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Govt-appointed Satyam board to stay
May, 30th 2009

The government-appointed board of Hyderabad-based Satyam Computer Services has decided to continue till the open offer is made. The offer starts on June 12 and closes on July 1.

There is a thinking among the board members that it will be prudent to stay on till the open offer is made. The open offer is due in a few weeks. To make changes during this time will not help a smooth transition, said a board member.

After Ramalinga Raju, founder and chairman of Satyam, admitted to the fraud on January 7 this year, the government announced the re-constitution of the board and appointed HDFC Chairman, Deepak Parekh; ex-Nasscom President, Kiran Karnik; former member of Sebi, C Achuthan; Chief Mentor at CII, Tarun Das; former Executive Director of LIC, S B Mainak and member of ICAI, T N Manoharan, as part of a six-member board.

Meanwhile, as the Satyam board has expanded to include four additional nominee directors of Tech Mahindra subsidiary Venturbay Consultants, bringing the boards strength to 10, cross-sharing of employees has already begun between Tech Mahindra and Satyam. Nearly 400 employees are being placed with Tech Mahindra, according to a source close the development.

Gradually, employees that suit the bill may even find their way into the Mahindra group companies, the source added, qualifying that such employees were yet to be identified.

Tech Mahindra, the new owner of Satyam, has also given the final touches to what it has christened Operation Phoenix (named after the mythical bird which rises from its own ashes every time it dies), to give a human face to redistribution and redeployment of the excess staff that Satyam has on its rolls.

Vineet Nayyar, MD & CEO of Tech Mahindra, was on record recently that the company had excess staff of around 10,000. Most of these employees are non-billable (not working on current projects).

The reason is that Ramalinga Raju showed high revenue figures and, hence, had to recruit employees to work on non-existent projects. Satyam is, thus, left with a huge pool of non-billable employees, reasoned the source.

Hence, as part of Operation Phoenix (Phase-I), at least 6,000 Satyam employees those who have been on the bench for at least six months will be given up to 40 per cent of their salary and asked to stay home while continuing to stay on the rolls. These employees have around 2-3 years of experience on an average, and are across verticals that Satyam caters to.

They need not come to office. If they are needed, they will be drafted back into the workforce. Else, the company will take a call after six months, said the source.

These employees can also go for re-training or re-skilling, for which Satyam will even offer interest-free loans.

The employees will have to register with their respective unit HR heads, added the source. Moreover, Satyam is also looking at reverse placements wherein the placement agencies, which provide it with employees, will look at job opportunities for the 6,000-odd employees.

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