The scam temporarily cast a cloud over India Inc, says Som Mittal

KV Kurmanath | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 09, 2015

Som Mittal

Former Nasscom President recalls efforts taken to douse the Satyam fire

The days that followed the Satyam scam was very tough for Nasscom, the IT industry body.

The crisis happened at a time when the global markets were witnessing economic turbulence. The fraud had marred the image of the country as an IT and investment destination. Som Mittal, the then President of Nasscom, recalls the several initiatives taken by the association to put the crisis behind.

What are the takeaways from the Satyam case?

The Satyam crisis left a strong imprint as it was an unprecedented event for the industry. The crisis could have impacted the entire sector and careers of thousands of employees, including our credibility with customers. However, to avoid impact on the brand image of the Indian IT sector, the government and all other relevant stakeholders took immediate actions to ensure a smooth transition and business continuity. Nasscom actively worked with the government and regulators to identify additional policies and procedures that could be instituted to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

What role did Nasscom play during the crisis and after?

The first 72 hours post the crisis were very demanding and Nasscom had to rally around Satyam employees, industry and the government. To ensure business continuity, Nasscom provided critical data to the government, investors, analysts and customers to map the issue and helped them take decisions to address the crisis.

We ensured that our voice was heeded to by the government on the issue and we were successful in having an Ex-President of Nasscom on the board formed to investigate the issue. Additionally, to ensure the smooth functioning of the employees we wrote a mail to all our members, to not wilfully poach the employees of Satyam. We also ensured that the employees and their families were protected from losing their livelihood following the crisis.

What kind of impact did it have on the image of the country as an offshore destination and how was it set right?

The impact on the sector was short term and the key industry stakeholders continued to make the right decisions for their business models to remain competitive. This isolated incident in no manner reflected adversely on the industry or corporate India and the IT services firms acted with sensitivity to Satyam’s situation.

While the Satyam episode temporarily cast a cloud over India Inc, information technology in India was not impacted to a great extent as the value proposition of India was strong enough to ensure continued work flow and the country continues to be a preferred destination for business.

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Published on April 09, 2015
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