Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Satyameva jayate - some politicians & businessmen prove it wrong!

Now that we have had a full month of Satyam Saga - it is wise to walk away from the minefields (controversy on employee head count) and irrational & exuberant statements. My random thoughts:

1. Too juciy an opportunity to let go wasted. The one IT company that trusted itself on all news channels with interviews and quotes was Infosys. Mohan Pai and Narayanamurthy (1, 2)were omnipresent. Thus, it is surprising when Narayanamurthy asks the media to back-off from Satyam. May be he should practice before he preaches. (All you pro-Narayanamurthy fans, i amn't Anti-Murthy, i am stating facts here). 

1a. By the way, since Narayanamurthy is a strict practioner of stringent corporate governance standards, should there be a disclaimer when he gives "Exclusive" interviews and sound-bytes to NDTV. Narayanamurthy is a Director on the Board of NDTV. The same should be disclosed by NDTV as viewers need to be aware of the exact relationship between the 2 parties.

1b. Staying with same topic, some disclaimer from me - i work for a competitor of Satyam. I have nothing but admiration for the company, disgust for the man/team who bought 50,000 employees to their knees.

2. I am surprised as to why Satyam - the company hasn't sued Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju, PwC, CFO, VP-Finance in India and in US. Remember, Satyam as a legal entity is different from Raju. The company might have been founded by Raju but he isn't the company. My 2 cents to Satyam legal - Sue them and sue them for punitive damages. 

3. When Enron happened in US, both Enron & Arthur Anderson were dismantled and sold off in parts. Why? The liability wouldn't be passed to the new entity. I think the same needs to be done here. The company will be more valuable in parts and without liability. Suitors (sans-L&T) will see strategic value in parts rather than assuming liability. Aegis BPO has already stated interest only for BPO. Satyam's SAP/ERP practice at 40%+ of FY2008 revenues will look appeasing to Tech Mahindra for diversification. Why can't the company be sold in parts, the money used to settle legal claims (both ways - with investors and against Raju & Co) and the remaining amount distributed amongst investors?

4. When all and sundry are talking of employees, please remember that they can be the fastest to ditch the ship. Why expect them to stay put and tarnish their resume? I am not asking the employees to jump ship, just that i can understand if they do so. I applaud some employees' effort to revive the brand.  

5. Benami companies and land acqusition: If what we read is true, Raju has 1200 acres of land in Greater Hyderabad. This is outside the 6000+ acres that Maytas properties holds as land bank. How can the state government claim that they aren't aware of the situation? when someone acquires such large tracks of land, isn't it pretty noticable and trackable? How can we believe that state government officials aren't hand-in-glove with Raju? How come the CM, Revenue Minister never knew that Raju was acquiring such large tracks of land? By the way, i am not going to give even Chandrababu Naidu the benefit of doubt. It is too massive a fraud not to be noticed by the ex-CM. So, i say - Satyam should sue the AP state government for abetting Raju in plunder of Satyam's wealth.

5a. Shame on the state government for trying to shield Raju. Otherwise what explains the inertia for 2 days after the confession letter? What explains the sudden action after Raju receives SEBI notice? Why, stonewall SEBI from interviewing Raju for 3 weeks. This fraud is so complex and spread across multiple jurisdiction that CID cannot handle the complexity of work. If not for saving politicans, why did the CID arrest Raju?

6. Raju is in prison and enjoying star treatment. At least it is better than the stupid Bernard Maddow house arrest. Raju liked shopping - be it 1200 acres of land, 300 belts, 1000 suits, 300 shoes (is that for real? i somehow suspect the numbers), he shopped BIG. So, why not let him enjoy what he went after ala Chiru's Veta style. For non-telugu population, Veta is megastar Chiranjeevi's version of "The Count of Monte Cristo". One of his friends turns traitor in the greed for gold. Chiru extracts revenge by forcing the traitor to eat gold coins. What say, Raju? Ready to eat?

7. And by the way, can we stop refering to Ramalinga Raju as Mr. Raju or in any form of respect. He doesn't deserve it. Once again, taking cue from one of my fav. movie "A few good men"

Col. Jessup: ... Sweet dreams, son

Kaffee: Don't call me son. I'm a lawyer and an officer in the United States Navy. And you're under arrest, you son of a .....

Bottomline. World to Raju: Don't expect any respect from us.

No comments: