Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), is the richest industrialist in the country. But in the wake of Coronavirus induced lockdown, billions of dollars have wiped out of RIL and the shares are trading at a value 41 percent lower than start of this calendar year. As per Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ambani has lost 21 billion dollars since the start of 2020, thanks to stock market crash.
However, the loss of 21 billion dollars has not made the billionaire less generous and RIL has decided to make 1 lakh masks daily to help the government in fight against Coronavirus. Additionally the conglomerate has pledged 5 crore rupees to Maharashtra CM relief fund.
Moreover, Mukesh Ambani has decided to not just help the government monetarily as pledging money to government authorities is easiest way for any billionaire to show social responsibility, and therefore, RIL set up a 100 bed centre dedicated for Coronavirus patients. The centre is named after the virus as Covid-19 centre.
“This first-of-its-kind-in-India centre is fully funded by Reliance Foundation and includes a negative pressure room that helps in preventing cross contamination and helps control infection. All beds are equipped with the required infrastructure, bio medical equipment such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machine and patient monitoring devices,” said RIL in a statement.
The group has already setup a quarantine facility for the travelers from foreign countries and handed it over district authorities. Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital has offered to set up more quarantine facilities. Additionally, Reliance foundation has partnered with NGOs across the city to offer free meals for poor.
Jio- telecommunication arm of the conglomerate- is trying to set up unified communication facility to make work from easier. “Jio is combining its digital capabilities with Microsoft Teams, the unified communication and collaboration hub for teamwork in Office 365, to enable individuals, students, educational and healthcare institutions to continue their professional lives while still practicing social distancing,” said the company.
In a show of social responsibility towards the employees, the company said that it will continue to pay contractual and temporary workers, as for those earning less than 30,000 per months, double salary will be paid. “RIL will continue to pay contract and temporary workers, even if work has halted due to this crisis. For those earning below Rs. 30,000 per month, salaries will be paid twice a month to protect their cash flow and mitigate any overwhelming financial burden,” reads the statement by RIL.
The company has adopted multi-pronged strategy in fight against Coronavirus instead of donating huge sum of money, and this is the right way, because, at this point of time, any government will release any amount of money for the fight, but building infrastructure for the fight is the read task, and Reliance Industries is doing exactly that.
Apart from Mukesh Ambani led RIL, many other industrialists like Ananad Mahindra of Mahindra Group, Anil Agrawal of Vendanta and many other others have come forward to help the government in fight against Coronavirus. So far, India has taken radical measures to curb the spread of the virus, and given the number of cases, it seems that, the strategy is working. Given the weak public health infrastructure of the country, prevention through social distancing is the only way to deal with the crisis, and by announcing lockdown of 21 days, the Union government has done exactly that.