The Rise and Fall of Ramalinga Raju

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN059 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Ethics in Leadership

Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2008-09
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
Industry : Information Technology / Software Services
Countries : INDIA


The case discusses the rise and subsequent fall of one of the visionary leaders in the Indian IT sector, Ramalinga Raju (Raju). US-educated Raju founded Satyam Computers Services Limited (Satyam) and under his leadership, the company grew to become one of the leading IT services companies in the world. In an announcement that surprised the IT and investor communities both in India and across the world, Raju confessed to a major accounting fraud that marked his fall, drawing comparisons to Bernard Madoff. The case examines in detail the inception and growth of Satyam, vision and leadership skills of Raju, the problems Satyam faced due to growing competition, the Maytas fiasco and the events leading to confession of accounting fraud by Raju.

The case concludes with a discussion on the events that occurred after the confession, and the reasons that led to the fall of Raju.


Study the inception and growth of Satyam.
Analyze the importance of visionary leadership for the growth of a company.
Examine the importance of having a strong board and governance structure.
Understand the reasons that led to the fall of Raju.
Appreciate the importance of ethical leadership.


  Page No.
Fall From Grace 1
Background Note 2
All Is Not Well With Raju 5
Raju's Fall Begins 7
Raju Confesses to Fraud 10
The Aftermath 11
Exhibits 13


Satyam Computers, Maytas Properties, Maytas Infra, Ethical Leadership, Ramalinga Raju, Bernard Madoff, Network of Circles, Entrepreneurship, Accounting Fraud, Corporate Governance, Breach of Trust, Class Action Law Suits, Board of Directors, Whistle Blowing, Promoter Holding

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