Mahindra Satyam is being penalised for picking up victim: Gurnani
Davos: Ready for a new chapter in its journey, once scam-hit and now a totally reformed IT firm on a growth path, Mahindra Satyam has said tax and other cases against it are like penalising the ambulance for picking up victims.
"It's been 8-10 quarters of stellar performance by Mahindra Satyam, world has moved on and other than few outstanding legal hassles including those relating Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities in India, most of the other cases have been settled," Mahindra Satyam Chief C P Gurnani said in an interview on sidelines of WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
India's biggest ever accounting fraud came to the light in January 2009 when Satyam Computer's founder and then Chairman B Ramalinga Raju admitted to having overstated the company's financials by more than USD 1 billion and other wrongdoings at the firm.
Satyam Computer was later acquired by Mahindra group in a government-monitored auction and renamed as Mahindra Satyam. In the meantime, the company has settled various lawsuits after agreeing to pay millions of dollars to the shareholders and others in various cases in the US, where Satyam shares used to be listed.
"It is a very positive news when you look at it in a holistic context. A company which was almost written off by investors, general public around four years ago, is now strong again and is up and running fully.
"There could not be a better proof than more than 300 people coming for Mahindra Satyam here on a day when not all participants had even reached Davos," he said.
The company, which is one of the strategic partners for WEF annual meeting at Davos, hosted one of the first company receptions for this year's meeting on January 22 evening.
"The jam-packed reception of Mahindra Satyam clearly shows that the company is back in business," Gurnani said.
Asked about issues concerning tax notices, he said, "Is it fair to ask for income tax when there was no income. The real analogy is that should an ambulance be penalised for picking up a victim. We have been an ambulance and do you want to give a message to others that you will be penalised if you are ever going to do it."
Regarding the merger of Mahindra group's two technology ventures, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam, Gurnani said, "We are ready for the merger. We are waiting for the Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement approving the merger and that is probably the only thing pending now towards the merger."
Gurnani further noted that "as a merged entity, we are very differentiated in the market as we are the only company which is focussed on network communications and connectivity, which is today backbone of individuals and enterprises".
Tech Mahindra acquired Satyam Computer Services in April, 2010 and later renamed the company Mahindra Satyam.
"It is a phenomenal experience and all I can say that customers are very enthusiastic about it and we are looking forward to it," Gurnani said.
A group of minority shareholders of Mahindra Satyam (formerly Satyam Computer Services) had filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh high court opposing the proposed share-swap ratio, among other things, for merger with Tech Mahindra.
The petitioners have requested the court to revise the swap-ratio of 2:17, giving shareholders two Tech Mahindra shares for every 17 owned in Mahindra Satyam.
Mahindra Satyam's merger with Tech Mahindra has been cleared by the BSE and the National Stock Exchange. Competition watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has also approved the proposed merger that when completed will create a USD 2.4 billion entity.