When the Satyam scandal broke in January, it was described as India’s Enron moment. B. Ramalinga Raju’s corporate malfeasance seemed similar to the US energy giant’s mess in 2001. But perhaps it’s time to reconsider that analogy.
Monday’s announcement of Tech Mahindra Ltd as Satyam’s highest bidder may not signal the official end to the scandal, but it lays it to rest. It’s taken three months and one week for this resolution to be achieved. In contrast, the Enron debacle lasted nearly five years in the US with legal indictment after indictment, bleeding US companies. India has been spared that fate.
Credit is due to those who managed this crisis from the outset, from the government authorities to corporate leaders such as Kiran Karnik and Deepak Parekh, who guided a lost company through troubled waters.
Enron produced a stream of vitriol against corporations in the US, even leading to excessive government regulation. India hasn’t seen that overreaction. Let’s hope it stays that way.