Satyam Computer Services was one of India’s largest IT companies until it was brought down in what has been India’s worst corporate accounting fraud scandal. Yesterday, it was reported in the New York Times that Satyam has officially changed it’s name to Mahindra Satyam after Tech Mahindra (http://www.techmahindra.com) won a controlling stake in the company. Link to article at bottom of post.
It just so happens that the company formerly known as Satyam is also one of the World Cup’s official corporate sponsors. (If you have been watching the Confederations Cup games you would’ve seem the Satyam name on the advertisements surrounding the perimeter of the field.) Now, Satyam’s financial woes have been public for quite a while now so their “re-branding” should not cause concern about whether they will maintain their sponsorship or not; it’s clear they have not decided to pull back. But it will be interesting to see how the new brand, Mahindra Satyam, uses this opportunity to increase the awareness of their new brand as well as place distance between themselves and the corporate scandal. If there’s any World Cup sponsor that needs to utilize their sponsorship to build a little good will, it’s them. But there is the danger that they won’t really see it that way. They are primarily a B2B business; they’re not selling products to consumers on the street. They are concerned with making sure corporate purchasers continue to value the IT and consulting services; they probably couldn’t care less about public opinion.
But this is where another aspect of CSR can come into play in the form of employee engagement. Satyam was a company of over 50,000 employees. I’m assuming that the corporate scandal brought a lot of shame to Satyam employees and drove morale down into the dumps. Not to say that those nouveau riche in the tech industry went and quit their jobs; no they probably hunkered down but did so with a little less pride in their step, with a little less eagerness to wear that company polo shirt in public. Doing something good in South Africa around the World Cup may not do anything to sway the public opinion ; frankly the public might not even care that much. But, more importantly, it may boost the morale of Mahindra Satyam’s employees and make them proud to again be associated with a remarkable company. Proud employees are more productive employees. And they are also a company’s best brand ambassadors. Let’s just hope that Mahindra Satyam realizes this opportunity and steps up to the plate.
Full article can be found here: