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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Emu is flightless but investment vanishes in thin air..

Dear (s)  

Is it a distinct trait of the State – to get lured by fast promises, put all their money and then cry hoarse when they are cheated ? -  Why don’t people realize that ‘you can never get any unrealistic % of yield in any business’ and that one should only do the business which is known to them or atleast the one which they can understand – and not leave things to others and then blame the others for not paying !

It was a bubble waiting to burst ! – people have invested in cine-field; finance companies termed as ‘blade companies’; multi-level marketing not selling any product but asking them to enlist more people in chain; and many other similar activities.  It was the turn of thousands of  farmers, to get  lured by private firms – and they promptly lined up, queuing up to invest in emu farms in Salem and Erode in the hope of making a quick buck, investing life savings or borrowing money to start a business.   Within a few months, farmers started complaining that they were suffering losses and were being cheated.

There had been  advertisements in television channels and newspapers  offering freebies and mentioning ‘rag to riches’ stories and people started investing without knowing ‘what Emu was’ and the ‘nuances of Emu farming’.  They got carried by empty prattles of some Firms offering the chicks and buying the same back at a higher price after a few months !!  - they believed that emus would grow big, inturn making them richer, which was not to happen……….  They got carried by the offer of Emu Farms,  demanding  Rs 1.5 lakh as deposits and the promised return of  Rs 6,000 per month for three years and – as a freebie,  a gold coin.     In a short time, farmers in Rasipuram waited in long queues to deposit their savings and 100s of Emu farms sprung up in Salem and Erode.    The formula to success was simple – start Emu farm in around an acre, purchase up to 50 nos 3 month old chicks, provide good organic feed, drinking water  - in a few months, you will have well grown birds, breed to more and you have more money out of them…… dreams – chase dreams..

Sure none of us would recognize ‘genus Dromaius’ - the largest bird native to Australia and the only extant member of the genus – the Emu.  It is the second-largest extant bird in the world by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. Emu is common over most of mainland Australia.  The soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds reach up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. They have long thin necks and legs. Emus can travel great distances at a fast, economical trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 50 km/h (31 mph) for some distance at a time.

Emus use their strongly clawed feet as a defence mechanism. Their legs are among the strongest of any animals, allowing them to rip metal wire fences. They are endowed with good eyesight and hearing, which allows them to detect predators in the vicinity. The plumage varies regionally, matching the surrounding environment and improving its camouflage. Males and females are hard to distinguish visually, but can be differentiated by the types of loud sounds they emit by manipulating an inflatable neck sac.

It was claimed by the sellers that Emus are raised throughout the world, can adapt  to a variety of conditions ranging from the cold winters to the extreme heat and that they live  up to 40 years.  It was no scientific study nor any interest in ornithology but breeding birds, with the ultimate aim of selling them for slaughter and make more money that people entered into ‘emu rearing’.    It was claimed that there was ready made market in Tamilnadu itself for Emu meat and that the business was just waiting to provide rich harvests !!!!  they claimed that besides the meat,  the skin, eggs, feathers and even nails of an emu have commercial value !!

What else and how can people wait – they went in large numbers lured by the advertisements in Coimbatore, with no exception in Krishnagiri, Pollachi, Mettupalayam, Tirupur, Perundurai, Dharapuram and Salem – all dreaming it to be a viable option.  The farms and vacant lands were soon turned to Emu farms with security deposit and investment raised either from farm money or by loans at a high % of interest. 

So from Agriculture, to Spinning and textile mills – all requiring knowledge and labour, many thought Emu rearing is an easy paying option and have sadly realized the ground reality now !!  The economies of scale also hurt – as reportedly the meat price also came down heavily with more emu meat available in the market.  The oil processing and other industrial ventures would remain only in newspaper advertisements.

Now there is news of the MD of one of the most prominent promoter of the idea, Susi Emu Farms going underground following complaints of cheating over 12,000 investors across the state.  That has put  all firms promoting contract farming of the Australian bird  under police radar.  Many farmers had invested expecting the companies to buy back the chicks and the promised returns happening !    Now Police sources claim that there are over 250 promoters of contract farming  and that  District collectors of Salem, Erode, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Namakkal had even issued press statements on several occasions warning public against investing in such firms that offer unrealistic returns.  Now after the firms defaulting, and investors panicking, Erode district collector V K Shanmugham  has ordered a detailed probe into the activities of all such firms.

Elsewhere, the Bombay High Court has issued a directive for the investigation of the financial company to be handed over to the state's criminal investigation department (CID).  That was a case against Indian Emu P Ltd which reportedly duped crores of rupees after promising double or triple the invested amount within 45 days.  Investors were told that Emus would be bred and their eggs could be sold for Rs 2,000 each. The investors were asked to deposit the value of at least 50 eggs. Initially, people were given returns as assured, but subsequently the assured returns stopped.

It was rank foolishness on the part of people to have invested their hard earned money, without ever thinking ! – they say that got lured by advertisements.  Just as you have IPL heroes promoting all and sundry brands, you had cinema actors promoting Emu farms.  In a first of its kind case in Tamil Nadu, well known Tamil actors Sarathkumar and Sathyaraj, both brand ambassadors of Susi Emu Farms in Perundurai  reportedly have been  booked on charges of “criminal conspiracy.” The film stars had appeared in advertisements endorsing the fancy schemes of the firm which has now been accused of defaulting several crore rupees due to thousands of depositors from various parts of the State. 

Indian Express reports  quoting Inspector of Police at Perundurai  state that a case under Section 120 (B) of IPC relating to criminal conspiracy against the firm’s owner Guru and the two actors on a complaint from one Chinnasamy of Dharapuram in Tirupur district has been registered.   It adds that Guru and his business accomplices Kathirvel, Maharaja, Thirumurthy, Senthil, Suresh, Kannan and Amuthan have also been booked for cheating under Section 420 IPC”.   The promoters are absconding and police teams are trying to trace them.

Emu after all is a flightless bird – but can run much faster, performing the vanishing act along with the money invested on it.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. As long as people are prepared to get cheated, cheats will continue to thrive - King

  2. why should now the Govt machinery work for those who willingly went in search fo easy money as propogated by Paravai Muniyamma....... gali utta company.. Senthamizhan