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Satyam loses 46 customers

Troubled Indian IT supplier Satyam has lost 46 customers since it was rocked by the admission of its former chairman that he had cooked the books to the tune of $1bn. According to reports, the company has lost the customers to its Indian and global rivals.

Satyam declined the opportunity to comment, but high-profile customer losses already revealed include the National Australia Bank (NAB), which suspended an IT project because of uncertainty about the supplier’s future, and US insurance firm State Farm.

Bindi Bhullar, head of marketing and alliances Europe at Indian supplier HCL, said the number of contracts lost or gained is not as important as their size.

"I would be very surprised if these customers were Satyam’s biggest customers," he said.

Bhullar played down the scale of the opportunity for rival firms to pick up Satyam’s lost business.

"There will be certain incremental business to be gained, but by the time you spread it among all the suppliers, no single company will make huge gains," he said.

Satyam is in the process of being sold as its new board, which was appointed by the Indian government, seeks a rescue after the accounting fraud left it short of cash and its customers low on confidence.

Satyam’s customer base, as well as its skill set, will be important parts of any acquisition.

The bidding process for the company, which was once India’s forth largest IT supplier, entered its second phase this week.

The first stage of bidding for the company ended on Friday 13 March, with applications of interest received by Thursday 12 March. The company requires more detailed expressions of interest and proof from bidders of available funds to the value of $290m by Friday 20 March.

Satyam said last month it had signed 15 new contracts in January alone.


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