Post-Satyam, IT firms sharpen communication

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 16 2009, 05:59am hrs
After the Satyam fiasco, leading IT majors are looking at ways and means to connect with their stakeholders, clients and employees across the country. While some companies are planning to launch fresh corporate advertising campaigns, there are others who are looking at direct communication strategy to connect with stakeholders and employees.

According to V Balakrishnan, chief financial officer, Infosys, the firm is doing all the due diligence to answer disclosures, if any, if its clients demand it.

We hope to see this continuing for a short term, while in the long run, as a company, we feel that clients will get back to the same trust levels. We have a strong audit team in place and an investor (or a client) can cross verify our balances internally with the banks, he said.

The company also has a whistle blow policy where anyone from the employee or client side can come up with any issues they feel exist at Infosys. TCS, meanwhile, said that there were no additional disclosures and it allowed its cash in the banks to be verifyed physically in a bid to assure they are following a clean corporate governance practice.

Across the road, Satyam Computer Services is looking at the prospect of launching an effective communication package to refurbish its tainted image, informed industry sources.

The Rs 7,000-crore fraud will have a major impact on Satyams brand image. The company should immediately look for an image makeover, said a leading brand consultant based in Mumbai.

Sam Balsara, chairman of Madison World, said that the need of the hour is communication with customers, investors, employees and media.

The corner stone of this communication must be complete disclosures and transparency. There should be a combination of print advertising and use of a competent PR strategy, he explained.

According to Madhukar Kamath, chairman and managing director of the Mudra Group, a brand should ensure that there is a consistent perception building to assure its stakeholder and employees.

A corporate brand has several constituents. During any crisis, companies should sharpen their focus on perception building, he added.

Sharing similar views, Arvind Sharma, chairman, Leo Burnett (India-sub continent), said that IT companies should now reach out and communicate with their various stakeholders and reassure them.

The Satyam fiasco has raised a crucial question: Have other Indian IT companies anything to hide too Its very necessary for these companies to reach out to its investors and clients, he said. Chandra Deep Mitra, president, Mudra Max, said, I think IT companies should reassure their business partners about their financial security and their corporate governance practices.

Fiasco fallout

Some companies are planning to launch fresh corporate advertising campaigns

Others are looking at direct communication strategy to connect with stakeholders and employees

Experts feel Satyam should immediately look for an image makeover