Saturday, February 7, 2009

Are we Satyam in our dealings?

Recently Satyam (Satyam by the way means True, Truth) has got itself a sure spot in all newspapers, online news lines due to the recent confession by the ex-CEO Raju. The dirty laundry is coming out quick and heavy and has become point of conversation for almost every house whether or not they are directly affected. Everyday we hear SEBI statements and how all auditors who could not ( or probably chose to not) prevent the scam to reach such proportions are coming under the scanner.
Even in my home my brother and me have had numerous discussions around this and other issues which are hitting the IT industry, probably because both of us hail from the same industry.

But what Raju had done on a big level I have in my 8 years experience seen employees, colleagues, friends ,senior management and even sometimes parents doing at smaller levels? For example, I remember when I was relocating the guy from movers and packers asking me "Sir, kitne ka bill doon? " I was surprised and told him to give me the bill according to what I was suppose to pay him for the services. Then he explained that professionals like me used to ask him to give the bills close to their maximum limit provided by company and they would give him and extra 1000 Rs more than the actual charges for doing so.
Every IT professional as a part of growing up understands the importance of honesty and integrity and infact from time to time it is professed by their companies but yet for a mere 10-15 K or even less they let their ethics go for a toss. And these individuals are like a virus because they soon start rubbing this onto other individuals who are still considering if this kind of practice is ethical or not. And one of the most convincing theories that I have heard at all levels in industry is "Company makes so much profit on us and gives us peanuts". Individuals convince themselves that actually what they are doing is justified and does not fall in the purview of ethics.

Once this happens these things start happening regularly. It is sad and deplorable what Raju and few of his associate have done but one thing you have to give to Raju that he had the courage to tell the truth. Maybe he was forced by his situations, but yet he did. Many in such situations would have taken the extreme path especially in the Indian way of thinking. But my question is do we as individuals every think on our dealings. How we have progressed as individuals, living a lavish life style and yet not 100% honest in our dealings.

In early days the money was less, the struggle was more but the ethics were stronger. Today as the educated youth embarks on his/her journey to gain popularity, wealth and admiration from near and dear ones, they start losing their moral self. Not all but most according to my 8 years experience. Its high time we start looking into ourselves and start treating all our personal and professing dealings ethically because if we don't, today when we are just software engineers we can convince ourselves that our unethical wrong doing are justified and tomorrow when we turn out to be leaders of organization and families, we will impart the same unethical practices justifying them as ethical. And one day when it reaches the peak and we are exposed and embarrassed in front of the entire world and then we will sit at some corner hidden from the world questioning ourselves

"Was I Satyam in my dealings?