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The rebirth of Mahindra Satyam

Zafar Anjum | April 20, 2012
Mahindra Satyam CEO C.P. Gurnani and Hari T., the company’s chief people’s officer and chief marketing officer, explain the future course of Mahindra Satyam after being merged with Tech Mahindra.

Merger of the two companies

Hari T. shared with the media that even though it is only now that the merger of the two companies has been announced (awaiting government approval), the actual integration has been going on for sometime now.

"While we have announced the merger now, we have (had) three years of working together on a daily basis," he said. "The external world did not see us as two different companies but saw us as one company." More importantly, internally, it might have taken the Satyam employees around one year to get integrated with Tech Mahindra, but that has finally happened, he added.

According to Hari, two important things have happened in this regard. "One, we have created task forces with members from both organisations and which look at how to improvise and take operational issues to the next level," he said. "Second, we have not looked for people (from outside) who have done it all. What we did was we looked for people within the company who have that energy and the fire to do it. So, we actually have been able to get the youngsters to take on all the critical leadership roles. Out of the top 60 positions of people today, there are only five who have come from outside."

Acquisitions are like Indian marriages

On the question of acquisitions in Europe (where the market is soft at the moment due to the Euro zone crisis), Gurnani said that Mahindra Satyam is looking at opportunities on the continent. But there is nothing where I could say that things have worked out, he said.

"Acquisitions are like Indian marriages," he quipped. "Takes a long time. If it clicks, then it clicks and things happen overnight."

In February this year, Mahindra Satyam announced setting up of a US$50 million joint investment fund in association with SBI Holdings, the Japanese venture capital firm. "The fund created with Softbank in Japan is more for venture funding," said Gurnani. "We are looking at late start ups and at any company which has reference-worthy customers, and a technology that we can leverage. It is all word of mouth right now but the deal flow is not a challenge. There is sufficient deal flow."

Future is mobile

Indicating the future course of Mahindra Satyam, Gurnani said that the focus will be on mobility which will be at the core of all verticals and industries. "There will be 34 billion conected devices over the next five to seven years," he said. "We in Mahindras, for example, are working on connected cars. End of the day, these are cars which also have SIM cards like regular display devices. The assumption is that those cars will be able to take over a lot of e-commerce functions."


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