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Saturday, September 24, 2022

This Is How Indian Startups Are Helping Citizens, Employees To Defeat Covid-19 Pandemic

Indian Startups have declared a war against Covid-19, and they are determined to end this pandemic and help India recover faster.

As per their own capabilities, strengths and networks, Indian startups are doing everything possible to help citizens, patients and their employees to cope with the pandemic, and ensuring all possible help and assistance.

We spoke with several startups and asked them what they have planned, and how are they initiating the whole process.

Here are few major highlights:

OYO Care: New initiatives for wave two by adding covid positive quarantine and isolation facilities next door

Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO INSEA said, “OYO’s presence across India enables us to support the healthcare system that has been stretched for space during such times. We are dedicating select properties across cities as quarantine and isolation facilities for COVID-19 positive patients.”

He added, “We also empathize with and stand ready to welcome frontline workers such as health care professionals, law enforcement authorities, essential workers or even a relative of a COVID-19 patient who needs safe and affordable accommodation options near a hospital. We hope our initiatives, in a small but meaningful way, provide refuge to everyone who needs it right now. We are extremely grateful to our asset partners who have joined hands with us to cater to the growing needs of healthcare and the frontline workforce during these distressing times.”

ICICI Lombard General Insurance: 100% Work From Home, Crisis Management Team

“The pandemic and its aftermath has brought with it unique challenges for the corporate world. At ICICI Lombard, the senior management and HR have been proactive in their approach in enforcing the government regulatory directives from the onset of the pandemic and empowering employees to adapt to the ‘New normal’ way of working. This has led to a series of infrastructural changes/support as well as social adjustments in the way we function.”

Humans of Bombay: Raising Rs 3 Crore for helping Covid patients

Ms. Karishma Mehta, Founder & CEO – Humans of Bombay said, “At Humans of Bombay, we have always promoted a community-first approach. Our nation is fighting an unprecedented battle against COVID-19, and so it is imperative now more than ever to come together in solidarity. The extraordinary generosity shown to our Fundraiser will bolster Hemkunt Foundation’s tremendous efforts in providing free Oxygen across India. While we have been extensively sharing the Fundraiser with our own community of 2.7 Million+ people via our socials, we urge more and more people to come forward and donate to the cause. Every bit will go a
long way in saving lives. We are confident that together we will – India will overcome.”

Clearwater Analytics: Covid Task Force for employees

Mr. Anurag Singh, Managing Director, Clearwater Analytics, India said, “The world is grappling with an ongoing health crisis and India has been hammered with the second wave of the pandemic. We at Clearwater Analytics are continuously striving to protect our employees and their families, their mental and physical well-being and ensuring that the company’s employee balance sheet is healthy. We have set up a pandemic support mechanism and an emergency support team to aid employees during this crisis. Our company has put together a Covid task force to help in active testing using Rapid Antigen test kits, isolation programs, crowdsourcing oxygen cylinders, ambulances and treatment for critical situations. We are also providing special Care packages with an oximeter, Covid tests, PPE kit, gloves, sanitizer, etc in addition to on-call doctor consultation for immediate support to the ones tested positive.

Besides this, our leadership and HR team are constantly doing check-in calls with the employees. Clearwater Analytics is also planning to roll out vaccine camps for their employees and relatives for a hassle-free procedure. We are grateful to our global team for providing extensive support in sending relief packages to India. As we all go through this critical phase, all these efforts and programs are a welcome step to alleviate the lives of the employees and express solidarity. The need of the hour is for all to come together and fight this crisis.”

Khalsa Aid: Raises over Rs. 1 crore in 3 days through crowdfunding to procure Oxygen Concentrators

Amarpreet Singh, Managing Director, Khalsa Aid Asia Pacific said, “The nation was grappling with bare minimum resources and we were receiving distress calls overwhelmingly. That’s when we started with the distribution of Oxygen Concentrators in and around Delhi. It’s been 8 days now; we have distributed around 350 + concentrators to the most needy patients. Our volunteers have been on-the-go 24×7 ensuring concentrators reach the doorstep of the patient. We are eternally grateful to ImpactGuru for believing in us and helping us to expand our outreach.”

