January 8, 2009 1:49:49 am
Since 1992,Satyam has been synonymous with Hyderabad,a diamond in the crown of the City of Nizams. Today afternoon,the pride and prestige of being associated with Satyam was blown to bits by none other than its Chairman and Founder B Ramalinga Raju who quit after admitting to rigging profit figures,fraud,lying to his own employees,investors and shareholders,creating fictitious accounts,and finally,trying to push the Maytas acquisition deal to hide the mess.
In the early 1980s,Raju was trying his hand in the textile business and dabbling in the construction industry when the immense potential that outsourcing from the West offered to Indian software companies caught his attention.
In 1987,he founded Satyam Computers with 20 employees and within a year the firm secured several IT projects from US companies. Today,Satyam has approximately 53,000 employees,known as associates,with offices in USA,Canada,Sweden and Japan besides hubs at Hyderabad,Bangalore and Chennai.
Ramalinga Raju,54,was born in Bhimavaram in West Godavari district,in a family of farmers. He did his B.Com from Andhra Loyola College at Vijayawada and moved to the US for an MBA from Ohio University and returned home in 1977. Instead of joining the traditional business,the young Raju,supported by his father,decided to venture into textiles and started a spinning and weaving mill,Sri Satyam Spinning Mills.
While studying in the US,Raju witnessed the rapid changes taking place and prominence of the computer and outsourcing. Raju quickly put together a team and started Satyam Computers from a small house in P&T Colony in Hyderabad. According to many persons who worked with him when Satyam was being built,he was the soft-spoken mentor for everyone. Though he lacked any knowledge about IT, he made it up with sharp business acumen.
In 1992,Satyam was converted into a public limited company and set up software technology parks at Mayfair Centre,Secunderabad and Qutubalapur in Ranga Reddy district. The company also developed a software development centre in Bangalore. Satyam development and delivery centres are now located in the US,Canada,Brazil,UK,Hungary,Egypt,UAE,China,Malaysia,Singapore,and Australia.
Look at this tangle of thorns…
Excerpts from the confessional letter of Satyam chairman
B Ramalinga Raju:
…neither me nor the managing director took even one rupee/dollar from the company and have not benefitted in financial terms on account of the inflated results.
None of the board members,past pr present,had any knowledge of the situation in which the company is placed.
I have promoted and have been associated with Satyam for well over twenty years now. I have seen it grow from few people to 53,000 people,with 185 Fortune 500 companies as customers and operations in 66 countries.
I sincerely apologize to all Satyamites and stakeholders,who have made Satyam a special organization,for the current situation. I am confident they will stand by the company in this hour of crisis.
I am now prepared to subject myself to the laws of the land and face consequences thereof.
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