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– that’s all you need to know
5
News India Times April 17, 2015
Cover Story
ByMohammed Shafeeq
– HYDERABAD
H
e was once considered
the IT czar and the Bill
Gates of Andhra
Pradesh, who founded and built
Satyam into one of the top IT
companies in India.
B. Ramalinga Raju even
shared the dais with Bill Clinton
when the former president visit-
ed Hyderabad in 2000.
A special CBI court on April 9
sentenced Ramalinga Raju, his
two brothers and seven others to
seven years in prison in what is
described by the Central Bureau
of Investigation as the biggest
corporate fraud in India’s history.
The 60-year-old Raju, who
already spent 32 months in jail
before he was granted bail in
2011, has returned to prison.
It was in 2009 that this poster
boy of India’s IT industry had a
dramatic fall when he resigned
as chairman of Satyam
Computer Services Ltd. while
admitting that the company’s
account books and profits were
inflated over many years.
He was arrested and sent to
jail.From the cozy environs of his
posh bungalows and state-of-
the-art offices to the claustro-
phobic confines of
Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad,
life suddenly took a cruel turn
for him.
The son of an agriculturist
and hailing fromWest Godavari
district in coastal Andhra
Pradesh, he launched business
in textile weaving and construc-
tion in 1977.
He had no engineering back-
ground but his brother-in-law
D.V. S. Raju, an engineer,
inspired him to enter the IT sec-
tor by setting up Satyam
Computer Services in 1987.
Proving his entrepreneurial
skills, Raju built Satyam into a IT
bellwether.
One of the pioneers of off-
shoring, it started remotely
delivering IT services to some
clients in the U.S. in 1991.
The success with offshoring
was followed by the Y2K boom,
which catapulted Satyam to the
top league. Satyam ventured into
the internet business through
Satyam Infoway in 1988. After
surviving the dotcom bust, it
started concentrating on soft-
ware services.
In the mid 1990s when
Hyderabad was emerging on the
world IT map, Satyamwas the
biggest name and it was no won-
der that he shared the dais with
the likes of Bill Clinton.
Raju was also well respected
for his involvement in corporate
social responsibility.
Byrraju Foundation and the
Satyam Foundation earned him
reputation through various proj-
ects, especially the 108 medical
emergency services in Andhra
Pradesh and other states.
Raju also had a long list of
awards, including the E&Y
Entrepreneur of the Year Services
award 1999, the Dataquest IT
Man of the Year Award 2000, the
Asia Business Leader Award
2002, and the Golden Peacock
Award for Corporate
Governance.
Satyamwas listed on the New
York Stock Exchange in 2001 and
the revenues exceeded $1 billion
in 2006 and $2 billion mark in
2008. It remained the fourth
largest IT services firm for a long
time with operations through
the parent company and sub-
sidiaries in as many as 65 coun-
tries.
A few weeks before the scam
came to light, it had reported
annual revenues of $2.4 billion
and a total employee size of
53,000.
The trouble for Satyam began
in December 2008 when it
announced plans to buy two
Maytas firms owned by Raju’s
sons. He had to call off the deal
within hours due to opposition
by the shareholders. The share
price started tumbling.
The same monthWorld Bank
blacklisted Satyam for eight
years on grounds of data theft
and bribing bank officials.
After the scam, Tech
Mahindra took over Satyam
Computers in a government-
sponsored auction and the new
entity was named Mahindra
Satyam. The Satyam brand
became history in 2013 with the
merger of Mahindra Satyam
with Tech Mahindra.
– IANS
Rise andFall of RamalingaRaju
It was in 2009 that
this poster boy of
India’s IT industry
had a dramatic fall
when he resigned as
chairman of Satyam
Computer Services
Ltd. while admitting
that the company’s
account books and
profits were inflated
over many years
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