Satyam no longer pride of Andhra Pradesh

April 13th, 2009 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga Raju By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, April 13 (IANS) With Tech Mahindra Monday taking control of fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services, the IT bellwether will no longer be the pride of Andhra Pradesh or the brand image of Hyderabad.

The development has ended an era of the company, which made an humble beginning in 1987 and went on to become India’s fourth largest software services provider.

While the industry in Hyderabad has welcomed the development saying this would protect the interests of all stakeholders, it is also feeling sad that the company which was pride of Andhra Pradesh will no longer be identified with the state.

“It’s a good move for all employees, share holders, lenders and other stake holders but at the same time I feel a little disappointed that the company, which was pride of our state, has gone because of the greed of its promoters,” Harish Chandra Prasad, chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Andhra Pradesh, told IANS.

“It’s like your daughter getting married and going away but I am happy that it’s going to the right people,” he said.

According to him, taking care of the interests of the shareholders is more important at this time.

“Whether Satyam will remain a separate entity or merged with Tech Mahindra, we can’t comment on it, but what is more important is taking care of the interests of stake holders,” Prasad said.

Describing the takeover as a “good news” for Satyam employees, J.A. Chowdary, former president of the Hyderabad Software Exporters’ Association (HYSEA), said: “I am happy that an Indian company has taken over Satyam.”

“This is a technology world. I don’t feel bad about acquisitions. I am an Indian first. Another Indian company has taken over Satyam. I would have felt disappointed if a foreign company had taken over,” said Chowdary, who is also the president of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

The takeover ended a long chapter which Byrraju Ramalinga Raju had begun 21 years ago. The son of an agriculturist from West Godavari district of coastal Andhra Pradesh had made an humble beginning.

One of the pioneers of offshore development, Satyam became one of the earliest companies to get a dedicated data link. The company put Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad onto the world IT map.

Through his managerial skills and quality leadership, Raju built Satyam into a multinational company. In mid 1990s, the then state government of N. Chandrababu Naidu went all out to encourage him. Raju also shared the dais with then US president Bill Clinton, when he visited Hyderabad in 1999.

The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

It was Jan 7 this year that Raju shocked corporate India by admitting to a Rs.78 billion ($1.5 billion) accounting fraud. While resigning as chairman, he confessed that he cooked the company’s account books and inflated profits over the past several years.

Raju, charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery and falsification of accounts, is currently lodged in a jail here along with his brother and former managing director of Satyam B. Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas, three other executives of the company and two auditors of Price Waterhouse.

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