media glare, is set to move the Supreme Court challenging the freezing of its accounts by major Indian banks.

The company, which claims its a market research and direct selling organization, is registered in Singapore, but has lakhs of members from India.

It is under scrutiny for being a simple ‘chain marketing’ scheme — in which the joining fees of new members act as the return on investment for older ones. As soon as the enrollment stops, the income too stops, critics allege.

India has seen the boom and bust of several such schemes.

The trend was started a decade ago by the US-based Amway — which sells itself as a legitimate hand-to-hand or direct selling company. Unlike its later imitators, Amway has its own branded products, many of which are of reputedly higher qualify, though often costly by Indian standards. The US firm is one of the few not to go bust and continues its operations in India.

Speak Asia has been in the news throughout the last few days for allegedly misleading prospective members about its ownership and exact nature of business. The firm is alleged to have passed itself off as a marketing research organization, till big brands denied that they did any research through it.