Nagarro: Urgent orders of300 oxygen concentrators for citizens and employees

Dr. Manas Fuloria, Founder and CEO, Nagarro said, “Hundreds of Nagarro colleagues have been hit by the coronavirus directly or indirectly. Our corona management team has worked around the clock to find beds, medicines and oxygen for them and their families as best as we can. We have also tried to support the community, placing urgent orders for nearly 300 oxygen concentrators, only a fraction of which are for ourselves. To expedite this procurement, we have leveraged our global network of colleagues and clients.”-

Shriram Housing Finance: Free vaccine for all customers, employees

Mr. Ravi Subramanian, MD & CEO, Shriram Housing Finance said,“At Shriram Housing Finance, our employees and customers have always been our priority. Apart from proper hygiene, sanitization measures in the office and social distancing norms, we also organise a free Covid Testing camp for our employees fortnightly. While we had earlier announced reimbursement of costs of vaccination for our employees, we have now extended the same for our customers as well. Customers in the affordable housing space are not very well off and for them even the small sum to be incurred in vaccination through private players can become a big deterrent. This in turn can derail the vaccination drive. We believe that this initiative will take out the dissonance and enable customers to take affordability out of the equation when they make the vaccination decision. We would be reaching out to all customers with details of this program and would work to make this a big success. We have also moved majority of our customer interactions to digital mode with service interactions being encouraged via our mobile app or website.”

Sub-K: Connecting employees for instant support

Mr. Sasidhar N Thumuluri, CEO & MD of Sub-K said,“Sub-K has been proactive in issuing frequent advisories to all of its staff, instructing them on how to take care, maintain social distance, and take steps to protect themselves and their families. As an organization, we are taking the necessary measures to provide all of our employees with the best possible service.

For employees who have been affected by COVID, Sub-K has an unlimited sick leave program. Having on boarded Practo for medical consultation, the organization is assisting its staff and their families get the best medical care. Sub-K also provides COVID-19 insurance cover for all employees.

The company has also launched Sub-K Konnect, an initiative to monitor the well-being and needs of its affected employees.

The program entails a dedicated COVID task force which connects with affected employees and their family members and keeps track of their urgent needs and health conditions. The main goal of this program is to assist employees in obtaining the medical, financial, and emotional support they need during these trying times. The data gathered by the Sub-K Konnect program will be used to assist employees who need plasma therapy as well. With their permission, the recovered employees will be given a forum to communicate with other affected employees and their families to donate plasma.”

Fynd: Employees, Family Gets Hospitalisation cover of Rs 8 Lakh; Medical Loan At 0% Interest

Fynd has also launched an initiative called the “Fynding Warriors” with the sole aim of encouraging plasma donations in the fight against COVID-19.

Farooq Adam, a co-founder of Fynd, India’s leading and a tech first omnichannel platform (a Reliance backed company) – “Since Covid, we have been seeking ways to meaningfully contribute and support our team of 300+. In case of any emergencies, our well-being helpdesk ensures people have access to medical care, financial support and more. We are also encouraging our teams to focus on personal well-being.”

As per the startups, If you have fully recovered from a verified COVID-19 diagnosis, the plasma in your blood may contain COVID-19 antibodies which can slow down the virus spread and your donation might help save a life. Those who are willing to donate their plasma, please Register Here and we’ll upload your details on Fynd website so that it is easily accessible by a person in need. Fynd urges all the COVID-19 warriors to share their details and help save a life!

ARAPL: Covid insurance of Rs 3 Lakh; Rs 500 Fine For Not Wearing Mask

Some other initiatives include: 30 steam machines on gate and its compulsory for every one to take steam while entering and leaving factory; sent designers; purchase; vendor etc departments to work from home, Reduced strength to 50% at factory premises. Sent almost 100 people to work from home. Spent gravely on IT to safeguard our data in this process temperature and oxygen level checking thrice a day; stopped all visitors. Only essential are permitted with proper checking

SE2 Digital Service LLP: Rs 10 Lakh or 1-Year Salary (including 100% variable) (besides group life insurance) for demised employees

Sumit Bhatia, Head HR, SE2 Digital Service LLP said, “We have put in place multiple initiatives to ensure our employees are safe and reassured during the pandemic situation. Some of the initiatives are:

· Flexible Approach towards Working from Home: We continue to be nimble and flexible with working from home, depending on the situation on the ground in both our locations
· Tracking Associate Health: Closely tracking and monitoring associate and their family’s health status
· SOS Channels: Leadership Team and Managers have formed a group on an instant messaging platform to share updates and support associates for any real-time information and urgent needs
· Special Leave for COVID: 14 days of special COVID-19 leaves in case any associate is detected COVID positive
· Reimbursement: Reimbursement of RTPCR tests and now of Vaccination costs as well
· Wellbeing Package: Health Insurance that includes COVID related hospitalization, 24×7 free doctor access, Stress Management (EAP) support
· Monetary Coverage for Family (beyond Term Life Insurance): In the unfortunate scenario of an associates’ demise due to COVID, SE2 will pay the associates’ full 1-year salary (including 100% of the variable pay) OR INR 10L (whichever is higher) to the family.”

