This post is about the Satyam fiasco. The year has begun on a very sad note for corporate India, especially the Indian IT industry.
It is certain that a lot is going to be debated about Satyam and its top boss, B Ramalinga Raju’s confessions. I leave the technical details and analysis to the ‘experts’. Apologies to digress, but I am increasingly beginning to doubt the integrity of the word, ‘expert’. That’s of course, a different matter altogether. As lots of thoughts are cluttering my mind, I shall fire bullets (bullet points) from my mind gun, below:
• Cryptic crossword clue in The Hindu, Jun 10th, 2009:
Rub shoulders in jail with IT honcho who loves Anagram (1, 9, 4)
Answer = Anagram of (Rub + Jail + Anagram) and yeah, it gives B Ramalinga Raju
Mylapore Ambi mama: What clue is this? Loves anagram??
Ambi mama, later, to self: Oh, shabash! Satyam anagram is Maytas, oho, balle, balle!
Firstly, a significantly large portion of inhabitants in this planet now know that SATYAM spelt backwards is MAYTAS! Stop filling discussion forums in rediff or talk as if you are the first homo sapien to ‘discover’ this truth!
• Fact: The prestigious Golden Peacock award that was given to Satyam for Corporate Governance has been taken back.
Future fact: Lot of people including Ms. Sona More (who is part of the Global Movie Awards Committee and is not linked to Kiran More; coincidentally her name also means Golden Peacock in Hindi!) recommend that Ramalinga gaaru must be nominated for the Golden Globe nomination, for his excellent acting over the years. Online petition movement has started because deadline for application submission is already over. I sense 53000 sure shot votes with a single email to the distribution list ‘Satyam Employees All’. Move over Dustin Hoffman!
• Hall and Knight’s Algebraic explanation using complex numbers: The soft spoken Harvard grad has unfortunately failed at his attempt to remove ‘i’ from the equation (x + iy)*(x – iy) and make it x*x + y*y; where (x + iy) = Satyam revenue and (x – iy) = Maytas’ revenues; and i = imaginary number = square root of – 1.
Aah, that was quite a journey down memory lane 🙂
• Philosophical speak by Dean of distinguished B school, also board member of big company: Alma mater can only have limited influence on an individual. Being an alumnus from distinguished universities does not guarantee ethics. The core character of a person is tough to change easily. It is not about upbringing or environmental factors, but something that is unique to that person and extremely difficult for others to see. Importance of Business ethics and ethics in general cannot be emphasized enough. From a personal angle, integrity is more important than chasing materialistic goals.
• Prayer thought: Some fools in rediff and other discussion forums have suggested that NRN and Premji must be immediately asked to rule Satyam. Ridiculous ideas have been floating around and I also see a lot of Telegu bashing. I pray that fools posting comments in rediff constitute very small percentage of harmless Indian citizens.
• IT Sales angle: While all Indian IT companies must stand together and prove that this is indeed a one off case, Satyam’s customers are going to hold Swayamvars where Sales people from Indian IT companies (Tier 1 to Tier N) shall try to break the Satyam relationship arrow in order to marry the client just like Rama lifted the legendary Shiv Dhanush and strung it to marry Sita.
Given the tough economic situation, I am thinking if Eden Gardens or a Las Vegas Casino / resort can be used for this event. Instead of each client being wooed separately, all Satyam clients can assemble at one place. All the IT companies can also assemble. Of course, I also see many Mexican, Israeli etc software companies in the fray vying for a share of the pie. May the best hunters win!
• Scam Matter: Let me finally get to why I started this post in the first place. The idea of this post is to show naked facts. About 4-5 years back, I taught Quantitative Ability for CAT aspirants and my experience reminded me that a lot of people did not know the exact value of a crore, then. It was amusing for the class when I asked the students to guess and somebody said, many zeroes, probably 9 or 10 digits equals a crore. We had laughed then, but didn’t know Ramalinga Raju was listening to that guess. Let me write down all the figures and see how big the scam is.
1 crore = 1 followed by 7 zeroes. Therefore, 1 cr = 10000000.
Bring the Indian rupee into perspective and assume that 1 US dollar = 50 Indian rupees (Please note that the USD to Re conversion rate assumption is solely for the sake of simplifying calculation and not to inflate or reduce extent of difference)
1. Non-existing cash and bank balances: Rs.5040 cr = $100 cr approx = $1000000000
2. Liability: whatever was raised but not shown as liability = Rs. 1230 cr = $ 25 cr approx = $250000000
3. Debtor’s position: This is what you say others owe you = Rs. 490 cr = $10 cr approx = $100000000
4. Accrued interest: Rs. 376 cr = $7.5 cr approx = $75000000
Total Scam matter: $1425000000 and in Indian rupee terms = Rs. 7136 cr = Rs. 71360000000
Simply put, if you happen to earn Rs. 1 cr per year, (assume you do ;-)) you will need 7000 years to earn this amount.
Now that you can see the mind boggling facts, let us see what happened to profits last quarter alone. Actual profit = Rs. 61 cr and profits shown = Rs. 649 cr. This is actually much more than just adding an innocent zero to the right of 61 cr, just like that somebody in a CAT class had said years ago.
Another cryptic crossword clue: What about the Price paid to cause a Watershed scam that made Satyam a Cropper? (3)
Ans: PWC. Yeah, that’s probably a bad attempt at a cryptic clue to drag PwC audit in!
I sincerely wish Satyam employees all the best in these tough times and hope that they overcome this sooner than later.