Mahindra Satyam draws a line under turmoil

Mahindra Satyam has drawn a line under the turmoil caused when a former Satyam director admitted to misreporting the company’s results

Mahindra Satyam has drawn a line under the fallout that occurred after a former Satyam director misreported the company’s results.

In January 2009, the company was thrown into turmoil when its former chairman, B Ramalinga Raju, admitted to misreporting the company's financial figures to the tune of $1bn.

This led to Satyam's near collapse, but the Indian government stepped in to steady the ship and found a buyer for Satyam. It was rescued by Tech Mahindra in 2009, and the company has been on a journey of recovery since.

Mahindra Satyam, as it is now known, this week announced results for its latest financial year. The supplier reported profit of $300m on sales of just over $1.4bn for its full year 2013. 

The company, which has faced law suits over the fraud, does not expect any more litigation from customers.

Roger Newman, who heads up a UK business unit, said the sustained growth over the past year means the company “can draw a line under the problems”.

“We have a year of growth under our belts and our profit margin is now at the industry norm level,” he said.

The company will now move forward with renewed ambition. “We have clearly recovered now and have to start looking for growth,” he added.

Mahindra Satyam’s strongest service line is enterprise systems and packaged applications, such as business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing, with application management services also strong.

Its recovery, and the stability that has brought, means it can now be trusted by large organisations. Newman said the growth will come through winning larger deals, which were out of the company’s reach during the turmoil.

Satyam lost some very prominent customers, including State Farm Insurance and Coca-Cola, after the scandal. Satyam said they left because they saw the supplier as a risk, not because they doubted its competency.

In a bid to win big deals, the company has invested in staff – including finance, sales and delivery people with experience working on large enterprise outsourcing contracts – over the past 12 months, according to Newman.

“Two years ago, we would not have been considered for large deals because we were seen as a bit of a risk,” he said.

Newman said Mahindra Satyam has just completed a $65m-$100m infrastructure outsourcing deal with a European firm.

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