The Resurgence Of Satyam: The Global IT Giant

Zafar Anjum

(Random Business, Rs. 399)

The story of Satyam Computers was the stuff of fairy tales. One of the first companies to enter the Indian Internet service market, Satyam became a symbol of success. Till Ramalinga Raju, its founder and chairman, made a simple confession — he had been cooking up his account books for years and had shown exaggerated profits that ran into thousands of crores — which rocked India Inc.

In this book, Anjum, a Singapore-based journalist and writer, tracks the chronicle from Raju’s confession and Satyam’s free-falling, to the phoenix’s rise as Mahindra Satyam. With research, interviews and stories, Anjum tells a tale of betrayal and devastation, but more important, he talks about a story of hope and resurrection when Mahindra stepped in.

An afterword by Anand Mahindra, adds weight to the book. This definitive book answers many questions about the Satyam saga.

Digital Wars: Apple, Microsoft, Google And The Battle For The Internet

Charles Arthur

(Viva Books, Rs. 450)

Apple, Google, Microsoft… the names spell tech power and much more. But why did Google test 40 shades of blue on its users? When did Microsoft have the chance to catch Google making money from search and who vetoed it? How long did outside developers wait before asking to write apps for Apple’s iPhone after Steve Jobs announced it? Who said that Microsoft should have its own music player and why did it fail?

Well, questions such as these have been answered by Arthur, the Technology editor of The Guardian. Digital Wars starts in 1998, when the Internet and the computing business were about to be upended by an anti-trust case, a tiny start-up and a former giant rebuilding itself.

This book looks at what are now the three best-known tech companies, and through the voices of former and current staff, examines their different strategies to win the battle to control the exploding network connecting the world.

Microsoft became the highest valued company in the world, while Apple was a minnow, and Google just a start-up. But by February 2012, Apple was worth more ($462bn) than both Microsoft ($258bn) and Google ($198bn) combined.

Naturally, the battle lines were drawn. But how did they win their battles? Well, Apple used design, the vertical model of controlling the hardware and software, and a relentless focus on the customer to the exclusion of others; Microsoft depended on the high quality of its employees’ programming skills and its monopolies in software to try to move into new markets such as search and music; and Google focussed on being quick, efficient, and using the power of data analysis, not human ‘taste’, to make decisions and get ahead of would-be rivals.

Whatever the methods, the three companies have changed our lives like never before. And they are here to stay.

The Bankster

Ravi Subramanian

(Rupa, Rs. 175)

From a master storyteller of financial crime, comes yet another thriller. Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threatens to destroy the reputation of the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2). Who is behind these killings, and what is the motive?

When Karan Panjabi, a press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he stumbles upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications and a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation.


Between the coversJanuary 30, 2013