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Polaris to discuss future action on Dec 30

December 26, 2002 18:16 IST

Scared by the experience in Jakarta, Polaris Software labs has decided not to do any business in Indonesia at least for a year and is considering arbitration against Indonesian Bank Artha Graha in Singapore on the dispute with it.

"Indonesia is a large market but we will not look at doing business there immediately at least for six months to one year," Arun Jain, CEO of Polaris, who returned in New Delhi on Wednesday morning after a week-long detention drama in Jakarta, said.

He told PTI in an interview over telephone that the company board will meet on December 30 and analyse the crisis and chalk out the next course of action. "I will update the board on the incident."

He said that the company would consider going for arbitration in Singapore but the decision could only be taken by the board.

Following the Indonesian experience the company would go for due diligence of its clients encompassing not only the new contracts but also review of the existing ones.

On the possibility of pursuing a defamation case against Bank Artha Graha, he said, "In the coming one to three days, I will consult my lawyers on this issue."

Jain was detained along with his colleague Rajiv Malhotra in Jakarta on December 13 when the two visited the bank to settle a commercial dispute. Jain and Malhotra were released after a week following diplomatic intervention by India.

Commenting on the criminal charges levelled by the bank against them, Jain said, "It is not a strong case and should get settled based on understanding with the government."

He said that following his return he has not heard from the Indonesian authorities.

Jain said he would visit Delhi early next week, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday, to meet various government officials.

The Polaris chief was earlier expected in the capital this week, but it could not materialise as some of the officials were not in Delhi.

Asked if the company had failed to meet delivery targets as accused by the bank, he said, "Yes, as per the schedule designed in beginning. In October some defects had cropped up. But there was definetly a gap in user understanding."

On whether the company would go through the Embassy route for future business deals, Jain said, "definitely. We had underestimated the power of the embassy and they can go a long way in helping us manage risk."

Polaris scips ended at Rs 179.80 in the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday.
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