Thursday, January 08, 2009

Satyam Scandal - India's Enron

The news flash on Wednesday morning as I returned to my desk after a brief meeting was shocking to say the least.

A colleague showed me the flash on his laptop and I could not believe it was true till someone opened the candid admissions of R Raju on the letter faxed to the stock exchanges and the Board (BORED?) members.


Why would seemingly smart and accomplished people do reckless and stupid things? For the thrill in it out of the risks involved? Why does this consume some of us in its fold while leaving others out of it?

I read in an issue of TIME( sometime in 2008 that the coding is in the brain and neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin play a role in the thrill- seeking behavior. Not all risks are serious some could be a lot less damaging like bungee jumping.


The problem perhaps is that high-sensation seekers tend to under estimate the risks and put themselves and a whole lot of others into deep s**t as we have seen in this case. Many a successful individuals have fallen hard by trying to think that they are step ahead. Meteoric careers have ended within no time, people who had it all seem to have thrown it all away in brief moments!

What could have prevented this? A model, framework like Baldrige, a Board that was not Bored and did its duty, a management that had its feet on the ground and was willing to be truthful and still do extra ordinary things by being honest with themselves and the rest of the world, an audit firm that could have potentially looked at the records and done what was expected of them – raise the issue, shout.

1 comment:

Divya Tanjore said...

Cant' agree more....However, I can't even compare Satyam to Enron! Jeff Skilling was forced to do change those ledgers...remember Enron was dieing literally...whereas Satyam was still making profits...