Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Image Obsession, That India Is


India is talking only two things these days - The Mumbai terror aftermath (like whether Zardari speaks for Govt. of Pakistan or for Talibanistan or both) and the Satyam fiasco. But the Hyderabadis are focusing on just one thing these days - Satyam and just Satyam.

The pride of Hyderabad (forget India's for a moment) has truly been hurt. This was one of the locally grown wonder that had Americans run scared for their jobs and for more than a decade, this company and all those who followed had been India's pride and the envy of the West.

Fine, I am not going to analyze the fraud once more. It has been analyzed, counter-analyzed a thousand times and there is nothing much a 'not so smart' guy can add to the already written rot. But what has been written but not analyzed much is the constant rant about 'India Inc's image' being badly hurt by this. There is no counter to this. Everyone seems to be agreeing to it.

Well, I am not. I mean, yes, this is indeed India's biggest corporate scam ever. One of the top 5 ITES has actually scammed their investors! That's indeed bad news and is definitely not going to go well with future investors. But why should the India Inc. image be affected? To be precise, my question is especially because the Satyam debacle is proclaimed to be India's Enron.

Did you(I mean the corporates in your country, yaar) stop trading with US after Enron? Yes, Enron did affect the American economy to a great extent and investors were duped (just like the Satyam investors were this time around). But nobody talked about the American Inc image being affected.

Why is that? Because we are seen 'third world'? After more than a decade of dominating the world IT services sector, should India still care about its image being affected by one incident (no matter how grave like this?)Satyam was a scam - Does this automatically mean TCS, Infosys were all scammers? Technically, any investor, no matter which nation he is from would respond negatively to this. So that is case by case. So why are we crying about India Inc's image being affected!

I would have finished my post here if not for a reiteration of 'the India image' earlier in the day. Part of my job is to make partnerships with product manufacturers in the US for marketing on my company website. There is an automated procedure to do it. My application to a few manufacturers was automatically declined though my website would be a huge strategic fit for them. The reason I heard later was 'Many manufacturers do not accept applications from India and a few other countries which they perceive as Scammer-laden'.

Hmmm. This stereotyping and all...

Photo Courtesy

1 comment:

ankan said...

Hi Andy,

sounds quite serious eh! Not sure if those very countries and corporates from them can live without us! Lets' see if India's enron (though scandalises its premiere industry) will ultimately deter the first world companies from coming to us! B-)