As the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit businesses and the global economy, the Indian startup ecosystem has put its best foot forward to solve this crisis and has come together like never before. While over 70 founders and product managers have been working on a Quarantine app, Paytm chief Vijay Shekhar Sharma has said that he will not draw a salary for the next two months to help those employees impacted by the pandemic.
In a tweet, Sharma said that he is committing the money to any needs of Paytm office help or staff. He said that he was inspired by Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson who also made a similar commitment for the rest of the year to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
This message becomes totally somethings else after 4:30 mins. I just couldn’t hold tears in my eyes. Inspired by Arne, I will not take my salary of this month & next. I commit that money to any needs of @Paytm office-help-staff in these testing times. https://t.co/6s92dXME5G
— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) March 20, 2020
Sorenson said that Marriott Executive Chairman Bill Marriott Jr. and he will receive no salary for the rest of 2020, and the Marriott International executive team will take 50% pay cuts. The company has also stopped all hotel initiatives and suspended brand marketing and advertising.
Soon after Sharma’s tweet, Innov8 founder Ritesh Malik also tweeted that he will be buying masks, hand sanitizers and testing kits from his salary to support ground staff at Innov8, OYO workflow. “This is an unprecedented crisis & all of us can contribute something,” Malik added.
In the face of adversity and global pandemic, several brands are taking necessary steps to support their team to brave the situations. For instance, Uber, its competitor Lyft, and other companies such as food delivery platform DoorDash, hyperlocal delivery service provider Postmates, and grocery delivery company Instacart are pooling money for a fund. This means that the fund will be used to help driver or delivery partners, who are either infected or quarantined by Covid-19, at all these services. Google has also launched a similar fund for its global extended workforce.
Further, the ministry of corporate affairs has rolled out an advisory for chairpersons, MD and CEOs of companies urging them to contribute to stopping the coronavirus pandemic from spreading any further among the community. The ministry of corporate affairs has deployed the web form for Company Affirmation of Readiness to confirm that companies or limited liability partners (LLP) are ready to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
With this, the companies and LLP will have to report their compliance with all the guidelines issued by the public health authorities to minimise the exposure of their employees. PM Narendra Modi has said that coronavirus is also impacting India’s economy and that’s why the government has now set up an economic response task force. It is worth noting that the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be heading the task force.
Further, nearly 70 startup founders and investors wrote to the government to enforce a lockdown and forcing citizens into a quarantine — similar to what’s happening in Italy right now. Now, these founders and product managers have teamed up to develop the Quarantine App. The app will help the government track people who have been advised to be under self-quarantine or those have tested positive and are recovering at home in isolation.