From the Viewsroom

In search of corporate angels

Vinay Kamath | Updated on January 16, 2018

Time and again, big names have taken a beating

Time and again, like eruptions on a steamy, gassy layer, corporate India springs a nasty surprise. The supposedly best run corporations, held up as paragons of virtue, governance and trust, suddenly find themselves on the wrong page with issues of mis-governance, malfeasance, sexual harassment, skulduggery, corporate fraud and what have you.

When the Ratan Tata-Cyrus Mistry controversy erupted last Monday, we groaned. Not again, a trusted business house, known for its ethics and principles, embroiled in an ugly spat over governance issues.

For corporate India, the shockers have come in all hues. Satyam Computers’ Ramalinga Raju, who ironically won the Golden Peacock award for his company for corporate governance, drummed up a ₹14,000-crore accounting fraud. Infosys had to deal with the sexual harassment case of its senior executive, Phaneesh Murthy. Cognizant, among the best-performing IT services major the past few years, had the ignominy of its president quitting over charges of bribery in the setting up of its development centres in India as well as charges against its HR team in the recruitment of graduate engineers from colleges across Tamil Nadu.

Abroad, many such instances abound: the recent cases of Enron, once a Wall Street darling, and Lehman brothers come to mind. Both imploded on the back of fraudulent practices. The feet-of-clay syndrome didn’t spare revered individuals either, the most famous case being that of McKinsey’s Rajat Gupta. Renowned the world over as the first-ever foreign born managing director of McKinsey, Gupta was convicted of insider trading and jailed.

You could say organisations are made up of people with unique mindsets and different strokes make a firm run. One bad apple can bring notoriety and ignominy to a whole corporation. So, what actually lies beneath a successful organisation?

Associate Editor

Published on October 30, 2016

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