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Mahindra Satyam: Rejig dampens spirit

June 30, 2009 08:48 IST

Just about three weeks earlier, employees of Mahindra Satyam (then Satyam Computer Services) could hardly contain their joy.

On the back of good positive top- and bottom-line figures for the third quarter (October-December 2008) and January-February months of CY2009, and bagging of new business orders worth $380 million (around Rs 1,800 crore), they were seen distributing sweets to their peers at various campuses of the IT outsourcing company in Hyderabad.

The mood appears to have changed dramatically.

Despite the new chief executive officer of Mahindra Satyam assuring them the company and its employees (known as associates) have a great future, most associates this paper spoke to are confused and worried about the goings-on at the workplace.

While the reality of the 'virtual pool' is sinking in gradually, the simultaneous reshuflle at Mahindra Satyam is scaring them.

"The reorganisation is very aggressive and the parameters are not clear,'' said one associate who operates from the Infocity campus. "There is no excitement at the office for the last two or three weeks,'' he said.

There are reasons for this despondency. He has seen a team handling a vertical dismantled.

"There were two seniors at the helm of affairs and one of them has been asked to leave,'' he said about the changes. Only last week, Mahindra Satyam had brought the roles of about 70 to 80 senior leaders under the scanner.

The company is now looking for talent from within the organisation to head some positions after the rejig. In some cases, the company is also getting people from Tech Mahindra to fill the lacunae created due to the reorganisation of staff, he said.

"The mandate is clear for all of us. We have to be ready to don a new role,'' said another associate. He said the company has now broken down the earlier multiple levels of reporting for a particular task.

"This would result in most of the employees coming in the direct firing line of higher-ups and therefore more accountable and also vulnerable at the same time. Also, another round of restructuring at the employee level is on the cards," he added.

Some associates, according to another employee, are finding it difficult to work as there is no information from the right channel on the rejig or the direction it is heading. On the letter to the associates from the new chief executive officer, seeing a great future for the company, he said the letter did not address the uncertainty the employees were now experiencing.

"We are not feeling like attending the work,'' he said, adding there is an increased activity at the office but the outcomes are not defined. But there are also some associates who are charged up after reading the letter from CP (Gurnani).

"There are signs that the troubled times are coming to an end. Lot of fresh ideas are flowing in,'' said another employee, talking about the delayering happening at the Mahindra Satyam. The effort is to cut the costs and increase productivity.

"The letter from CP is a boost to the associates,'' said one Satyamite, who started his career with it and would not move out of it on his own. "There is future for us,'' he said recollecting CP's words.

Of course, there are those who are still searching for career opportunities outside of Satyam. Besides, many members of the Satyam Freshers' Union, a body floated to take up the grievances of freshers who got offer letters from the company but never got to join work, are now searching for job opportunities outside.

PW auditors' bail plea dismissed

The Andhra Pradesh high court on Monday dismissed the bail plea filed by Price Waterhouse auditors -- S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas -- accused in the case relating to the financial scam at Satyam Computer Services.

The case came up for hearing last week but the orders were reserved for today.

The CBI argued that the two auditors have failed in their duties to reject inflated figures in the balance sheets for successive years.

They were also party to the financial scam, they said. There was no merit in saying that they did not identify the inflated figures or they simply relied on the documents provided by the company, the prosecution argued.

Krishan Mohan in Hyderabad
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