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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Mahindra Satyam says ready for new era sans 'Satyam' stigma

PTI  Davos, January 28, 2013
First Published: 11:10 IST(28/1/2013) | Last Updated: 11:16 IST(28/1/2013)

After having to work twice harder than its peers to get business for nearly four years since rescuing scam-hit erstwhile Satyam Computer, Mahindra Satyam says it is now ready for a new era and a stronger market position, sans the stigma attached with the 'Satyam' name.

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"Mahindra Satyam always has to work two times harder to get business because we always need to explain the role of Mahindras in rescue of Satyam," Mahindra Satyam CEO and Managing Director C P Gurnani said.

"However, now I am seeing merger (with Tech Mahindra) as an opportunity for rejuvenation. I see the merger as an opportunity for openly and boldly declaring to the world that now it's almost four years since we took over Satyam.

"It (the Satyam stigma) is behind us completely and now it is one entity focussed on IT engineering services for Mahindras and we are ready for business globally," Gurnani said in reply to a query about the stigma attached with the 'Satyam' name.

Asked whether he would favour dropping the 'Satyam' name from the nomenclature of the merged entity, the Mahindra Satyam CEO said he would favour doing so. Gurnani was here to participate in the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting, where Mahindra Satyam was one of the strategic partners.

The country's biggest ever corporate scam came to fore in January 2009 when the erstwhile Satyam Computer's founder and then Chairman B Ramalinga Raju admitted to years of wrongdoings and overstating of financials at the company.

The company was later acquired by Mahindra group through a government-monitored auction and was renamed Mahindra Satyam. Subsequently, a deal was announced for its merger with Mahindra group's another IT arm, Tech Mahindra, and the completion of this amalgamation process is now in its final stages.

Gurnani said that both the companies are doing very well and the combined entity would have an even stronger position in the market.

"We do realise there is little bit of catch up to be done and we will get there. We are still one of the top companies and the combined entity would have an 80,000-strong workforce and an estimated USD three billion of revenues.

"This would be bigger than many large conglomerates in terms of headcount," he said.

"As a merged entity, we are very differentiated in the market as we are the only company which is focussed on network communications and connectivity, which is today backbone of individuals and enterprises," Gurnani said.

He said the customers are also very enthusiastic about the merger and the two companies are looking forward to its completion.

Asked about the global economic scenario and its impact on the Indian IT sector, including Mahindra Satyam, Gurnani said: "At best, the mood is hesitant today and we have to be realistic regarding our response to the market and plan a strategy that is not 'one size fits all'."

"Therefore, Mahindra Satyam strategy is different for different regions – be it Australia-New Zealand, China, India, Mid-East, Africa or Europe. We have different strategies for each of these regions.

"The main point is that it is better to be realistic. There may be a hesitant mood, but there are also reasons to believe that there are opportunities everywhere and there should be a strategy fit for each of these opportunities," he said.


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