Saving Satyam

The Satyam misfortune was the handiwork of a few people and therefore the
industry as well as the country should go all out to make sure that nobody else
suffers. The big financial fraud apart, the fact is that the company has got
about 53,000 very efficient professionals who have made Satyam a global name,
not so much because of revenues, but because of the quality of work they have
done for some of the biggest companies in the world.

There are all sorts of news and rumors in the market: the government will
bail Satyam out; competitors will buy it out; investors will put funds so that
the show goes on; so on and so forth. Whether the government bails it out or
not, what is surely its responsibility is to ensure that the image of the Indian
IT services industry does not suffer in the eyes of the world, and the career of
the 53,000 people in Satyam goes on uninterrupted. The setting up of an
operational board was a good first move. I am sure there are lots of options to
ensure that Satyam continues to do business.

People as well as global customers might forget the Satyam saga, but it is
important that the industry must ensure that corporate governance becomes
paramount. In hushed tones, we hear of some other companies that might be doing
similar irregularities. If a few more big names come up with such problems, the
Indian IT services industry, which aspires to move up the value chain, could
take severe beating. Nobody is going to give out high-end work where business
integrity and ethics are questionable. And if a name like Satyam is embroiled in
a fraud like this, a lot of small players could try similar tricks. The
industry, on its own, and maybe with the help of the various associations must
take this up in a big way, and become as self regulatory as possible.

Obviously Ramalinga Raju appears to be the master-plotter behind this fraud,
but there should be the strictest of strict action against the auditorseither
they were hand-in-glove with the crime or extremely incompetent to have missed
such a big fraud going on right under their noses. The industry, with the help
of government agencies and professional bodies, must make sure that anyone
involved with this should not be spared.

Ibrahim Ahmad

Saving Satyam is important to send out one more crucial message. The enormity
of this scam has put to shame many of our infamous politicians and criminals
behind the Bofors scam, or the fodder scam, or the stamp paper scam. Those guys
are laughing at us. Therefore, if we can succesfully save Satyam, we will be
able to tell the world that though we made a mistake, we have learnt serious
lessons from it. We will ensure that those not involved will not be affected,
the show goes on, and the guilt will be quickly identified and punished. That
never happens in their scams.

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