“People change and forget to tell each other.”
“Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough.”
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
~Wayne W. Dyer
“The folks you help won’t remember it and the folks you hurt won’t ever forget it.”
~ Bill Clayton
“No road is long with good company.”
“When you are in trouble, people who call to sympathize are really looking for the particulars.”
~ Edgar Watson Howe
“We don’t get to know people when they come to us; we must go to them to find out what they are like.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”
~ Pietro Aretino
“We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.”
~ Leo F. Buscaglia
“I like her because she smiles at me and means it.”
Subject: Open communication : Today’s developments
I write this mail to update you on some critical Board and Leadership level changes in our company, effective immediately. A series of extremely unfortunate events led to this, which I am sure you have seen covered in the media over the past few hours.
A SWAT team consisting of senior leaders has been formed. Many of them are Satyam veterans with a minimum of ten years experience in our company and more than twenty years in the industry. I have been requested to play the role of an Interim CEO and this team will support me, as we steer Satyam through this challenging phase. These are the leaders on the ground and have always had the final call on most customer and associate related matters in the company, so far. This team has committed to work together, to make it happen. The SWAT team represents all Customer Facing units, key Horizontal Competency Units and critical Support Units.
Over the past twenty one years, with your passion and commitment we have built significant customer assets, formidable service offerings, excellent delivery processes and scalable support systems. Satyam has been consistently acknowledged for our leadership bandwidth and has a demonstrated reputation for collaborative functioning. Our renowned Full Life Cycle (FLC) model encouraged ‘Distributed and Empowered’ leadership and prepared us for all situations. This is the time when we have to apply it in real life. What we have been trained for, we will now put to work. Let us continue to handle our respective areas with total autonomy, freedom and control. This is as good a time, as any, to remind ourselves that we have been acknowledged as being amongst the top three Best Employers in India by Hewitt and Mercer in independent surveys in 2007 and American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) named us as the best globally, for our Learning practices – the first company outside USA to be ever awarded this honor. Satyam continues to have everything that is fundamentally required for its success – a strong customer base and a committed universe of approx 53,000 associates.
What we are confronted with is the challenge of continuing our business operations, seamlessly. We will need your involvement and ideas to make it happen. This might involve even more effort at every level, in the near term. This is the time to prove to the world that we are united and will succeed in overcoming the challenges.
This quarter will be tumultuous for us. Rumors will abound and it would be fair to assume that competition will try and leverage it to their advantage. As a proactive measure, we have formed fully empowered Cross Functional Teams, headed by seasoned leaders in the respective areas, to address pan-organizational issues like Delivery Excellence, Customer & Associate Retention, Pipeline Management, Cost Controls, Collections etc. You have helped to build Satyam to be what it is today – and we believe that this cannot be allowed to fail, at any cost. I am confident that I can count on your continued support as I commit to our customers that we will ensure deliverables and commitments are serviced.
On behalf of our new leadership team, I apologize to you for the uncertainty and inconvenience that this incident has caused to you and your families. I assure you that we will emerge stronger, because of this. Increased focus on transparency at all levels, integrity and ethical functioning will be ensured. I want you to stand confidently in front of your families and friends and say that we will now be a better company and that we shall soon be a successful case study of how organizations have turned over a new leaf.
We will be conducting “U Speak” (our Meet-the-Leadership sessions) in each city in India starting next week and will have numerous Webinars to address associates in various countries. We will be meeting many of our customers in person over the next two weeks and will meet those of you onsite, at that time. In these sessions, we will explain to you what happened and articulate the actions that are being taken to retain your confidence in our company.
Let us fight this battle together. I am confident that we will emerge stronger, TOGETHER.
Satyam Fraud: Complete text of Raju’s letter to the Board
To the Board of Directors
Satyam Computers Services Ltd.
From B. Ramalinga Raju
Chairman, Satyam Computer Servcies Ltd
January 7, 2009
Dear Board Members,
It is with deep regret, and tremendous burden that I am carrying on my conscience, that I would like to bring the following facts to your notice:
1. The balance sheet carries as of September 30, 2008
a) Inflated (non-existent) cash and bank balance of Rs 5,040 crore (as against Rs 5361 crore refglected in the books)
b) An accured interest of Rs 376 crore which is non-existent
c) An understated liability of Rs 1,230 crore on account of funds arranged by me
d) An over stated debtor position of Rs 490 crore (as against Rs 2651 reflected in the books)
2. For the September quarter (Q2) we reported a revenue of Rs 2,700 crore and an operating margin of Rs 649 crore (24 per cent of revenues) as against the actual revenues of Rs 2,112 crore and an actual operating margin of Rs 61 crore (3 per cent of revenue). This has resulted in artificial cash and bank balances going up by Rs 588 crore in Q2 alone.
The gap in the balance sheet has arisen purely on account of inflated profits over a period of last several years (limited only to Satyam standalone, books of subsidiaries reflecting true performance). What started as a marginal gap between actual operating profit and the one reflected in the books of accounts continued to grow over the years. It has attained unmanageable proportions as the size of the company operations grew significantly (annualized revenue run rate of Rs 11,276 crore in the September quarter, 2008 and official reserves of Rs 8.392 crore). The differential in the real profits and the one reflected in the books was further accentuated by the fact that the company had to carry additional resources and assets to justify higher level of operations – thereby significantly increasing the costs.
Every attempt made to eliminate the gap failed. As the promoters held a small percentage of equity, the concern was the poor performance would result in a takeover, thereby exposing the gap. It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten.
The aborted Maytas acquisition deal was the last attempt to fill the fictitious assets with real ones. Maytas’ investors were convinced that this is a good divestment opportunity and a strategic fit. Once Satyam’s problem was solved, it was hoped that Maytas payments can be delayed. But that was not to be. What followed in the last several days is common knowledge.
