Scandal-hit Satyam 'still committed' to Qatar growth

Troubled Indian computer giant says expansion plans in Gulf state still on track.

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By  Andy Sambidge Published  January 9, 2009

India's IT giant Satyam Computer Services has announced that it is still going ahead with expansion plans in Qatar despite being at the centre of a financial scandal.

The company's proposal to establish a 100 percent owned entity in Qatar was still on track, Virender Aggarwal, Satyam head (Asia Pacific, Middle East, India & Africa) said.

"Satyam as an organisation remained committed to customers in Qatar," he added in comments published by Qatar daily Gulf Times on Friday.

Satyam Computer Services has already received the first clearance from the Qatar government for branch operations in the country, Aggarwal added.

His comments come as Satyam's interim chief executive Ram Mynampati said he and senior colleagues were shocked at disclosures made by founder-chairman B. Ramalinga Raju that company accounts and assets had been falsified and profits inflated.

Satyam shares slumped more than 70 percent in opening trade on Friday, as investors dumped the stock on fears over the company's future.

But Aggarwal told the paper: “Qatar is an important market for Satyam. It also provides transformational services and solutions to our customers."

Satyam’s plan is to set up its branch office at Doha’s West Bay. It has been providing consulting, systems integration and outsourcing solutions to some Qatari companies for a year now.

More than 100 Satyam consultants are currently based in Qatar and it has a “strong order book” in the country.

“We want to build on that. My feeling is that Qatar also looks for more commitment from large vendors like us in terms of local structure and operations rather than doing everything from abroad,” Aggarwal added.

He said the company’s revenue in the Middle East region had increased three-fold in six months up to September but did not give further details.

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