Indian Companies during COVID 19: Leading by Ethical Practices

Dr. Sushma Verma

It is during the adversaries that mettle of an individual is tested and the same applies to Companies. COVID 19 has presented enormous challenges to the entire Nation. Though Ethical business decisions are always important but ethics becomes even more significant when dealing with a crisis. Indian Companies have once again proved that they care by resorting to ethical practices in dealing with this unprecedented crisis .Businesses are being led from the top and ethical decision making is being considered to be the need of the hour by balancing the interest of various stake holders. Leaders from Indian Corporates as always rose up to the responsibility of assisting Government in its fight and have been displaying the highest degree of ethical practices. Following are various different ways in which leading Indian Companies have contributed in dealing with this unprecedented threat,

Monetary and Non-Monetary Contribution
By Being a Responsible Employer
Enhancing Infrastructure facility
Significant monetary contribution to the extent of 2000 Crores has come from Indian Companies and more is expected. Highest being that from Tata group to the extent of 1500 crores,Adani,100 Crores, Jindal South West (JSW )group 100 Crores just to name a few. Reliance Industry Limited (RIL) decided to provide free fuel for all emergency vehicles plying. Parle-G decided to provide 3 Crores biscuits packets to the people in need. Several companies are offering their resorts and hotels to be used for Quarantine purposes or for accommodating doctors and other support staff ie. TATA, Mahindra and Mahindra.

Companies are also resorting to ethical practice by taking due care of contract labourers, daily wagers and also of other under privileged people in their ecosystem. They have kept their priorities clear by ensuring health and safety of their employees followed by attempting to mitigate their financial worries. Companies have shut down their offices mandating employees to work from home. Many manufacturing units have to be shut down their production. All Tata group companies have committed to pay their daily wagers and temporary workers all across India, full payments for the month of March and April irrespective of their availability for work due to various reasons. RIL also decided to continue payments to its temporary and contract workers. Vedanta Group has set up a 100 Crores fund to help daily wagers and their contractual workers and to other needy communities across their various plant locations. Similarly Hero Group also set up 100 Crores fund to help their employees, vendors and dealers.

Indian Companies are also helping government in its fight against COVID 19 by assisting in developing and enhancing infrastructure facilities Reliance Industries Limited( RIL) has set emergency hospitals and isolation centres. Company is also increasing its manufacturing capabilities to produce 100,000 face masks per day and other protective equipment for health workers to well equip them in this fight against deadly corona virus. Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) announced manufacturing of Ventilators at a very competitive costing.

It is very clear that socially responsible companies are doing everything they can in the greater interest of the community and the nation while attempting to balance various stakeholders Gesture shown by Indian Companies is commendable, but this needs to be continued as this pandemic has no time tag. More such efforts are need of the hour. Companies need to come up with a long drawn plan to protect the interest of their vulnerable workers. Moreover even after this crisis is relented enormous generosity is expected from companies considering the long lasting financial implications of this pandemic. This crisis can also be considered as an opportunity to build indigenous infrastructure for health and also for supporting our in-house manufacturing capabilities reducing dependence on imports. Amidst this gloomy and challenging situation there lies a hidden opportunity for the companies to create goodwill as history has shown that businesses upholding values are rewarded by consumers and also by the employees.

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