Ventipeep: Respirator Mask for Supplemental Oxygen saves lives of more than 2000 Covid-19 patients in ICU

Ventipeep, a new age respirator mask, developed to administer supplemental oxygen (medically referred to as FiO2), is saving thousands of lives in this critical situation, with its capacity to save patients from SPO2 levels of 50%. It is currently being used by more than 137 Hospitals like Nair Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Civil Hospital Surat, Ispat General Hospital, Orange Hospital, Sanjeevani Hospital, Yasfeen Hospital, Rajasthan Hospital, CMD Hospital, A V Hospital amongst others.

LogiNext: Logistics support for Oxygen Delivery

Dhruvil Sanghvi, CEO, LogiNext ,-a global technology and automation company shares his comments on the works LogiNext is doing to give oxygen supply a boost.

“While there is a fair supply of oxygen that exists, there is a disconnect when it comes to distribution chains. That said, there are proactive steps being taken to mobilise delivery partners for this purpose. The startup community in Mumbai has reached out to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to offer logistics support for oxygen delivery. LogiNext is in the process of launching a service in collaboration with over 50 delivery platforms in the country to help deliver oxygen cylinders, which should be ready to go live by early next week. The service will integrate an oxygen delivery option in addition to the regular delivery requirements that the platforms address.”

PinkAprons: 50% discount for Covid patients, expanded delivery

Adetee Agarwaal, Co-founder of PinkAprons said, “As a leading home cooked food delivery app, we understand the importance of healthy food for the patients. This is the reason we have tied up with several hospitals and providing home-cooked, healthy food to the patients at a discounted rate. Besides, shipping too is provided at a discounted price. We have also started delivering essential items for our vendors, customers and employees. Together, we can defeat Covid-19.”

Spice Money: Helping rural India get vaccinated

Spice Money aims to enable Covid Vaccination registration for rural citizens through its dense network covering 95% of India’s rural pin codes.

Sanjeev Kumar, CEO, Spice Money said “The banking correspondents have played a critical role since the beginning of the pandemic to provide essential financial and banking services to India’s masses. They are the unrecognized COVID warriors who are taking immense risks to offer last-mile financial service delivery. The Spice Money Adhikaris form the backbone of India’s financial inclusion efforts and it is our duty to ensure their safety at each step. We are offering our assistance in the process to avail the covid-19 jabs as part of DFS’ initiative to vaccinate BFSI employees on priority. We are also mobilizing our SMAs to help rural communities in their areas with self-registration for the vaccines. Through this initiative, we want to play our part to support the vaccination drive in rural India,”

Fino Payments Bank: Helped Govt to distribute cash for the needy

“Always available banking services are the need of the hour,” says Himanshu Mishra, Senior Divisonal Head, Fino Payments Bank. “With restrictions on movement and limited banking hours, Fino’sHamesha available neighbourbood outlets with micro ATM and AePS devices are a source of convenience and relief for people who are in need of cash. Customers can walk-in into the points at any time and withdraw cash or even send money to their family. Most importantly cash is always available at our points.”

Bolo Indya: Raises awareness in partnership with MyGov

Varun Saxena, CEO, and Founder- Bolo Indya said, “We are pleased to welcome MyGov India on Bolo Indya. It is delightful to see such a credible institution trusting Live Streaming on our platform to organically penetrate and amplify the engagement with the users of Bharat through us. We are confident of this partnership creating a strong value for our users too while engaging with credible authorities first hand in live streaming sessions.”

Jana Bank: Rs 10,000 for every employee to fight Covid-19

Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO), Jana Bank said, “Employee health and safety has always been the topmost priority for us at Jana Small Finance Bank. To support our frontline warriors, we already have several initiatives ongoing which include providing additional insurance cover, an additional allowance of Rs10,000 towards diet supplements to each employee who tested positive, reimbursement of testing fees, appointment of an in-house doctor, etc.,. We have also inoculated 25% of our total workforce already through vaccination camps at 109 branches and plan to cover more employees across all our bank branches. Our Senior management is actively engaged with all our employees through our virtual family connect program, to ensure that they get the required support in these crisis times. Jana SFB is also working closely with the state and healthcare authorities to procure vaccines to accelerate the vaccination drive.”

