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Satyam staff hoping for a miracle

Krishna Mohan & Kaustubh Kulkarni | January 09, 2009 10:58 IST

Though it's over 24 hours since the founder-chairman of Satyam Computer Services [Get Quote], B Ramlinga Raju, resigned after making shocking revelations, its employees (known as associates) are yet to come to terms with the reality.

Most of them turned up for work on the Hyderabad campus, but were clearly at a loss for words. For one, the security was further tightened, with police force joining the private security guards.

One has to go through several rounds of checks before entering the main gate. Besides, there was the media frenzy with a number of Outside Broadcasting vans parked in front of the office. And, a three-member team from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), led by its southern region general manager Sunil Kumar, visited the Satyam office.

"We are in a maze. We still do not believe that our company is in such a mess,'' said an employee. But, owing to individual deadlines and projects, it's business as usual for them.

                        The Satyam fiasco: Complete Coverage

A few employees that Business Standard spoke with to get a sense of all that's going on inside the closed doors said some of them were discussing the contents of Ramalinga Raju's letter to Sebi and stock exchanges, others have taken solace in the top management not resigning during the troubled times.

According to an associate, the employees are also dissecting the recent happenings. In the process, some are getting stirred up with the developments. They hope for a miracle to cure all the maladies when the top management briefs the media in the evening.

In Pune...

A day after the scam came to light, attendance levels at all four Satyam premises in Pune went down heavily on Thursday. While a large number of employees preferred to sit at home and search for new job opportunities, the others reached offices in a state of confusion over their future.

Satyam Computer has four large campuses in Pune, which together accommodate more than 8,000 staffer. This is the largest headcount in a city for Satyam. The company recently inaugurated a special economic zone (SEZ) facility at Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park-Hinjewadi, where it wanted to employ more than 5,000 personnel over next 8 months.

Satyam staffer said only 30 per cent to 40 per cent occupancy was recorded at Satyam campuses in Pune. According to staffer, the attendance levels suddenly fell on Thursday as the employees were not in a frame of mind to work. Satyam has premises at prominent city locations -- Hinjewadi, Koregaon Park, Wakdewadi and Dhole Patil Road.

In Gurgaon...

The company's Gurgaon centre wore a deserted look. Satyam has a three-floor facility in Gurgaon. One of them was shut a month ago. The office door on the first floor holds a 'closed' sign and according to the guard who has been on duty, this happened because the company was in a bad shape. All the employees from that centre were shifted to the two offices above that floor. Inside too, there is an uneasy calm and the entire facility is empty save a handful of people.

Satyam's employees, however, say that it is work as usual and it is a normal work day for them. "The entire incident was shocking but we are not scared of losing our jobs. It is an issue for the management to sort out," said an employee.

"There are three shifts here and we have not been affected in any way," echoed another employee.

(With inputs from Kirtika Suneja)


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