Ramalinga Raju
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Ramalinga Raju

Byrraju Ramalinga Raju
Ramalinga Raju at the 2008 Indian Economic Summit.jpg
Born (1954-09-16) 16 September 1954 (age 64)
Jallikakinada,West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India
ResidenceHyderabad, Telangana, India
OccupationBusinessman, Philanthropist & Former Chairman of Satyam Computer Services
Nandini Raju
ChildrenTeja Raju, Rama Raju

Byrraju Ramalinga Raju (born 16 September 1954) is the former Chairman, Satyam Computer Services from 1987 till 7 January 2009, when he resigned from the board, after bringing to light the happenings in Satyam.

Early Life & Education

Ramalinga Raju, the eldest of four children, was born on 16 September 1954 to a farming family. Raju's father moved his family from Garagaparru to Hyderabad in the 1960s to cultivate grapes and later started a string of construction businesses.

Raju earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Andhra Loyola College at Vijayawada and subsequently earned an MBA from Ohio University in the United States[1].  Raju was enrolled in the Owner/President Management (OPM) program at Harvard Business School in 1993 (OPM 19, 1993) [2].

Career & Business

After returning to India in 1977, he ventured into many businesses like real estate, textiles and construction which were not that fruitful. Raju incubated Satyam Computer Services along with his  brother and a cousin in 1987, at P&T colony in Secunderabad with just 20 employees. They were driven more by their passion towards knowledge and technology rather than the commercial value that it would bring to the family[3]. In 1991-92, Satyam not only became one of the first companies to establish a dedicated 64 Kbps satellite-based link, but also the first Indian firm to provide offshore services to its client John Deere which was its first Fortune 500 customer[4]. The company went public in 1992. In an interview with Deccan Chronicle way back in 1998, Raju was talking about Satyam's ambition of operating out of 50 countries with an employee count of more than 50,000. In 1993, Raju also oversaw a joint venture partnership with Dun and Bradstreet, a US based software firm. On January 26th a joint venture company called Dun & Bradstreet Satyam Software (P) Ltd. was incorporated[5].

In 1995, Raju launched Satyam Infoway (Sify) as Satyam's internet subsidiary, thereby becoming an early participant in the Indian internet service market. In 1999, the company became the first Indian ISP (Internet Service Provider) to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In the same year Satyam Infoway had a valuation of Rs.12,900 cr. ($600 million) [6]. Under Raju's reign, Satyam grew from a small IT firm to become the 4th largest IT service provider in the country with an employee strength of 53,000, having 185 Fortune 500 companies as its clients and operating in 66 countries[7].

Raju believed that every Satyam employee should be a true leader and he brought in the concept of Full Life Cycle Leadership aimed at providing entrepreneurial leadership opportunities to its employees. In 2005 Raju established the Satyam School of Leadership[8], a corporate university to develop leaders within the company, who could see beyond what the industry and competition were seeing.This concept of leadership nurtured by Raju helped the company and its employees overcome the Satyam fiasco in 2009. Raju resigned from the Satyam board, after bringing to light that Satyam had falsified revenues and margins.


B Ramalinga Raju has pioneered and founded several path-breaking philanthropic initiatives, which have combined the best of technology and management best practices to bring about innovative, affordable and scalable solutions for the underprivileged.

The major philanthropic foundations he has founded and grown to large scale between 2000 and 2008 are:

Byrraju Foundation:

The Byyraju Foundation, a family run philanthropic organization, was started in July 2001 by him and his 2 brothers in the memory of his father Late Byrraju Satyanarayana Raju[9].The Foundation adopted 200 villages in 6 districts of Andhra Pradesh namely East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Ranga Reddy and Visakhapatnam. The foundation built progressive self-reliant rural communities by adopting a holistic approach. It provided 40 different programs like healthcare, environment improvement, sanitation, primary education, adult literacy and skills development, GramIT etc[10]. which impacted over 3 million people. Some significant achievements of the foundation are: Over 7 million patient visits, 53,250 persons made literate, 89,000 toilets built in rural homes, Livelihood skill training and certification for over 26,000 unemployed rural youth, setting up 61 drinking water plants and 4 GramIT Centres which employed 500 rural youth[11].

Currently, after the Satyam episode, the foundation has 117 adopted villages where it runs 110 health centres with the help of CARE foundation and operates 18 water plants.

The local people across the region hail the development works undertaken by the Byrraju Foundation and are appreciative of the positive impact it had on them.

Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI 108):

Raju also set up a state of the art and first of its kind 24X7 emergency service named Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI 108) in August 2005. It was modeled after the 911 service in America and had an aim of giving citizens in an emergency the benefit of getting timely attention and support. This was done by providing a single toll-free number accessible from mobile and land line.

Initially started with just 75 ambulances, EMRI has currently expanded to 10,697 ambulances covering 15 states and 2 union territories, serving over 26,710 emergencies per day, covering a population of   75 Crores (increasing reach of health care in rural, hilly & tribal areas).  EMRI has more than 45,000 employees on its rolls. Till date 4.7 crore beneficiaries have availed these services, 4.38 lakh deliveries were assisted, and 18.56 lakh lives were saved since inception.  

