Satyam means truth.
4th largest IT services company has been put in a precarious position by it's own founder Mr Ramalinga Raju. Ramalinga can be broken down into Rama (a god) and Linga (loosely, dick). Raju is a moniker that means King in the Andhra region, or so I'm told. So Ramalinga Raju can be translated into "God! A king sized DICK!!"
If you're a Satyam employee, it's probably not so funny. My heart goes out to those poor souls
The company's entire balance sheet is a lie. It's operating profits are a lie, which probably means it's P&L is a lie too. Nobody knows how much cash is really on hand, and how many days the company can run on without grinding to a halt.
53000 employees and countless shareholders have been cheated over the last several years to the tune of at least 1.6 Billion USD according to Dick's own confession (click here for text of the letter to SEBI)
And what does the SEBI chairman do after he gets the letter. Says he is horrified (wow!), and that he is in touch with the government (yay!), and says he is in discussions to figure out what steps the ministry and SEBI can take under the law. While you're in discussions, Mr Bhave, precious time is being lost, in which Dick and his scrotal cohorts (meaning brothers and sisters) are probably cleaning up evidence, destroying emails, and setting fire to proof of collusion and evildoing.
But anyway. Screw that. Back to the employees. Poor Poor Souls.
If you're a Satyam employee, all I can tell you is, I believe your company will come out of this. Not unscathed, mind you, but I believe it will come out of it. Focus on what is in your circle of influence. Never mind the bungling idiots and thieves who got you into this situation in the first place. They will get their comeuppance.
Oh, and I had read various news articles of Satyam employees wanting to buy their own stock to show solidarity with Dick. I hope you're not one of those.
And to the rest (non-Satyam) of the not so regular readership of this blog, I have something to share with you as well.
Clearly I just got done taking off on Dick and his scrotal cohorts, and there will be many more learned but less scathing commentaries on the Truth and it's mismanagement all over the web.
But here's what I want you to think about while you're guffawing about the follies committed by the aforementioned:
It is common to quickly make fun of leaders once their feet have been found to be somewhat clay-like. It is also common to declare the bastards to be the cause of their own misfortune, and that of their followers.
But it is probably necessary, before we unleash the fury of our scorn on those fallen from grace, to see how much of their earlier heights were reached on the gentle warm gusts blown by none other than ourselves.
Many rats have been racing in the corporate track in pursuit of higher profits and even faster growth rates. And we have, over the last few years, cheered them on.
While we clapped and celebrated every one of these growth stories and rejoiced over "India rising", we didn't deem it necessary to look hard at the means of their results or honestly question their claims.
We placed them on the pedestals they occupy. They didn't get on them without our help.
So while it's all fine and dandy to whip them for letting us down, we must remind ourselves to be more careful about whom we thrust greatness upon in the future.
PS: some articles on Raju/Satyam from 2007 and 2008
E&Y entrepreneur of the year
Economic Times Interview with Raju - check out the flowing praise (Jun 2007)
Raju, his sons and Maytas (again ET, Jun 2007)
Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Governance (Sep 2008) - Not even 4 months ago! "This honor demonstrates the value Satyam places on corporate governance, and on the importance of serving the interests of our investor, clients, associates, and of society", said Jayaraman - head of Corp Governance for Satyam.