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The rise of the phoenix

Zafar Anjum | July 7, 2009
New owners of the tainted Indian software company Satyam resurrect it as Mahindra Satyam, to appoint chief risk officer amid slew of new changes

Asia is very important for us, for Satyam, said Nayyar. …Singapore more than anything else. Singapore is Satyam's international headquarters in Southeast and Asia Pacific. It will continue to remain the same.

We feel bullish about the way forward, said the company's Asia-Pacific managing director Rohit Gandhi. The company's focus will be on growing the business in the region, by selling additional services to existing clients and scouting for new customers, he said.

According to Gandhi, the company plans to roll out infrastructure services as well as BPO (business process outsourcing) services in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

Key message for Asian customers

When asked what's the new message that the new management of Satyam wants to give to its Asia-Pacific customers, Nayyar said: The message is that Satyam as a technology company was replete with talent, was very high in customer satisfaction, was growing very rapidly in Asia and if there was one perceivable flaw, it was governance, which we believe was limited to very few people who are now being exculpated from the system.

What the addition of the word Mahindra (as in Mahindra Satyam) is, what it brings to the table, is governance. Because Mahindra has been known for the quality of its governance and its ethical practices for a long, long time. So what you see in Mahindra Satyam is the confluence of the capabilities and skills and depth of knowledge of Satyam which is now under an umbrella of governance which will adhere to the highest ethical standards.

Government handled the crisis very well

Now that the worst is over and they have put their past behind, how does the new management look back at the government's handling of the crisis? Nayyar heaped fulsome praise on the Indian government. The regulators handled the crisis with incredible competence, he said, answering this question. Unbelievable!

He being a former Indian civil servant, Nayyar should know.

I, for one, never thought that any government, much less government of India (Singapore, I can understand, has a very efficient government)…I didn't think there is an example (like this). Look at Enron. Look at WorldCom. What happened to them? And there was no bailout (in Satyam's case). Not a penny was spent by the government.  

All is well that ends well.

With a new brand name (which retains the old brand name, Satyam, as part of it) and a new management team, under the umbrella of a new governance model, the software company's new owners feel gungho about their future.  

That's good news for Satyam's customers.


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