Sunday, September 20, 2015

Satyam and Subhiksha

It appears that principled names mask unprincipled dealings. Satyam Computers which blew up in 2009 was untruthful (asathya) in presentation of its accounts. Ramalinga Raju could easily dupe shareholders, auditors and everybody else by disclosing non-existing bank deposits of huge amounts.

Subhiksha means prosperity or abundance. Its employees were reduced to penury because of non-payment of salary for many years. Its suppliers, bankers and investors including Azim Premji faced a raw deal. Its promoter, R.Subramanian is an alumnus of IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad. Subhiksha was started in 1997 and it closed its shutters in 2009. Subramanian had earlier worked for just a fortnight in Citibank and then joined Enfield India. He then started Viswapriya Financial Services and subsequently Subhiksha Retail. The latter was supposed to become India's Wal-Mart Stores!

The jury is still out on why Subhiksha failed. Was it because of faulty supply-chain management? Is the promoter greedy and dishonest? Or is it plain bad luck?

Subramanian was arrested by the Chennai police on 19 September. Police says he was nabbed when he was attempting to flee Chennai. He claims he surrendered. Judiciary gave him a long rope. When the Madras High Court finally refused to extend anticipatory bail for him, his game was up. His family is on the run.

It is alleged that Viswapriya has failed to repay around Rs.150 crore to its depositors many of whom trusted  the company with their life-savings.

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