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Satyamites hope for brighter future in Tech Mahindra era

April 15, 2009 09:38 IST

The small tea bunk with a thatched roof -- christened Satyam Infoway Tea Stall by staffers -- at the company's headquarters in Hyderabad was brimming with 'customers' since 3 pm.

The associates, as they are termed, who visited it in groups for a breather, tea and orange juice, had only one topic to discuss -- Tech Mahindra and their future.

Nevertheless, they are taking in their stride the restructuring and realignment of verticals of both Satyam and Tech Mahindra.

"The banks had tightened the norms for extending personal and housing loans to the associates following the accounting scam. But now, things will hopefully change as Tech Mahindra will add to the credibility factor," said Ranganath (not his real name), an associate.

Jagadish (name changed) feels rebuilding trust in existing and prospective clients will take six months to a year.

"Currently, it's business as usual for those who are involved in project development but not for those in business development. We don't have financials and without it we cannot convince clients about our capabilities. Now that we have come under the umbrella of Tech Mahindra, things may change for the good soon," he said.

"We don't have any regrets. We would have felt bad if Satyam was taken over in a hostile bid," chipped in another senior associate, adding, "The work culture and human resource practices vary from organisation to organisation. It is about knowing the requirements of the employer and its clients. And we are ready for that."

"There is hardly any overlap of verticals between Satyam and Tech Mahindra. In fact, they are complementary in nature. It will ensure that all people have their respective roles to play.

"There has been an internal communication from the company that task forces will be formed by both the companies which will make presentations on various departments, strengths and operations to Tech Mahindra teams from next week," said a senior associate, on condition of anonymity.

Tech Mahindra's core competency lies in telecom, with its major client being British Telecom, while Satyam has TIMES (telecom, infrastructure, media, entertainment and semiconductor) strengths, opined another.

"The skill sets required for both these businesses are similar. In case there is no overlap, relearning is needed, which we are ready for," he added.

Referring to Tech Mahindra agreeing to keep 100 listed employees of Satyam in their positions for a specified period, the associates said these could be client-facing personnel and handling key aspects of business development.

"Clients identify the company by a person and if they are off-action, they will lose confidence in the company," said one.

Reducing the 'bench' staff, which according to another senior staffer is about 12,000, is also a possibility.

"Not all those benched will find it difficult to find jobs. Those having niche skills will be absorbed fast. But this will take at least a year to a year-and-a-half," he said.

K Rajani Kanth and B Krishna Mohan in Hyderabad