ibnlive » Business

Jan 09, 2009 at 02:57pm IST

Satyam 'apologises', vows to emerge stronger

Hyderabad: India’s two leading business chambers expressed their shock at Satyam Computers founder-chairman B Ramalinga Raju’s revelation of accounting frauds but the interim chief of the IT giant was confident that the company would “emerge stronger”.

''This is the time to prove to the world that we are united and will succeed in overcoming the challenges,” said Ram Mynampatti, interim CEO of Satyam.

''Satyam continues to have everything that is fundamentally required for its success: a strong customer base and a committed universe of approximately 53,000 associates,'' said Mynampatti in an e-mail to Satyam employees after Raju’s resignation.

CHIEF'S CONFESSIONS: Satyam Computers founder-chairman B Ramalinga Raju resigned on Wednesday.

Apologising to the employees for the ''uncertainty and inconvenience'' caused by Raju’s revelation, he assured them: “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 organisations have turned over a new leaf.

''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 quarter will be tumultuous for us. Rumours will be abound and it would be fair to assume that competition will try and leverage it to their advantage.

''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.''

In a development that shook India's corporate and financial worlds on Wednesday, Raju resigned as co-founder and chairperson of Satyam after confessing to a Rs 40 billion (Rs.4,000 crore) fraud that allegedly had been going on for years.

India’s top business chambers, Federation of India Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) and Industry and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said it was time corporate India did some serious introspection and improved governance standards.

Expressing "deep shock and disbelief", FICCI President Rajeev Chandrasekhar said: "this fraud on the investors and employees of the company shows a systemic breakdown in audit and board oversight. Questions will need to be asked and quickly how this happened and who caused it to happen."

CII President K V Kamath said there was a "need to immediately examine the loopholes in regulation, accounting, audit and governance that allowed such lapses to occur and address them with urgency".

He said corporate India must "reflect on ways to demonstrate its quality of governance and enhance the confidence of stakeholders."

However, both the chambers insisted that the admission of "massive financial irregularity" in Satyam's books of accounts should not be seen as a blot on all the Indian firms.

"While the occurrence of such events in a major company is a matter of deep regret, CII believes it would be inappropriate for this to be the basis of questioning of general governance standards in other companies," Kamath said.

(With inputs from UNI, PTI and IANS.)

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