Companies

How India Inc has responded to Covid-19 crisis

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2020 Published on March 24, 2020

From converting existing manufacturing plants to make ventilators to giving free fuel to emergency vehicles, Indian companies have announced a slew of initiatives to help combat the ongoing crisis over the coronavirus epidemic.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group was among the first corporate leaders to come out with clear commitments. He said that his group will begin work to use existing manufacturing facilities to make ventilators to combat Coronavirus.

In a series of tweet, Mahindra said, "To help in the response to this unprecedented threat, we at the Mahindra Group will immediately begin work on how our manufacturing facilities can make ventilators."

He is also converting Mahindra Holidays resorts as temporary care facilities.

Vedanta

Vedanta Ltd has set up a dedicated ₹100 crore fund as part of its endeavour to combat the widespread outbreak of deadly COVID-19.

The fund will cater to three specific areas – livelihood of the daily wage worker, employees and contract workers, preventive healthcare and will provide timely help to communities in and around various plant locations of the company.

“ It is critical that corporate houses should assist the government in the fight against this deadly virus by contributing to the best of their ability so that the nation has adequate resources to take care of its citizens and provide both medical and financial assistance. This fund is a first step on Vedanta’s behalf and we will increase the corpus if the need arises,” said Anil Agarwal, Executive Chairman, Vedanta Resources Ltd. Vedanta will also not cut salaries or fire any staff, including temporary workers during this crisis period. It has also decided to provide special, one time insurance to cover Vedanta’s employees and their families against COVID-19

Tata Sons

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons said that Tata group will ensure full payment to daily wage earners and contract workers.

"The current situation is likely to have a large and deep financial impact on the weaker socio-economic segments of our society. During this time of crisis, our group companies commit to ensuring full payments to the temporary workers and daily wage earners who are working in our offices and at our sites in India for the month of March and April, 2020, even if these workers are not able to work due to either quarantine measures, site closures, plant shutdowns or other reasons," Chandra said in a statement.

Reliance Industries

Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has set up a dedicated 100 bedded centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai for patients who test positive for Covid-19. The Foundation has also offered to set up special medical facilities to quarantine travellers from notified countries and suspected cases identified through contact tracing. Reliance Foundation will provide free meals to people across various cities in partnership with NGOs and offer necessary livelihood relief in the current crisis situation. Reliance has built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra and handed it over to the district authorities.

The conglomerate owned by Mukesh Ambani is enhancing its production capacities to produce 100,000 face-masks per day and a large number of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as suits and garments, for the nation’s healthworkers to equip them further to fight the coronavirus challenge.

It also announced initial support of ₹5 crore to the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Reliance will provide free fuel for all emergency service vehicles used to transport Covid-19 patients (service is provided only for the vehicle used for Covid-19 patients and as per list provided by Government agencies) to and from quarantine and isolation facilities as well as quarantined people on the basis of lists provided by Government agencies.

Reliance will continue to pay contract and temporary workers, even if work has halted due to this crisis. For those earning below ₹30,000 per month, salaries will be paid twice a month to protect their cash flow and mitigate any overwhelming financial burden.

HUL

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited has committed ₹100 crore to “help in the fight against coronavirus”. It has also reduced the prices of Lifebuoy sanitizers, Lifebuoy Liquid handwash and Domex floor cleaners by 15 per cent. “In crisis like this, companies have a big role to play. We are working closely with the Governments and our partners to ensure that we overcome this global health crisis together,” said Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, HUL.

HUL will donate 2 crore pieces of Lifebuoy soaps in the next few months to the sections of the society which need it the most.

HUL said it will partner with medical institutions that are providing testing and care facilities to affected people and provide them free supplies of sanitation and hygiene products such as hand sanitizers, bar soaps, and floor cleaners. It will also donate Rs. 10 crores to upgrade the health care facilities in testing centres and hospitals.

Uber

With curfew imposed across cities, uber rides have come down drastically. Uber said that it will provide drivers and delivery persons financial assistance for up to 14 days if they actively drive or deliver with Uber and get diagnosed with COVID-19 or are personally placed in quarantine by a public health authority. “The uncertainty caused by the coronavirus is being felt across the world. But we know it’s especially concerning for anyone who relies on our platform to make a living. That’s why we are providing financial assistance to anyone who drives or delivers with Uber and is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority. This assistance is now available worldwide,”, Andrew Macdonald, Senior Vice President, Rides and Platform

Godrej

Godrej

Protekt – the range of hand hygiene products from Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) – has launched an initiative called 'Protekt India Movement'. As a part of this initiative, Godrej Protekt has commenced free distribution of 1 million packets for free distribution and reduces hand sanitizer price by 66% under #ProtektIndiaMovement.

Godrej Consumer Products Limited has dropped the price for its hand sanitizer from ₹75 to ₹25. Sunil Kataria, CEO (India & SAARC), Godrej Consumer Products Limited said.

Published on March 24, 2020
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