Satyam staff worried new employer may cut jobs

G. Naga Sridhar
M. Somasekhar


Hyderabad, April 12 A day ahead of the start of the stake sale process of Satyam, worries about a possible “optimisation” of human resources by the new owner bother many employees.

“There has been widespread talk about a reorganisation of human resources and changing the business focus in line with the interests of the successful bidder,” Mr Ramesh, a Satyam staffer for four years, told Business Line. Jobs at the company could go if the new investor feels that there are more jobs than could do justice to projects in hand. After all, if the scam-hit company has inflated revenues, it could mean that there are more employees than are necessary.

In anticipation of losing jobs, some employees are already seeking opportunities elsewhere. “There has been a noticeable rise in the number exit interviews being done by the HR department,” an important Satyam official said.

Soon after news of fraud at the company’s helm broke out earlier this year, recruitment agencies reported a sharp rise in resumes, of Satyam staffers, suddenly appearing in their databases and in mass recruitment web sites.

“Even the top managers are also not clear about the continuity of their jobs after the completion of the sale process,” Mr Navin, a senior professional in the marketing department, said.

However, in the last four months the company has been in the news for the wrong reasons, attrition has not gone beyond industry average which is in the 10 to 15 per cent range. The reason could be lack of opportunities rather than belief in the revival of Satyam, he added.
The mood among Satyamites abroad is no different.

A Satyam employee posted in San Diego, US, said over : “Most of us here are trying to shift before something (unpleasant) happens after the sale. Some employees are in the process of joining client companies.”

Satyam's clients such as Coca-Cola (which has terminated a contract) and Bank of America have already hired some Satyam employees, though not in big numbers.

Satyam's competitors are also understood to be extending offers on selective basis.

Given the choice between joining clients and competitors, the trend is towards the former, because of the uncertainty perceived in other Indian IT companies, sources in Satyam indicated.

The company, however, has been able to pay salaries on time. For most employees, this helped in keeping hopes alive for a while.

The admission of the Rs 7,136-crore fraud by Satyam founder Mr Ramalinga Raju on January 7 has caused a big shift in the operational and management environment, employees said.

"Prior to January 7, 2009, there was much dynamism and a competitive spirit pervaded all levels, which is missing to some extent now,'' said Mr Ramesh.

While there is no lapse in the quality of deliverables and schedules, the work environment is marked by a lack of enthusiasm and optimism, he said.

Source: THE HINDU Business Line
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