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Firms and founders band together against virus variant rampaging through India
Photo Credit: Reuters

Many firms and founders have stepped up global and local efforts in providing relief and support as India grapples with the second wave of the pandemic.  

Global giants, startups, and entrepreneurs have come together under an entity called ACT Grants, a social change body for the startup ecosystem founded in 2020 to fight COVID-19. 

Thirty four founders along with 44 investment funds including Accel, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Kalaari Capital, and LetsVenture, have banded together to create a Rs 500 crore philanthropic fund under ACT Grants. 

Some of them are mentioned below.

Goldman Sachs 

Goldman Sachs Group announced a $10 million commitment to support relief and recovery efforts in India, the company said.  

“India is home to three Goldman Sachs offices and we have a responsibility to provide our firm’s support and assistance,” said chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of David M Solomon. 

The investment banking mammoth said that funds will be deployed to support initiatives promoting mental health in communities across India and will help economic recovery within those communities.

Amazon 

In addition to its $3.8 million worth of 100 ventilators for India, Amazon said it will use its global logistics network to purchase, airlift and deliver some of the critical medical equipment identified by the government and local charities. The company said 1,000 Medtronic ventilators will be delivered to India. 

Amazon will deliver oxygen concentrators from Italy, ventilators from the UK, and nebulisers and inhalation devices from Germany. The products will be provided to Amazon frontline workers and local charities to help those infected with COVID-19 across multiple cities in India.  

Temasek partnered Air India and Amazon to airlift essential medical supplies for hospitals and COVID-19 treatment centres across India. 

Blackstone 

Alternative investment management giant Blackstone said it will donate $5 million to help India fight the raging pandemic. 

Founder and chairman Stephen A Schwarzman said a part of the money will be used to address the severe shortage of oxygen concentrators and ventilators and to assist vaccine education programmes. 

Apollo Global Management  

US-based Apollo Global Management donated $1 million to ACT Grants. The funds will be used to deploy thousands of oxygen concentrators and other life-saving medical equipment to help fight the crisis in the country, Apollo said.

Walmart  

Walmart, along with associates Flipkart, PhonePe and others, will use its global resources to expand support for COVID-19 relief efforts in India, the company said.  

“Walmart is a global family. We feel the impact of this devastating surge on our associates, families and friends across India, and it’s important that we come together to support however we can,” said Doug McMillian, president and CEO of Walmart.  

Others

Many such as Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, venture capitalist Prakhar Khanduja, logistics and supply chain startup Delhivery, online travel company EaseMyTrip, food delivery platform Zomato, payment gateway Razorpay and Pharmeasy have also stepped in to help the country’s healthcare system groaning under the burden of growing COVID-19 cases.

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