Power Gummies: Free Oxygen, Vaccination Camp For Employees, Discounts For Clients

Divij Bajaj, CEO & Founder, Power Gummies said, “Considering the dire pandemic scenario, Power Gummies is extending a helping hand in the war against COVID-19 via a few initiatives. To begin with, the Company is reducing packaging costs by sending products to consumers without the outer box. Instead, a note is being given with gummies explaining the initiative. Besides, we are setting up vaccination camps in our offices for all employees and their family members. Moreover, we have partnered with the Phoenix group for providing free oxygen to hospitals. We are also raising a fund for assisting hospitals in procuring oxygen so precious lives can be saved. Accordingly, the Company will be making contribution of INR 35 lakh towards medications, vaccine camps, oxygen support and medical supplies. We believe this is the time when individuals and institutions should step up and shoulder their responsibility in mitigating the current crisis.”

EmpMonitor: Hotline for instant help and assistance

Deepa Ghosh, CEO, EmpMonitor, said, “EmpMonitor, as the name says we are the employee friendly organization. Our organization withstand with the help of people we work with. In these turmoils times where each one is struggling to keep pace with the work & personal life. We have ensure for Work From Home since last year pandemic. We have set up a helpline number with the HR to speak to all the employees and ensure we give them a mental session where we they can speak out the heart.
At the gloomy time one needs to have strong financial as well, we are supporting the employee with the financial aid as and when they required.”

Youth Dance Festival: Medical aid to Covid-infected house helpers, drivers

Sonny Sharma, Founder of Youth Dance Festival said, “This is one of the toughest challenges that the World is facing today, especially in India where density of population is so high. A lot of people in Mumbai are daily wage earners so it becomes tough for them to make the ends meet in the lockdown situation as well as arranging all the medical facilities if they have the infection. Providing them all the medical facilities during this crucial phase help them to win over the dreaded disease. With the help of co-founders Vicky Singh, Rushabh Shah and Vishal Garg ,we have successfully implemented this campaign and we are trying to reach more house helpers. Our NGO is just making a small effort to help these people in need.”

Branch (a Personal Finance App): Unlimited Paid leaves for employees, discounts for customers

As the very first step, Branch has implemented the unlimited paid time off for dealing with the physical and emotional trauma. The work from home policy has also been extended. The health coverage will now cover Covid Related hospitalization. We have internally formed a COVID employee taskforce to evaluate and work on various work streams to support employees during these times.
Branch will also be working on Sponsoring vaccinations for self and family. The company is going to actively share resources with employees in terms of how to handle COVID related cases, provide support to employees in terms of contact details for procurement of COVID related equipment/consumables (oxygen, remedesvir, etc) and is looking into reimbursement of the same.

In addition to this, Branch is ensuring that the customers who took a loan and are affected by the pandemic are given discounts and extensions on their repayments on a case by case basis. The overall losses coming due to this are being absorbed by the business.

Eggoz: Free Eggoz eggs to the underprivileged people

Eggoz(Nupa Technologies Pvt Ltd), a Gurgoan based Agri Tech startup, is on a mission to improve India’s protein consumption and production. During this pandemic, they have seen a surge in the consumption of eggs, as it’s one of the most important immunity-building superfoods. They have also been distributing free Eggoz eggs to the underprivileged people during the pandemic to help them have a nutritious diet. Eggoz eggs provide an invaluable lifeline to their rural farmers, putting them in a better position to feed their families and send their children to school.

Eggoz had worked out an all encompassing insurance policy for all its employee covering the covid19 related health problems.This helps them with hassle free access to healthcare.

Teliolabs: Extended medical insurance & paid leaves for employees

Amit Singh, CEO of Teliolabs said, “We have formed a Covid response team with a doctor, finance, HR and system admin teams to ensure proper help to the team members in case of any Covid related query, hospital admissions etc. We are also extending our medical insurance and term insurance policies for better coverage in these difficult times. We have decided to give paid leave to employees falling sick owing to Covid.”