All the call-center activities and support activities for emergency handling were automated. While state Governments were providing most of the funding, EMRI part funded and managed the services in PPP mode. After the Satyam episode, Raju resigned from the Board of Directors. The GVK group then took responsibility to run the institute. It now runs as a free service as a very successful public private partnership (PPP) model[12].

Health Management and Research Institute (HMRI 104):

Raju was instrumental in launching a public private partnership (PPP) model between Satyam and The Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2007, termed as Health Management and Research Institute (HMRI 104). Before its launch, AP faced a massive shortage in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) and Community Healthcare Centres (CHC). This resulted in a stressed public healthcare system in the state which meant lower quality care for its citizens. By providing a helpline for all types of health-related queries and telemedicine, HMRI was able to lessen the burden on the public health system.

The program was aimed at the rural poor who had little to no access to qualified doctors and healthcare information. It also constituted a training program for Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) and ran mobile health clinics[13]

Naandi Foundation:

In 1998, the Naandi foundation was set up by the then CM of Andhra Pradesh Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, along with the heads of the 4 major business houses in the state: Dr K. Anji Reddy - Dr Reddy's Labs, Mr. Ramesh Gelli - founder of Global Trust Bank, Mr. B. Ramalinga Raju - Chairman of Satyam Computer Services, and Mr. K. S. Raju - Chairman of the Nagarjuna group of companies.

The aim of the foundation was to increase literacy among the poor and marginalized sections of society by increasing their enrollment in primary school. The students were also provided 1 full meal during the day. The foundation was able to reach 880 schools in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and feed 150000 children daily[14].

Accounting Scandal & Court Proceedings

Raju resigned from the Satyam board after bringing to light that Satyam had falsified revenues and margins. He stated that the balance sheets of Satyam carried Rs.5,040 cr. of inflated or non-existent cash and bank balances, overstated debtor position of Rs.490 cr., non-existent accrued interest of Rs.376 cr. and an understated liability of Rs.1230 cr. of funds arranged by him. In his letter, Raju said," what started as a marginal gap between actual operating profit and the one reflected in the books continued to grow over the years. It has attained unmanageable proportions as the size of the company's operations grew over the years" [15]. Raju described how an initial cover-up for a poor quarterly performance escalated: "It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten" [16] . He also said," The aborted Maytas acquisition deal was the last attempt to fill the fictitious assets with real ones." [17]

Satyam was purchased by Tech Mahindra in April 2009 and was later merged into it.[17]

Raju and his brother, B Rama Raju, were then arrested by the CID Andhra Pradesh police. Later the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Raju was hospitalized in September 2009 following a minor heart attack and he was also suffering from Hepatitis C. Three charge sheets were filed by the CBI in XXI ACMM court Nampally. He was released on bail on 4th November 2011. The trail was completed before XXI ACMM court and Raju was convicted for 7 years and a fine of Rs.5.5 cr. was levied on him. The same is appealed and pending before XVIII MSJ judge at Nampally Hyderabad.

On 28 October 2013, the Enforcement directorate filed a complaint against Raju and 212 others in XXI ACMM. The Enforcement Directorate has attached various properties belonging to the Raju family. SEBI launched adjudicating proceedings against Raju and held that he violated provisions of PFUTP and PIT regulations. The same is under appeal.


External links

  1. Zafar Anjum (2012). The Resurgence of Satyam. p. 1990. ISBN 9788184003406.
  2. https://www.alumni.hbs.edu/stories/Pages/story-bulletin.aspx?num=227
  3. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/satyam-computer-services-ltd(merged)/infocompanyhistory/companyid-11407.cms
  4. https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/satyam-computer-services-ltd
  5. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20041019005443/en/Sify-CEO-Open-Nasdaq-Stock-Market-October
  6. https://www.firstpost.com/business/full-text-this-letter-ramalinga-raju-wrote-uncovered-the-rs-4676-cr-satyam-scam-2190559.html
  7. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/cognizant-technology-solutions-corporation-history/
  8. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/satyam-to-launch-leadership-school/articleshow/1311234.cms
  9. https://www.byrrajufoundation.org/html/aboutus.php?cat=a1
  10. https://www.byrrajufoundation.org/html/aboutus.php?cat=a1#
  11. https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2006/0724/112.html#48cd3b6d8b14.
  12. http://jwalasmusings.blogspot.com/2017/02/telugu-ramalinga-raju-pioneered-108-not.html
  13. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267271329_HMRI_Review_of_104_Services .
  14. https://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20041024/spectrum/main2.htm
  15. https://www.firstpost.com/business/full-text-this-letter-ramalinga-raju-wrote-uncovered-the-rs-4676-cr-satyam-scam-2190559.html
  16. https://www.firstpost.com/business/full-text-this-letter-ramalinga-raju-wrote-uncovered-the-rs-4676-cr-satyam-scam-2190559.html
  17. https://www.firstpost.com/business/full-text-this-letter-ramalinga-raju-wrote-uncovered-the-rs-4676-cr-satyam-scam-2190559.html
  18. http://www.rediff.com/business/report/tech-techm-mahindra-satyam-to-merge/20120321.htm

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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