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10 Things Companies in India Are Doing Amid the Coronavirus Shutdown

10 Things Companies in India Are Doing Amid the Coronavirus Shutdown
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  1. WhatsApp orders and phone-in orders: Big Bazaar, one of India’s largest grocery store chains, does not have a website for online orders but has launched a doorstep delivery service amid the outbreak. Customers in select cities can place orders for home delivery by calling their local store or via WhatsApp messaging. Payment is accepted on delivery.Whatapp ordering in India
  2. Displaying stock levels on a shopping app: Grofers, an online-only grocery delivery firm, has increased transparency by displaying stock levels on its e-commerce app, in order to abate customer anxiety and reduce consumer hoarding behavior during the coronavirus.Displaying inventory in online shopping app
  3. Hygiene practices and screening: Most major firms in India—including Amazon, Big Bazaar, Flipkart and Grofers—have implemented in-store health and safety measures, such as screening employees by checking their temperature, making sure staff wear medical masks and providing hand wash and sanitizers to clean hands and disinfect trolleys, baskets, surfaces, toilets and shelves at regular intervals.
  4. Contactless food delivery: Food delivery firms Swiggy and Zomato are offering contactless delivery services, whereby parcels are dropped at the doorstep so that consumers do not need to interact with delivery persons.
  5. Educational technology startups offer free services: India has some 500 million people aged five to 24 years, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation. With schools and colleges closed, education technology startups are using the opportunity to reach more students by offering free access to apps and courses. BYJU’S – The Learning App, the brand name for educational technology and online tutoring firm , is offering free access to its app and some learning programs for students in grades 1 to 12 until the end of April. Platforms Toppr and Vendantu have also made some classes temporarily free.
  6. Gyms offer membership extensions and free online classes: Health and fitness startup CureFit is enabling customers to pause their memberships for 14 days for free and is offering free access to classes online. Similarly, Cult.fit has moved some of its classes online for existing members, and Fitternity (a Mumbai-based gyms, pools and fitness studios aggregator) is also working with experts to launch live workout classes.
  7. Remote medical consultations: Health startup Mfine is offering remote video medical consultations, and it has released a video to help educate and inform people about the symptoms of the coronavirus.
  8. Insurance: Insurance tech startup Digit Insurance is offering a fixed-benefit insurance policy for people up to the age of 75. The policy covers screening and treatment, even for patients whose results are negative. ICICI Lombard, a health insurance firm, is offering cover for those that test positive for the virus, as well as providing virtual health consultations and help with calling an ambulance, if necessary.
  9. Repurposing real estate and manufacturing plants: Mahindra Group, a conglomerate that operates in 11 sectors including aerospace, automotive and hospitality, has offered up its resorts to be used as temporary hospitals. The company has also announced that its plants will be used to manufacture ventilators. Reliance Industries, another conglomerate with interests in oil, healthcare, telecom, retail and other sectors, is offering free fuel for emergency-service vehicles and has set up a dedicated 100-bed facility at Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai for coronavirus patients. With alcohol being a key component in hand sanitizers, the Indian subsidiary of British alcoholic beverage firm Diageo will use its facilities to produce 300,000 liters of hand sanitizer.
  10. Special funds and hackathons: Digital payments firm Paytm has announced funds of ₹5 crore (around $660,000) to help researchers and innovators find solutions to mitigate the expected shortage in clinical ventilators and other medical equipment necessary for those diagnosed with the coronavirus. Elsewhere, some 70 startups have worked together to develop an app that enables the government to track people that have tested positive for the virus and those on self-quarantine. Software firm Wingify has announced an online hackathon for innovators to develop health technologies to combat the pandemic. The firm said that 63 people have joined the hackathon, and one of the projects includes developing an app that tracks the availability of hospital resources to treat the virus, including beds.