Bolo Indya: Unlimited Paid Leaves for employees

Varun Saxena, CEO & Founder, Bolo Indya said, “To ensure the wellbeing of our colleagues, and to enable them to support their loved ones who need attention and care, we at Bolo Indya have announced unlimited paid leaves till May 31 to affected employees who are coping up with the ongoing situation and unfortunate times. Colleagues who are under mental trauma and stressed situations can also avail themselves the same in consultation with their team leaders.

To keep up the morale of our users and creators, we have launched the #AllWillGetWell awareness campaign that aims to educate the masses with credible information in covid times. As part of this campaign, we are bringing health experts regularly on our LIVE streaming platform every week for an ‘Ask me Anything’ session, on discussing myths around COVID-19, tackling mental health issues, covid precautions, while sharing effective home care tips. We have also launched an 18+ vaccination awareness drive on our social media handles to encourage our audience, users, and followers to participate in a Countrywide vaccination drive by the Government of India.”

Bold Care: Flexible work model for all employees, dedicated health consultancy

Rajat Jadhav, Co-founder, Bold Care said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented the world with challenges that have had a severe impact on the economy. While many aspects of the ‘new normal’ that set in are here to stay, the pandemic has also taught startups valuable internal organizational lessons. The way forward for businesses is to strengthen its defenses and adopt an immediate plan of action to ensure employee wellbeing. At Bold Care, we’ve introduced a flexible model enabling employees to balance their work, and home, while also making room for physical and mental wellness. We’ve invested in building multi-functional teams, opening lines of dialogue among people with an aim to implement and nurture mindfulness within the organization. In order to smoothly transition and limit disruptions, we’ve reiterated the need for transparency in identifying employee concerns and have recommended solutions, which has helped in fostering workplace positivity amidst stressful times.

While the impact has been extensive, we’ve percolated and prioritized the health and safety of our employees. Besides creating an effective and inclusive workspace, this repositioning has also lead us to build a sustainable virtual employee centric structure that focuses on being agile, purpose driven and resilient from the ground up. In continuation of our efforts to provide support to our employees, we’ve held training sessions, development programs and shared necessary resources to navigate challenges faced during the resurgence of COVID-19. To minimize the impact on the healthcare industry, we’ve also encourage and provide the required information to all our internal stakeholders and their families to get vaccinated safely.”

Navia Life care: Video Consultation software for Doctors

Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder, Navia Life care said, “Navia is a digital health company working with thousands of patients and doctors in the country. Our “Video Consultation” product is actively being used by thousands of doctors across the country, these doctors have treated tens of thousands of Covid patients on the platform.Our team at Navia is helping doctors and patients 24/7 to the best of its capabilities. Research shows that early intervention and close monitoring can help avoiding criticality of a Covid-19 patient, to help with this problem, we have created a Curated Panel of Expert Doctors on our app called “Navia for Patients” and on a web platform where patients can consult Expert Covid Specialists for early intervention by Video Consultation. A few doctors on our panel are even treating the patients for free.”

Scaler: Rs 5 Lakh insurance for all employees, unlimited paid leaves

Scaler has insured all its employees for Covid Cover under Group Health Insurance with a coverage sum of INR 5,00,000 per employee

Employees are entitled to avail indefinite paid leaves if they or their family members contracted the virus

All the employees and their immediate family members will be vaccinated as part of a workplace wellness initiative

Regular yoga, meditation and mental health awareness sessions are being organised for employees to help them transverse the challenges of pandemic life

Scaler has also launched a Mentorship service. In this, they will offer paid mentorship sessions to everyone, including those who are not Scaler learners, the entire proceeds of which will be donated to organizations working for Covid relief activities.

Impact Guru: Secured 10,000 oxygen concentrators

ImpactGuru, healthcare crowdfunding platform based in Mumbai, India, and Swasth Digital Health Foundation along with ACTGrants have collaborated to boost the procurement of oxygen concentrators and channel them to hospitals across our country.

10,000 oxygen concentrators already secured for immediate deployment and fundraising on ImpactGuru is currently in full-swing to increase this count.

Harman India: Free vaccination for all employees

Vikrant Gupta, Vice President – Human Resources, HARMAN said, “Even in these uncertain times, our employees have shouldered multiple responsibilities by managing their personal and professional commitments while working remotely from home and helping deliver mission critical projects for our customers. With the vaccination drive in full swing, we want to ensure our employees and their families are safe and healthy”.

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