Beleaguered Satyam forms crack team for fire-fighting

January 7th, 2009 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 7 (IANS) Battered IT bellwether Satyam Computer Services Ltd Wednesday formed a crack team to run the day-to-day operations of the beleaguered company following the dramatic resignation of its founder-chairman and managing director from the board.In a letter to Satyam’s 53,000 employees, interim CEO and whole-time director Ram Mynampati said a ‘SWAT’ team consisting of senior leaders has been formed to steer the company through the current challenging phase.

“The SWAT team represents all customer facing units, key horizontal competency units and critical support units. The team, consisting of many Satyam veterans of 10-20 years’ experience in the company, has committed to work together to make it happen. They have the final call on most customer related matters,” Mynampti said.

A Satyam spokesperson told IANS that the acronym SWAT was used by the interim CEO to convey that a crack team similar to the elite tactical unit in American police departments has been formed for fire-fighting operations in the company.

Briefing the staff about the critical changes at the board and leadership levels in the light of two promoter directors resigning, the interim CEO said the current quarter (January-March) would be a tumultuous one, as rumours would abound and competition would try and leverage it to their advantage.

“As a proactive measure, we have formed empowered cross-functional teams, headed by leaders in the respective areas, to address pan-organisational issues like delivery excellence, customer and associate retention, pipeline management, cost controls, collections,” Mynampati said.

He said the SWAT team would meet customers in person over the next two weeks as well as onsite employees to explain what happened and the actions being taken to retain their confidence in the company.

The developments led to the resignation of four independent directors last month after the company’s aborted bid Dec 16 to acquire Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra, the two realty firms run by Raju’s two sons, for $1.6 billion (Rs.79.2 billion/Rs.7,920 crore).

“What we are confronted with is the challenge of continuing our business operations, seamlessly. We will need your involvement and ideas to make it happen. This might involve even more effort at every level, in the near term. This is the time to prove to the world that we are united and will succeed in overcoming the challenges,” the letter said.

“I am confident that I can count on your continued support as I commit to our customers that we will ensure deliverables and commitments are serviced,” Mynampati said.

Referring to customer assets, service offerings, delivery processes and scalable support systems built by the company over the last 21 years, he said Satyam was acknowledged for its leadership bandwidth and had demonstrated reputation for collaborative functioning.

“This is the time when we have to apply it in real life. What we have been trained for, we will now put to work. Let us continue to handle our respective areas with total autonomy, freedom and control,” he averred.

Ironically, on a day when the two promoter executive directors resigned and the company’s stock was battered on the bourses, Mynapati recalled that the company was acknowledged as being amongst the top three best employers in India by Hewitt and Mercer in 2007.

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) has also named Satyam as the best globally for its learning practices, the first IT firm outside the US.

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