Clicky

badge

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Resurgence of Satyam- Zafar Anjum

When I accidentally saw this book on flipkart, it took only few minutes for me to decide on buying it. The book was about Satyam computer’s scandal and recovery, written by an outsider. As  a former employee having experienced the crisis first hand, I was curious to know what information this book has which I wasn’t already aware of and what perspective it would bring to the incident. Flipkart took one full week to deliver the book and got started on it same day. (Paid Rs 300 for flipkart while it was available for Rs 279 on Infibeam- need to be careful next time)

Book does give inputs and details on board level events and key people involved. Their thought process, opinions, some of the key decisions made and the reason for the same and so on. Half of the information covered in the book is in public domain, other half is assembled from personal interviews and author's narration/analysis of the events that unfolded early Jan 2009 till middle of 2012, when the book was published. I learnt many things I didn't know so far. (Shadow board for example)

There’s no mention of Narayana Moorthy’s comment that he’ll not hire anyone from the tainted company
While the book gave some key insights as to what all happened at senior most levels of management during crisis management, some insights I was eager to know were completely missing

I was keen to know more about the logic behind layoffs. As admitted in books, over 10000 people were put under VPP (a softer term for pink slip). While I know what happened in the unit I used to work and in the units where I had friends, I was eager to know how this process was conceived and executed at company level. What criteria was used to select people to be flagged for VPP- only billable/non-billable criteria? Previous performances were considered for those who were on bench at the time of decision making? Were there some business/support units which were completely wiped off. Initially it was supposed to be one off exercise, but there were multiple rounds of VPP (no mention of that in the book). How many in total and what was the rationale for multiple rounds of VPP which ensured sustained uncertainty amongst associates? I didn't get any of this information from the book and hence was disappointed.
left: My Satyam parking sticker- more details 

While book mentions CP's blog, what's not mentioned is the heavily moderated comments section.

Some data on what happened to all those employees who left voluntarily or were let go (VPP)- did they get good jobs elsewhere or did they struggle a lot- some insights around this could have been included.

Book reveals that a MSat PR person gave inside info to the author (told him about the merger announcement one day in advance. Is it ok for PR person to reveal sensitive information to select parties ahead of official announcements? Such information can be used for quick gains on stock markets.

Book also informs that Ramalinga Raju is now leading a normal life in Hyderabad. Not sure what's happened to Maytas infra, Nipuna and Satyam BPO.

A Raju's aid reveals that Ramalinga Raju might be using EMRI collected sensitive patient data to win deals from Pharma companies (personal data about millions of people is a gold mine for pharma companies

The 266 page hard cover book, available for about Rs 300 (MRP 399) is a good read to know how Satyam recovered from the crisis. But it could have been more realistic if it had interviewed more lower level people and  share their experiences/perspectives.

Now its about 4 years since Ramalinga Raju's confession. He's roaming free, Satyam stocks are back to a not so bad level, Mahindra Satyam has cleared most of its liabilities, has fully recovered and is growing fast with its ally tech mahindra. A few Satyamites who'd left have rejoined Satyam, others have gone for good with their memories. Sad to know Satyam's identity will be lost after new name for combined entity is announced. Those who dubbed Satyam incident as India's Enron, those who humiliated Satyam employees, those who spread untrue rumors haven't bothered to apologize or correct their statements.

Long live Satyam.

Author of this book writes at http://dreamink.blogspot.in/ 

My other posts on Satyam: Satyam, 1 year later * Satyam vs Kingfisher *

2 comments :

Madhavan said...

Useful link to get best deals on books http://www.indiabookstore.net/

Anonymous said...

I am one of those VPP candidate at that time they had called me to rejoin after few months but mean while i had an offer from some other company so never rejoined them.
I remember one of the internal satyam blogs where one lady from chennai she use to write novel in that blog about doctors love story in parts.