Interview with former Pfizer finance executive and whistleblower Ashok Idnani.
The article by Business World, which picked up on my story about the Pfizer India finance scandal, has created a lot of interest.
A Pfizer insider appears to have tried to use the article to discredit the whistleblower,Ashok Idnani, leaving comments both on CafePharma and on this blog.
On CafePharma this comment appeared, "Looks like Rost got burned on his India stories. The plant that Pfizer supposedly sold for 10% of it's value was actually sold at slightly higher than the market rates. I wonder if that India stuff was a joke someone played on Rost. It is pretty funny though, mainly because of how much time he spent on it. Hopefully he can check out his stories in the future so he does not get duped again."
And on my blog, this comment was posted, "Well, according to the article posted on this website the property was sold for higher than market rates. According to the Indian contact it was sold for one-tenth the value. So, it looks like that aspect was a non-issue. I am not sure what the guys credentials are, but maybe Dr. Rost can post them too. Most companies conduct annual written reviews so that would be a good thing to publish in order to tell how well credentialed this guy was. Maybe the other allegations have a basis but I would think that most rational people might have a legitimate reason to question them. I mean, every company hires detectives and it is not always for a nefarious reason. For all I know it the people being followed could have threatened to blow up a plant. The Indian contact has a credibility problem right now, if he could establish that he was receiving good reviews then the general public would be more likely to believe he was retaliated against. Maybe he was just a crazy guy with an ax do grind and this was his best forum."
So, I thought, why not let the whistleblower reply?
Mr. Idnani's what do you think about these comments which question you credentials?
This appears to be written by a Pfizer insider. I can reply to that easily sending you my last appraisals done in 2001 and 2002 which were good, including an email to me in Jan 2002 from then country manager Hocine appreciating my role in integration activities of Pfizer-Parke Davis. Starting January 2003 they "froze" my salary and bonuses and there were no appraisals since then.
But what about the allegation that the article disproves that the plant was sold for less than its real value?
As for the property being sold for more than market value . . . this is simply not true. The government valuation of the property of Rs. 1800 million (conservative) has not changed. Only the Stamp Duty demand has been waived. The charge remains that Pfizer India sold the property at 10% of potential market value, and that is no doubt an undervaluation.
So aren't you just an employee with an ax to grind?
As for the comment about "an ax to grind" in your forum, the facts speak for themselves. I had approached my superiors in 2002, 2003, 2004 and ultimately Pfizer Inc & Jeff Kindler in November 2005 and until today the outcome of the November 2005 investigation has not been disclosed to me.
Is anything wrong in the Business World story?
Pfizer India has only now, falsely, started telling the newspapers "he has been told, his charges are baseless." So only after the postings on your blog and without any communication to me from Pfizer NY, who investigated the charges, and from whom I had been demanding the outcome and the detailed investigation reports, which was denied to me, do they say this.
So what about this Pfizer apologist who claims “every company hires detectives and it is not always for a nefarious reason"?
No company should authorize breaking into your bank accounts and start tracing your telephone calls, this is illegal. And bribing government officials is illegal. If you do that (and it was done by Pfizer with knowledge of Jeff Kindler, since I notified him) then you should also be sacked, just like HP's chairwoman was forced out. But instead the salary of the current Pfizer-India country manager was increased by a phenomenal 111%.
So do you think these comments were written by a Pfizer PR hack?
Where is the credibility problem really - with the person accusing or the accused? You have the documents and the facts. Let the people who read this decide!