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European customers stick with Satyam

Karl Flinders

Indian IT supplier Satyam has lost no European customers since it was embroiled in a fraud scandal in January, the company said today.

Satyam's competitors have attempted to use the uncertainty surrounding the company's future to tempt customers away with cut-price deals.

Som Sarma, head of Satyam in the UK and Ireland, said Satyam has lost customers in the US and some other regions following the accounting fraud committed by its former chairman. But none have jumped ship in Europe.

Western IT service providers were offering customers the same price as their Satyam contract for a year. "Our competitors tried to shake us out," said Sarma. "They were offering our customers free transitions."

But Sarma said the uncertainty in the market gave Satyam time to prove itself to its customers. "Because of the market conditions customers did not want to change suppliers."

Satyam also worked hard to reassure its uncertain customers. "One thing we did was communicate with our customers well. We told them if anything happens at Satyam you will hear it from us."

He said customers showed great loyalty. "Our customers have told us that they told our competitors that they would only consider them as a plan B."

Indian IT group Tech Mahindra won the race to acquire Satyam in a deal worth about $350m. It fought off many companies to win Satyam but its main competition in the end was Indian engineering firm Larsen & Toubro.

"We wanted the acquirer to have synergies with Satyam and have a good record of corporate governance. Both Tech Mahindra and L&T fitted the bill," said Sarma.


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