Satyam Saga Continues, Loses Major Customers

by Manu Sharma    Mar 24, 2009

 Satyam Computer Services is on a ‘losing spree’, having so far lost outsourcing contracts from large customers to rivals such as IBM Corp., TCS, Infosys Technologies  and Wipro Ltd. Now, a US property and casualty insurer is seeking to replace its outsourcing contract with Satyam.

US based Selective Insurance Co., which has reportedly outsourced about a quarter of its IT staffing requirements to Satyam, is said to be looking for alternate arrangement in light of Satyam latest woes.

In papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month, Selective is quoted to have said: "We believe we would be able to manage an efficient transition to a new vendor and not experience a significant negative impact to our operations in the event that we no longer retain Satyam in their current capacity due to the financial issues they are currently experiencing."

Satyam chairman Ramalinga Raju on January 7 admitted falsifying the company’s cash position by as much as $1 billion while overstating quarterly earnings and revenue by up to 28%. Sources indicate that Satyam may also have faked employee numbers and other data.
Since then increasingly nervous Satyam customers are looking for alternatives in case the scandal-scarred outsourcer is unable to restore internal stability or find a buyer with pockets deep enough to see the Indian company through its current crisis.

Many customers have either completely exited, or are in the process of moving their outsourcing contracts from Satyam to rival tech firms such as IBM, TCS, Wipro, Infosys and Accenture.

Some of the customers, including Telstra, Emerson, Nissan, State Farm Insurance, Applied Materials, Kansas State Bank, and Sony, have either moved out their projects completely, or are in the process of migrating current Satyam work to other outsourcing vendors.

iGATE, which was keenly bidding for the 51% stake of Satyam, has now pulled out from the bidding process mainly due to the loss of Satyam customers. Phaneesh Murthy, CEO of iGATE Corp, said, "We know that there are customer exits happening at Satyam. While the value erosion and the extent of liabilities were a concern, it was the totality of concerns that influenced our decision."

However, some large Indian players like BK Modi’s Spice Telecom, Tech Mahindra, and L&T are among the companies to move to the second stage of bidding for the fraud-ridden IT outsourcer.

 

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