New Delhi: The government-appointed board of scam-tainted Satyam Computer Services has been conferred the "Dataquest Person of the Year" award for its role in helping overcome the biggest corporate fraud in the country.
The leading tech magazine brought out by the niche publishing house CyberMedia presented the award to the firm`s board led by its chairman Kiran Karnik instead of an individual, in what has been a departure from the past.
"The information technology industry is happy to leave 2008-09 behind," Pradeep Gupta, chairman of the CyberMedia, said at the awards ceremony at the Taj Palace Hotel here Thursday night, attended by the big wigs of the software and related industries.
"It was a year of turmoil, global downturn, slowdown in the Indian market and the Satyam saga. The biggest surprise to us was the slowdown in the domestic market, compared with the continued growth in services exports."
The event also saw Wipro chairman Azim Premji receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Arvind Rao of OnMobile was named the Pathbreaker of the Year. In all, awards were presented under 16 categories.
The jury felt that the Satyam scam could have condemned its large workforce across the globe to an uncertain future and tarnished the image of the Indian IT industry but for the timely intervention of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
The recast board embarked on an immediate damage control mission, convinced most global customers to stay on board, ensured timely payment of salaries and eventually found a promoter, creating a new model of corporate governance in India, the citation said.
Premji got the award for his vision that helped sculpt the Indian IT industry over the past few decades, his role in the creating a big wave for the country`s outsourcing business and his foundation`s devotion to primary education projects in India.
For Rao, the award was in recognition of his contribution to the Indian telecom and information technology sectors that created the biggest telecom value-added services company in India with a billion-plus customers in 30 markets.
Tata Consultancy, Hewlett Packard, NIIT, Germany`s SAP, Cisco, IBM, Genpact, Nokia, HCL Infosystems and vCustomer were the other corporate awardees in the 17th year of its institution.