Thursday, January 29, 2009

To Poach or Not To Poach

After the Satyam disaster, Infosys got itself into some muddy waters by the remarks of its HR and Mr.N Murthy. First, they said, they will not poach on Satyam employees. I looked at some dictionaries and understood that "poach" actually means to unfairly or illegally benefit from a situation. Well, in that case, it appeared there was nothing wrong in what they said. After a while, they stirred the mud a bit more as if the earlier statement wasn't enough. "We will not recruit Satyam employees" ! Now, here comes trouble ! IT people from all companies started throwing stones at this remark. All sorts of allegations were made at Infosys. Some took oath never to join Infy in their life. One guy said Mr. Murthy can never become President of India because of this one remark (as if he was dying to become President).

Now, why all this hungama ? We are talking about a company - Satyam - that fell on its own face because of its fraudulent activities. When my competitor falls like this - due to all the fraud he committed over the years, after cheating all stakeholders and violating the laws of this land - why on earth should I not use that golden opportunity and crush him out of business ! If this happened to Yahoo, will Microsoft and Google sit back and shed tears? The next moment they would be setting off like roaring lions to finish off the bleeding prey. There is absolutely nothing wrong in it. Business is war, and if a competitor falls because of his mistakes it is nothing wrong of others to use that opportunity.

But, if Satyam had fallen because of a natural disaster like earthquake or flood - or a terrorist attack on its facilities - then it makes sense for others to show some sympathy and lend a helping hand.

The best help other IT companies can do to Indian software business now - is to do everything possible to take over Satyam's clients and employees - and ensure that our image isn't affected in the global arena. Without any hesitation, we should welcome Satyam employees into our companies - and people can call it poaching or whatever - but I feel that is absolutely right.