Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tech Mahindra to unveil the new Satyam brand soon

The long-awaited rebranding of Satyam Computer Services by its new owner Tech Mahindra is likely to be unveiled this weekend at a closed-door leadership meet at Satyam headquarters in Hyderabad.

The new brand, which is likely to be a hybrid brand drawing on both Satyam and Tech Mahindra, will be shown to a select audience initially. “The idea is to gauge the reaction of a small group to the rebranding before it’s publicly unveiled,” a person familiar with the plans said.

Mahindra & Mahindra vice-chairman Anand Mahindra, group HR head Rajeev Dubey, Tech Mahindra CEO Vineet Nayyar, international operations head CP Gurnani and strategic initiatives head Rajeev Kalra will be present for the unveiling. Senior executives at Satyam, TechM and M&M have been working on the rebranding exercise with select external advisors, ever since TechM emerged as the winner in an auction to acquire Satyam in April. “There is a meeting over the weekend. The participants will deliberate over various initiatives which will be beneficial to the future of Satyam,” the Satyam spokesman said.

The Tech Mahindra spokesman declined to comment.

The rebranding is expected to leverage both Satyam and Mahindra brands. While Tech Mahindra doesn’t want to continue with the Satyam brand in its present form, it wants to leverage the strengths of the tainted firm. The new brand will convey the synergies of Satyam, well-known for its expertise in areas such as enterprise resource planning, M&M group’s global brand and corporate governance and Tech Mahindra’s strength in telecom.

Analysts say rebranding could help Satyam, whose founder admitted in January to cooking its books to the tune of over Rs 7,000 crore. “Rebranding would leverage its business strengths and signal a rebirth as the scam has severely tainted the Satyam brand name,” an analyst said on the condition of anonymity.

Apart from rebranding, Tech Mahindra and Satyam senior executives would also discuss the joint go-to-market strategy of the two companies. A decision could be taken on whether Satyam should bid independently or as a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra for projects.

A decision could also be taken on the surplus bench strength, estimated to be about 8,000 employees, even after implementing the virtual pool programme. The programme covers about 8,000-10,000 employees who draw a fraction of their salary and don’t attend office.

Pune-based Tech Mahindra agreed to pay about Rs 2,889 crore for a 51% stake in Satyam in April. Satyam recently announced unaudited revenues of over Rs 2,000 crore and net profit of Rs 181 crore for the October - December 2008 quarter. Its revenues could thus touch about Rs 8,000 crore, or $ 1.6 billion, after extrapolating these numbers.

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