Satyam : The Human Tragedy

DQI Bureau
New Update

Non-executive chairman of Infosys N Narayana Murthys answer to a question

from a business news channel on whether Infosys can bail out the employees: We

will not touch such a tainted company. Some saw it as an insensitive statement

from someone who is seen as a father figure of the Indian IT industry. This

followed by Infosys HR directors statement, Infosys wont hire any Satyam

employees, must have sent shivers down the spines of Satyam employees, their

families and friends.


The big question is: Is the employee at fault? On ground, spread across

various locations in India and abroad, they are providing IT services to more

than 150 Fortune 500 customers. It could have happened to any company. Satyam

was just coincidental. The then interim CEO, Ram Mynampati in a media

interaction on January 8 said, Satyam has money to pay only the December 2008

salaries. A search on Linkedin for Satyam returned more than 22,000 results,

many of them current employees.

Not only this, even ICICI reduced the credit as well as cash limit of the

credit cards and put restrictions on employee salary accounts.


.and the Damage Control

Clarifying his position on Satyam employees who are applying at Infosys,

Murthy said, At a time of crisis, it is important that the industry acts in a

responsible and credible manner. We have stated our intention not to act on any

CVs received from Satyams employees. This is to ensure that nothing is done

that will adversely impact Satyams future. This is no reflection on the

integrity and competence of Satyams employees. We respect them as


It was only after the new board (Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC; Kiran Karnik,

former chairman Nasscom; and CK Achuthan, SEBI) got constituted that banks like

ICICI restored the credit limit.

Amidst all this, Som Mittal, president of Nasscom said, We had an executive

committee meeting and have asked our members not to poach any employees or

customers of Satyam. He also added, How can you blame employees for something

which is the handywork of a few people.


Another positive development, on a different note, came when Infosys

announced that will honor all campus offers made for 2009-10. This came as a big

relief to the 20,000 freshers who had their fingers crossed.

It is also ironical that this scam had to happen during the period of

downturn when job cuts and layoffs have become the rule rather than exception.

Much desired ESOPs which were to attract employees who have lost their lucre as

the stock prices continue to hover around Rs 30.

If the company fails to survive despite the governments intention to bail it

out, what happens to these large number of employees? The guarantee of job

security which is taken for granted in any leading company, wont be there


Several questions remain unanswered with regard to human resource issues.

What happens to those who were hired from campuses recently by Satyam? What

happens to the on-site employees of Satyam? What do they do if they dont get

their January salary? Who will pay for their cost to come back to India? What is

the legal standing of these people in an alien land? Is there any policy of the

GoI which protects these large number of employees who are in danger of losing

their job? What does the future hold for these employees?

Sudesh Prasad