11 January 2009

SATYAM: Fall of a bang bang truck!

Father: Son, tell me...how would you describe a man who do not look at his left and right, not even care about others around him …just keep going on his way…??
Son: (after scratching head with two or three strokes) hmmm…is it a TRUCK DRIVER?

Our hired cab (Tata Indigo I remember) was running towards New Delhi Railway station. It was sunny afternoon of mid January and we all were little worried about our own business for some reason and other. Suddenly a truck came from behind and over took us with a killing approach (or I should say a killing ada)…our cab stopped suddenly leaving two long black scratches on the National Highway.

Co incidentally, it was another afternoon of January, it was another cab on the same National Highway when we were discussing the Satyam fraud case…And ironically trucks were overtaking smaller vehicles like ours with the same spirit.

“No driver in India has any road sense.”

Very true….irrespective of the seat he occupies…irrespective of the vehicle he is controlling… every driver carries the dream to be a truck driver some day…genetically perhaps!

The driver of Satyam was not an exception. The dream of careless driving and overtaking one after another has brought him at end edge of the world.

The world is flat after all.

According to experts, the huge fraud could have been done through numerous stages of invoicing and transactions with unknown overseas entities.

The billing would have inflated sales and this could in turn inflate debtors. Moreover, the payment may have been received from the entities and this could have been reversed through hawala.
What ever may be the reason…the fact is that another accident has taken place…another driver is in police custody.
But is this the driver who is sole responsible for the accident? Do authority, auditors have no role to play in pre-accident scenario? If yes! then who is going to pay for their callousness??

The current hoax involving Satyam Computer Services Ltd isn’t the first to thump India’s software industry, although the degree of the accounting fraud to which Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju has confessed may be unprecedented for the country.
In the precedent decade, companies such as DSQ Software Ltd, Pentasoft Technologies Ltd and Pentamedia Graphics Ltd have collapsed amid scandals over insider trading and other corporate malpractices.
What lesson have we learned from the past? Nothing!

In the case of Satyam, the fraud was detected as early as in October by an employee of Kotak Securities during the the analyst interaction, organised after Satyam's second quarter earnings of 2008-09. The analyst conference call was addressed by chairman Ramalinga Raju, CFO Srinivas Vadlamani and Ram Mynampati, member of the board, who is now the acting CEO.


During the previous fraud cases, SW/IT was not so exposed to customers and the collapsed companies were small enough to cause havoc to entire economy…unfortunately, because of that only we kept our eyes half closed and let this to happen with huge degree of effect.
Now what next? Some new lay, more scrutinize? Or a series of mea culpa from other Indian companies about similar doings…???

Whatever may be the result…What I have learned is that, all the typical truck drivers are equally vulnerable from their BACK where they have colorfully written
And perhaps "Z....Z.....Z....Z...Z" is also written some where in between their colorfull art work! (Hands on heart....I havn't seen yet!)

[A must read: 'The Satyam fraud: welcome to incredible India' -by Sam Varghese]

[Pics are stollen as per industry practice]