Wipro did nothing ‘wrong’; TCS gets Satyam projects

The World Bank has hired TCS to do much of the work previously being done by Satyam Computers even as Azim Premji tells employees that the company had not done anything unethical.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: January 13, 2009 6:32 pm

The World Bank has hired another Indian IT major Tata Consultancy Services to do much of the work previously being done by Satyam,which has now been debarred by the bank from doing business with it.

“We have hired Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to do much of the IT work that Satyam used to do,” a World Bank spokesperson said.

The IT major had bagged much of the Satyam’s project through competitive bidding early last year,thus indicating that the World Bank is not specifically targeting Indian IT companies,as being alleged in certain quarters.

In a statement issued on Monday the World Bank had revealed three Indian IT companies that have been debarred from doing business with it. Besides Satyam,which has been debarred for eight years beginning September 2008,Wipro (beginning June 2007) and Megasoft Technologies (beginning (December 2007) have also been banned for four years each.

Two other Indian companies,Nestor Pharmaceuticals and Gap International (both non-IT entities) and one individual Surendra Singh,too,have been debarred by the global apex monetary institution.

The action was initiated against these entities and an individual as they were found to have “violated the fraud and corruption provisions of the Procurement Guidelines or the Consultant Guidelines,” besides offering improper benefits to the Bank staff.

In all,the World Bank has debarred as many as 111 companies and individuals from across the world from doing or bidding for its projects.

‘Wipro has done nothing wrong’

Hours after World bank made public that Wipro has been debarred from doing any business with the global lender,the company’s Chairman Azim Premji wrote to its over 1,00,000 employees saying that the company had not done anything unethical.

Denying charges levelled by the World Bank that Wipro provided improper benefits to the bank staff,Premji said,”Let me reaffirm that Wipro was right from a legal as well as ethical standpoint. We believe what we did what was right and we did it in the right manner.”

The company,in 2000,had provided Bank staff option to purchase its American Depository Shares at IPO price through a Directed Share Programme. However,the Bank in June 2007 determined that this was a conflict of interest.

In an internal communication to the company’s employees,Premji said,”We have always prided ourselves for setting the highest standards of business ethics in our dealings with all our stakeholders. We have built a strong culture which upholds compliance in letter and spirit. The approach was no different in this instance also.”

The World Bank deemed the IT firm ineligible to bid for direct contracts from it for the period 2007-2011. The Bank also named other companies that were barred from doing business it in a list made public on Monday.

Premji further explained that all participants in the Direct Share Programme signed a conflict of interest statement that their purchase did not violate any ethics or conflict of interest policies of their company.

Though the company maintained yesterday that the announcement will not have any impact on its revenues,its stock took a beating at the BSE on Monday. It,however,was trading 4.5 per cent up at Rs 237.6 on the BSE on Tuesday.

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