All Talk and No Action Thursday, January 15, 2009

A forward that has been doing rounds -

It raises some very pertinent questions which employees of all companies that have fallen from the halls of fame should ask themselves -

At a time when almost 90% of my Satyam friends are cribbing about the
fraud and betrayal by Ramalinga Raju, I have a slightly different opinion.
It's bold of me to write this in black and white but this comes straight
from my heart and experience.

Let me start by quoting an example of 2006. Most of my friends were
unemployed with 50-60% plus marks in BTech, with a degree from an average
University and hunting madly for a job. Whether people accept it today or
not but the truth remains that Satyam was the ONLY saviour and the only
mass recruiter who was ready to accept students who had back logs but had
cleared them and also it did not put a very strict minimum marks
criterion. And this was true not only for my small college at Lucknow but
also those across India . Satyam is the fourth largest in IT in India.
Looking at India's population I really want to thank Raju for giving some
54000 Indians jobs atleast for all these years . He was the reason for the
revival of confidence and the reason for the bread and butter for many a

Satyam training was renowned all over India. Their STC training centre
created numerous love stories and unexpected rekindling of a youthful
environment where girls and boys were more indepenent than their college
days . I remember most of my Satyam friends felt that they made better
friends at Satyam's three to six months training than those in the four
years of BTech.

Unfortunately people forget to thank God in sad times . I understand that
what Raju did is deplorable and unpardonable. He should have treated
business more formally and not dealt with it like a family affair . He
should have been strict a couple of months or years before itself. Why did
he hire so many non potential candidates and keep them on bench? When were
the managers and the team mates last told that if they dont work hard,
they will lose their job? Business cannot be run lousily.

I have been staying with some 200 odd girls for the last 2 years and many
of them are from Satyam. Moreover I network a lot and I have lots of male
friends at Satyam . I have seen how people tail gate to Satyam, how they
give their swipe cards to others to swipe it on their behalf , how female
employees have gone home sharp at 6am irrespective of when they landed at
office, how employees sit at home for months at a stretch, prepare for all
kind of post graduate entrance exams and still enjoy a full month's pay,
how often they went for movies at local theatres at office hours, how
often employees went to office just to sign on registers in the morning
and at evening, how often they faked their certificates , how often they
put unlimited fake medical and house rental bills.

How can we blame just one man when EACH AND EVERY person was disloyal ?
How can we exclude Auditors like PwC ? How can we exclude the Board of
Directors who have washed their hands off so clean? How can we exclude
banks who gave hefty loans without true verfication? How can we exclude
the Chief Minister of AP who allowed leniency for Raju's fellow
businessman? How can we exclude managers who were never able to trace
which bench employee under him had been away from office for how long ?

Yet how can people forget this is the same man whose ideas and potentials
gave them an identity for the past several years? How many couples found
the right match at an IT industry , courtesy Satyam and how many Andhra
farmers benefited from their crores of investments in Satyam shares .How
can people forget that Satyam launched its offices right at the doorsteps
of a residential colony, where people can simply walk to work ?

The most gruesome experience that I can recollect was when a Satyam tag
wearing person was waiting to attend an interview and I overheard him
saying that he was in a business meeting at the My Home Satyam ( Madhapur)
office when he was sitting right infront of me at a totally different
company. When employees themselves show such a lousy attitude and dont
care a damn for the brand that they carry around their neck, how can they
expect others to care?

I am not saying that ALL Satyam employees are bad. I have known very
dedicated people too, but my point is very clear, before pointing fingers
at others, introspect .There are thousands of people who have completed
certifications at the cost of Satyam, got trained at Satyam. Satyam made
several freshers stand on their feet to get better jobs elsewhere across
the globe and attain onsite exposure through Satyam.

What Raju did was to keep the business of Satyam going at any cost. I see
a very smart man in him when he understood that he should rather accept
his mistake than be caught by the USA laws . I see a selfish father in him
too that he put a lot at stake for Maytas. However, he resigned with a lot
of dignity and his letter of resignation shows humility. It takes a
mammoth amount of courage to accept your mistake in public at a time when
the media is ready to blow everything out of proportion. If humans dont
make mistakes who else would ?

My last salute to this man is for creating such mass employment in India
for 57k employees and 57k families when even opening a beetle(pan) shop in
a lane in India is a challenge !! Thanks to him for creating income for
all the thousands of families who benefited through food chains, the
tiffin wallahs, the transport people and all those who made money by
renting their houses.

I read he donated Rs 12000 crores from his personal pocket to give the
January salary of his Satyam employees. Today Satyamites call Raju a
FRAUD. The true and loyal Satyamites surely have all the reasons to say
this word. But all the rest who sucked every rupee out of Satyam without
doing any value addition need to understand - who was a bigger fraud.


Shyam said...

Intersting article... i loved the part where that guy looked at it from a different prospective...i kind of agree with him... we always try and find someone we can blame, here the person himself took it, so obviously we wont spare him...but lets not forget others involved in this whole thing which starts from grss route level ...employees might curse the CEO but for years they themselves tried all kinds of things including- producing faje bills, doing proxy entries, using company phone for personal calls etc etc ..

All Talk and No Action said...

@Shyam - True. The forward does a good take at looking within oneself before pointing fingers...

People still do not look at companies with complete ownership. They feel that a company is good as long as it pays them perks.

What we need is - everybody should take ownership for their actions...and put the company's interests before their own...

Sirf tab kuch ho paayega...

Anonymous said...

Really True..
Hats off to Raju and your views

All Talk and No Action said...

@Anonymous - Thanks for stopping by...

Yup..Hats off to Raju for being an A grade actor. Also, these aren't my thoughts... Just an email forward :)