Jan 7, 2009

Saytam Scandal: A lesson in doing one's role

I was on the road today meeting probable clients and talking on the phone with colleagues and friends, when I was browsing the net on my mobile.

Was stunned to read that Satyam Chairman Ramalinga Raju had resigned following his admission of massive accounting fraud over the years.

Satyam was the place I joined after my MBA from 1999 to 2002 , and I have really fond memories of the people I worked along with in their training group. However over the last fortnight the organization has been going through a massive crisis of investor confidence and the confessions of the ex-CEO has effective pulled the curtains on the organization's status as one of India's top 5 IT outsourcing firms.

As people are discovering - it is not merely the fact that firms have directors (who are seen as independent) and external auditors (in this case, PricewaterhouseCoopers) but that they really live up to their roles.

I am no expert in corporate governance, but honestly how can you brush such a massive corporate fraud under the carpet and have supposedly "independent" parties assess and advise you?

And how come there were no whistleblowers from within Satyam's Internal Audit and Finance team? A conspiracy of silence?

Something stinks - and Satyam (which means truth) has been lying about it a long time now.

News: $1 billion of our cash doesn't exist
Huge Blow to Indian Tech
Satyam fraud may catch Maytas cos. in its vortex

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