When I wrote about Satyam stocks crashing, we didn’t quite know the extent of damage done to the company’s reputation. How soon things have changed. A few weeks back the typical Satyam employee proudly said he/she worked for India’s 4th largest software services company. It was a reputed name to work for and many had quit jobs in other companies to hitch their fortunes to the Satyam star. Today they are totally confused and don’t know what hit them. For some of them, in a short while their dream world has come crashing down.
So much so that their resumes in the thousands are flooding job portals- apparently over 13,000 of them. There are supposedly 53,000 employees worldwide. The million dollar question now is : What becomes of them?
Firstly, common sense dictates that all cannot be held responsible. Obviously the junior most employees wouldn’t have a clue of the financial affairs of the company- especially in this case, where very complicated accounting practices seem to have been followed for years to fool the investing public.
The top management team, in my view, cannot get away scot free. It is totally inconceivable that they had no idea of the firm’s financial situation as business figures are reviewed periodically – even at a project level.
All of a sudden, being a person from Satyam has become more disadvantage than advantage. It is tempting to tar everyone with the same brush. This is a natural phenomenon, sadly. The Satyam fiasco makes all organizations from India suspect ( at a level of thinking) especially in the IT industry. It is sad that excellent efforts over decades to build a strong brand have received such a jolt.
The man responsible for the turmoil in Satyam, the former-Chairman Ramalinga Raju- wherever he is– has a lot to answer for. He can’t just slip away after writing to the Board of Directors. Is he in Hyderabad? In India? In Texas, USA ? In Dubai? No one seems to know.
He is accountable. For the sake of his employees and customers ( if not for the image of the industry in India) he has to be brought to book immediately.