I would like the board to know:
1. That neither myself, not the Managing Director (including our spouses) sold any shares in the last eight years-excepting for a small proportion declared and sold for philanthropic purposes.
2. That in the last two years a net amount of Rs 1,230 crore was arranged to Satyam (not reflected in the books of Satyam) to keep the operations going by resorting to pledging all the promoter shares and raising funds from know sources by giving all kinds of assurances (Statement enclosed, only to the members of the board). Significant dividend payments, acquisitions, capital expenditure to provide for growth did not help matters. Every attempt was made to keep the wheel moving and to ensure prompt payment of salaries to the associates. The last straw was the selling of most of the pledged share by the lenders on account of margin triggers.
3. That neither me, nor the Managing Director took even one rupee/dollar from the company and have not benefitted in financial terms on account of the inflated results.
4. None of the board members, past or present, had any knowledge of the situation in which the company is placed. Even business leaders and senior executives in the company, such as Ram Mynampati, Subu D T R Anand, Kesab Panda, Virender Agarwal, A S Murthy, Hari T, S V Krishnan, Vijay Prasad, Manish Mehta, Murali V, Sriram Papani, Kiran Kavale, Joe Lagioia. Ravindra Penu Metsa, Jayaraman and Prabhakar Gupta are unaware of the real situation as against the books of accounts. None of my or managing directors immediate or extended family members has any ideas about these issues.
Having put the facts before you, I leave it to the wisdom of the board to take the matters forward. However, I am also taking the liberty to recommend the following steps:
1) A task force has been formed in the last few days to address the situation arising out of the failed Maytas acquisition attempt. This consists of some of the most accomplished leaders of Satyam: Subu D, T R Anand, Keshab Panda and Virender Aggarwal, representing business functions, and A.S.Murthy, Hari T and Murali V representing support functions. I suggest that Ram Mynampati be made the Chairman of this task force to immediately address some of the operational matters on hand. Ram can also act as an interim CEO reporting to the board.
2) Merrill Lynch can be entrusted with the task of quickly exploring some merger opportunities.
3) You may have a ‘restatement of accounts’ prepared by auditors in light of the facts that I have placed before you.
I have promoted and have been associated with Satyam for well over twenty years now. I have seen it grow from few people to 53,000 people, with 185 Fortune 500 companies as customers and operations in 66 countries. Satyam has an excellent leadership and competency base at all levels. I sincerely apologize to all Satyamites and stakeholders who have made Satyam a special organization, for the current situation. I am confident they will stand by the company in this hour of crisis. in light of the above, I fervently appeal to the board to hold together to take some important steps. Mt T R Prasad is well placed to mobalize support from the government at this crucial time. With the hope that members of the Task Force and the financial advisor, Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America) will stand by the company at this crucial hour, I am marking copies of this statement to them as well.
Under the circumustances, I am tendering my resignation as the chairman of Satyam and shall continue in this position only till such time the current board is expanded. My contribution is just to ensure enhancement of the board over the next several days or as early as possible.
I am now prepared to subject myself to the laws of the land and fact the consequences thereof.
(B. Ramalinga Raju)
Copied marked to:
1) SEBI Chairman
2) Stock Exchanges
This letter is also available in image format. Click on the below thumbnails.
Most of the clients are good, some are great but few can be your headache. Look at some of these web project clients with whom jobs might not work well.
When the client takes 6 months to respond to the proposal, but doesn’t extend his project delivery date.
When you have traveled for the meeting with client at your own expense and he tells you that he does not have a budget for this project but is open to future projects.
When the client can’t clear a single desired user goal, he is also not clear about a business strategy, an online strategy, a reason for the website’s existence, or a goal or metric for improving the website but he has designed detailed drawings of his own idea.
Client desires the best website and when you tell him what the best costs, he asks if you can scale back. You prepare a scaled back proposal, but, without revealing his own budget, the client asks if you can scale it down more. After putting hours into the negotiation, client asks for just the home page design in Photoshop.
While back-end coding is finishing, client rethinks the website architecture.
As the first meeting is about to wrap, the person at the end of the table, who has been silent since the beginning of meeting, suddenly opens his mouth.
When the client cleverly tells you he knows his existing website ‘sucks’ and accepts quite freely that he doesn’t know what to do about it. He asks how you would resolve such a problem and when you begin to speak, he starts reading messages on his mobile phone.
At beginning of the first meeting, client informs you that someone has just bought his company.
Client begins first meeting by making a big show of telling you that you are the expert. He says that you are in charge and he will depend upon you because you understand the web and he does not.
Client introduces you to all his employees, shows you the factory area and behind closed doors, tells you that if you do a bad job with this website, he will be going to have to let these people go.
When the client sends a 50 page detailed request for proposal, including management approved flow diagrams created in MS-PowerPoint Slides.
When the client announces that he is a ‘vision guy’ and will not be involved in small matters in designing the website. He also tells you that the contact person, his colleagues and employees will be fully empowered to approve each deliverable.
After the beta release, the previously uninvolved ‘vision guy’ sends PowerPoint slides of his idea of how the website layout should look like. These diagrams have nothing to do with the requirement analysis and usability study you conducted, nor with the approved wire-frames, nor with the approved final design layouts, nor with the approved HTML pages that you are now incorporating into the CMS.
When the client tells you he has done a usability study with his wife for the website.
Your preferred client, for whom you have done some good work in the past, gets a new Boss.
When the client demands Web 2.0 feature but can not express his business strategy or target users.
Just before the website delivery, the company fires your client and his envious junior gets the delivery. The website never launches. Six months later, a new person in your old client’s job emails you to invite you to redesign the website.