With Satyam’s success, Ramalinga Raju started taking his status as an icon seriously, but was very unhappy that he wasn’t spoken of in the same breath as Narayana Murthy and Azim Premji.
When I spoke to Ramalinga Raju’s friends, former colleagues and relatives, it struck me that however seemingly modern and multinational Satyam became since the 90s, some primitive qualities never left Raju and his company. “To be counted among the biggies became an obsession with Ramalinga,” recalls a former colleague. He used to protest when people referred to Satyam as India’s fourth largest company. “Why not at least say AP’s biggest company?” he would counter. This ‘complex’ was something that made Ramalinga Raju rush Satyam to be listed on the NYSE. “He wanted Satyam to be known as the first Indian company to have done so. Never mind if the amount raised was a measly 140 millon dollars.”