Sunday, January 11, 2009

SatyaM - a falsified truth

While I was in school, Physics was my favorite subject.
Nuclear physics even more so. Read about an interesting concept of particle and anti-particle.
That when a particle and its anti-particle join, they annihilate each other and a lot of energy is released. An anti particle is defined as something identical to and with equal mass and opposite charge to a particle.
I know it might sound boring. I apologize if you were not a Physics students and had to bear with me. But there is a reason why I mentioned this.

You all must be knowing about the story of Satyam trying to acquire Maytas and the whole story that unfolded later and which now threatens to vanish Satyam. Or annihilation...when Satyam tried to join with an entity promoted from same source (people) and having opposite name Maytas. Quite metaphorical...!

The whole Satyam saga can make for a very sensational thriller. Even John Grisham or Jeffery Archer probably would be stunned by how reality can probably be more strange than fiction.

I am in Hyderabad, the city of Nizam and one of the IT hubs of Modern India, and a city which a few weeks back was proud of being the epicenter of an Indian IT gem known as Satyam.
So I get to read and listen a lot about the Satyam fiasco. Hyderabad TOI covers every nerve related to the incident.

From what I have read, quite interesting though unfortunate repercussions are happening because of the Satyam fallout.
- Image of Hyderebad has been hit. (earlier also some corporate frauds) have taken place in the city.
- Satyam being India's Enron. PwC is also under the scanner. PwC may face the fate of Arthur Anderson, one time among big five auditors. Not complete fall, PwC might be at least banned in India.
- Satyamites are flooding job portals
- Some self-styled leaders in Satyam are volunteering for pay cuts. Obviously others are not happy about it.
- Some Satyam engineers are desparate to get into MBA despite not-so-good CAT percentiles.
- Infosys has said it won't hire Satyam employees. Bit harsh and unthoughtful decision. I wish NRN and team understand all Satyamites are not tainted. Moreover it is in the larger interest of India and IT industry if other capable leaders help rescue Satyam.
- Satyam clients want to exit. Companies like Patni and others are trying to make hay by offering to help those clients dissociate from Satyam and join other companies.
- IT stocks investors, other than those who probably liked the name Satyam, are making good money.

Some non-IT related effect
- Satyamites might not be preferred in marriage market. I guess grooms would be more effected than the brides.
- Restaurants are stopping serving Satyam employees on credit basis. 10% discount only on cash payments
- Hyderabad's highly-greedy and worthless houseowners are worrying that they can't milk money as much as they used to earlier from Satyamites. I wonder chances are they can probably start looting more from IT people in anticipation that when they can pay, extract the share of their salary.
- No more corporate discounts for Satyamites at Hyderabad's pearl and jewellery shops.
- People are shying of displaying their Satyam ID cards
- In an odd but a really shameful incident, a Satyam employee who used to give talks on management and team work in social circle is now being considered inappropriate for the purpose.

IT sector in India probably is viewed in same light as our cricket team. Both are talks of the drawing rooms. Both get revered in good times and criticized to the lows in bad times. During 2001 IT slowdown, I think almost everyone single person (unrelated to IT) in my parents social circle warned them of their son's wrong career choice!! A few years back, getting into Satyam, despite of it being not such a great company, was considered a great achievement in Hyderabad and AP state. Some families even criticized their children for not joining this company. Am sure, now the same people would look down upon and give career advice to those engineers who probably would not even have got the opportunity to see Mr Raju in their whole career!

I think the 'mystic' minds of Indians should also be part of Incredible India campaign.

Hope Indian IT and job market don't suffer because of the mistakes of a few!


I, Me, Myself ! said...

I agree ToI's coverage of this fraud has been very good. We get to know every minute detail of the case!I also liked the way you presented the whole data :)

That said, I think Only a shrewd person can carry out such a big scam. Now, even if 50% of that shrewdness was utilized to actually bring the company out of this mess, I guess this day would not have come at all !

Shantanu Goel said...

I didn't think about the non-IT effects that this is having. This is very sad for the unsuspecting employees.

Ramya N said...

Are you sure NRN said that - about not hiring Satyamites - in that tone? From what I recall, it was for better interest of Satyam (company) itself. Otherwise, just think how company can lose so much of its workforce when actually they are needed by the company! Company has not said it has no projects or that it has to lay-off employees. So if Infosys goes about hiring mass of them, then it could be seen as poaching or an opportunistic attempt.

Ramya N said...

Also, in an interview with a TV channel, NRN said that it is wrong to see all Hyderabad based companies in the same light, upon bringing to his notice that other Hyderabad based company stocks also suffered.

AMIT said...

Hi ANish, yar u r really a good writer, the finesse with which u have written it is relly praiseworthy, wat exactly is Pseudo Random yar?

Anish Goyal, India said...

@ Amit.
Thanks for the compliment.
Pseudo Random is something which appears random but is not actually random.
just as life is, I believe. on one side, anything can happen anytime. at the same time, I think it is controlled by some supreme power.
I am not saying it only from religious point of view. From scientific (theory of relativity, time travel) aspect also, this could be true. Also astrology is also there and is pretty much defined in many ways (numerology, tarot, zodiac, lunar signs etc) in many countries.

In CDMA technology, pseudo randomization is used to generate some codes which appear random during transmission but since they are calculated using certain formulas, so they are actually not random and we call them PN (pseudo random noise) codes.

Anish Goyal, India said...

@ Ramya.
Thanks for sharing your views.
I think you are right. NRN might not have meant exactly anti-Satyamites. However, I think his statement came at a time when the news was at its peak and that's why I interpreted it differently. I think he should not given this statement to press. It might influence other companies as well.

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