How I Built The Satyam Brand

November 16th, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

A brand guru said that it takes years of hard work to build a brand but just one moment of madness to kill it. The Satyam case is a live example of this adage.

Late July 1996 I got a call on a Saturday morning from one of the largest head hunting companies in the country asking me whether I wanted a change of job. Their Hyderabad manager would not tell me the name of the client company as he was afraid I would refuse the chance on the phone itself as the company was small and relatively unknown compared to the one I was working in.

However, I did go to meet him and I was rather disappointed when he told me the company’s name though the company was Hyderabad based and I was in the same city, too. He persuaded me to at least meet the company management. The same afternoon I met Ramalinga Raju, Chairman, Satyam Computer Services. I had no clue what the company did as IT was not even in my radar being more from the engineering and automotive industry. In fact, I even had a stray thought that they assembled grey market PCs.

The meeting with Raju lasted more than an hour and was very pleasant. He came across as a gentle person and very polite. Very soon I got an offer of appointment from Satyam. My wife referred to a few people in Bangalore in the IT field before I accepted it. Of course, the financial offer was very attractive,too

I joined Satyam as head of corporate communications on August 16.The next day I got a call from Economic Times asking me for a comment on a story that they were running about a check bouncing case against Satyam. This troubled me as I had never experienced anything like that in the past. I just mumbled that there was no truth in that story.

About ten days later we had to print some invitation cards for inaugurating our spanking new technology centre. It surprised me when the printer asked me for 100% advance. He was the same printer who used to give my earlier company thirty days credit without questions. I began to worry whether I had made a major error of judgment in joining Satyam. I now remembered that some of my friends in Hyderabad expressed surprise when I told them that I was leaving a leading multi-national company to join Satyam.

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