Rising from the Ashes: Satyam’s Story
This case study describes the collapse of Satyam, a leading IT industry service provider from India. Satyam goes into crisis mode following a revelation of financial fraud by its chairman. This results in a crisis not just for the company, its clients and employees – but the entire Indian IT industry – by shattering investor and client confidence in the Indian IT sector.
The case provides readers with an inside view of the events unfolding at Satyam, and the people challenges that emerge in such a crisis scenario. It outlines reactions from the industry, government, clients and employees as they try to make sense of a very chaotic situation, and its multi-level ramifications both within India and outside. The case ends with Thallapalli Hari, the global head of marketing and communication and former head of HR, attempting to visualise and prioritise a course of action that he will propose to other members of the leadership team.
The key aim of this case is to provide a backdrop to the crisis, and also help students put themselves in the role of an HR crisis manager as well as portray the decision making and communication challenges that emerge in chaotic situations. The importance of an immediate and yet strategic response is emphasised, and the case is a great starting point to have a discussion on the competencies and skills required in HR to lead under unusual circumstances. This case also illustrates principles of leadership, change management and communication.
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