Thursday, January 8, 2009
Satyam means lie?
Legal luminaries go into detail as to how technically the Raju people manipulated the money flow in the company and thus deceived the law. Stories of different nature come from every media projecting Raju as a greedy goon, along with stories those sympathize him as a doting father going to 'any' extent to help his sons with their ailing businesses.
Let us dust our minds off the flashing news items and stunning stories to do a quiet thinking, so that we can come up with some worthy ideas to work upon. Because a quiet minded thinking gives startling revelations on the issue that goes on. Let us do it in a sequential way. Satyam flourishes through the IT boom and Raju emerges as a messiah of IT workmen and his family foundation helps the poor. In his words empowering the rural poor. Well, so far so good. All is well; that goes well.
Then came the bad time. News came that the World Bank has sent Satyam employees off its campus, for some kind of data theft. Reports suggested that every key press in the computers at world bank's head quarters was recorded and copied to a server in an undisclosed location. Reason attributed to this was that, Satyam was expecting some more contracts from WB and they were, out of curiosity, spied on the WB systems to get prior information on the transactions related to their business. Oh! wait a minute. Why should a company spy a client's entire transactions to get to know about it's pending business deals? Don't we have lobbyists to get things done?
We get two versions in attempting to answer this question. Satyam might have thought to save the lobbying expense by getting "insider information" from the world bank, which is a breach of trust and has to be dealt with according to the law that governs the contract. The other version deserves thorough investigation by the law enforcing agencies as there are unanswered questions. Why were the transactions copied and stored in a server at an undisclosed location? Where is that and where the data was transferred from there? What is the real purpose behind that? Given to understand the magnitude of such activities, the terror angle must be probed into.
If it is a bank of a nation, we can conclude that the bank's details could be sold to a rival nation. This is World Bank. W.O.R.L.D. B.A.N.K. Transacting with the entire world. The transactions of the world bank and its secrets are copied and stored in an undisclosed location to be moved off the picture. Satyam had never reacted strongly to this allegation, as a truthful person would do to charges of lying. Just a formal denial and threat of defamation law suit would not suffice to clean your image up, and you won't stop at that point if you're really clean. World Bank is a responsible organization, leave alone their policy matters which is fit to be debated and corrected, to make such a serious allegation casually.
We have intelligence reports that mafia has entered the real estate market in India and the coincidence we have is that the Raju family has invested heavily in real estate, holding to thousands of acres in their home state of Andhra Pradesh. Where did they get the money from? "Maytas has got a lot of projects and has no sufficient funds to execute those projects" was the reason given by Raju for the Maytas-Satyam fiasco. If one had tons of money to buy thousands of acres of land, of course in an inflated price, why could not they sell some of their lands, in a premium price, and get the funds when real estate was in its 'highlands'?
The primary lesson in a criminal investigation is "Disbelieve the obvious". The obvious picture we have is that Ramalinga Raju has fudged the finances of the company he promoted and he has accepted to doing the wrong. One wonders how could a person who was asserting that the Maytas-Satyam fiasco was a bad investment decision days ago, issue a public statement that he had attempted to fudge the companies finances and had miserably failed in it? The moot question is that what Raju is trying to hide by accepting disgrace in public for a business fraud. Given to understand the WB episode and the swindling of money from Satyam, there is a mammoth scope for the CBI and the NIA to investigate, with the help of IB and RAW of course, on what has happened, what could be the consequences, and to identify the who is who of this episode.
But let me reiterate my firm belief that the company Satyam, must go on. The liquidation of the company would have a severe strain on the economy during this volatile economic period. Investigate Raju and conduits. Bring them to books. Help Satyam to come out of this bad time and let the concern going.