The IIM Alumni, Singapore on coming together and choosing to make a difference for an entire nation.
It all started with an impromptu call late in the night of April 26th, 2020. Suresh Shankar, Arvind Shankar, Nayantara Bali decided to do something about the crisis that India was facing during the country’s worst COVID-19 second wave. The country was facing a lack of medical supplies, oxygen cylinders and concentrators. Many lives were lost due to lack of supplies in both government and private hospitals. They wanted to help. They wanted to breathe life into India.
They reached outward and inward from the High Commissioner of India to senior leaders in DBS, Temasek to public volunteers and to their very own service-minded alumni community. And unsurprisingly, the response was phenomenal.
The team started to take shape and there was a lot of work to be done.
Permissions to obtain, A fundraising platform to set up. Corporate donors to be Identified, Raising money, Figuring out supply chains and avoiding last mile hiccups.
The campaign opened on 1st of May. Within 78 hours it hit the 1 million SG dollars mark.
The money was pouring in and the team had to act fast to find supplies. Through their alumni network in Taiwan, China, Middle East and with the sheer persistence of the volunteer team, they we able to quickly identity a set of reputed qualified suppliers who meet WHO standards for a variety of supplies such as concentrators, cylinders, PSA plants and medical equipment. The challenge didn’t end there. They had to then work with these suppliers to ensure that they met delivery schedules, managing the volatility of raw materials and other supplies.
And then work closely and follow up on a day to day basis in order to ensure that the equipment was shipped and reached India to the last mile partners and in turn delivered to the people in need.