Diversification drive to beat scourge
Corporate India, hit hard by lockdowns and suspension of manufacturing operations, have come up with unique ideas to combat the crisis, including diversification into non-core businesses.
These steps came on a day the Union government said that companies’ expenditure to deal with the coronavirus outbreak will be considered as CSR activitiy.
The Mahindra group, which is known for its utility vehicles & tractors, IT services and resorts, is planning to make ventilators.
“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,” Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra group, said in a tweet on Monday. Mahindra did not give out the details on when work would start or which group firm would make the critical medical device.
Mahindra added that Mahindra Holidays will offer the resorts as temporary care facilities.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the oil-to-retail giant, said it will ramp up the production of face masks. RIL has a textile division that makes fabrics, apparel and branded upholstery. However, that this division, which contributes only a fraction to RIL’s topline, also makes masks came as a surprise.
“RIL is enhancing its production capacities to produce 100,000 face-masks per day. It will also produce a large number of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as suits and garments for health-workers to equip them to fight the coronavirus,’’ the company said in a statement.
Jio is combining its digital capabilities with Microsoft to enable medical consultation at home by connecting with physicians and doctors in real-time.
“In a short time of just two weeks, H N Reliance Foundation Hospital in collaboration with the BMC has set up a dedicated 100-bed centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai, for patients who test positive for Covid-19. This centre is fully funded by Reliance Foundation,” it added.
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler chief executive Mike Manley reportedly told employees that the car maker would produce masks at one of its facilities in Asia. He added that this unit (now producing cars) would be converted to produce face masks and that it would quickly reach a target of making 1 million masks a month.
TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), announced that in the wake of the nationwide lockdowns on schools and colleges, it is offering access to its digital classroom, a virtual learning platform, free of cost to educational institutes across the country.
Diageo, makers of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff Vodka, said it will to produce more than eight million bottles of hand sanitisers by donating up to two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners.