As Simon Sinek said in his book ‘Leaders Eat Last’, “The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people pull together as a team”. This rings true in what major tech companies are doing in response to the crisis unfolding in India right now. Canva, SafteyCulture, Airtasker, Airtree Ventures, and Blackbird Ventures have joined together to create a joint relief program to raise awareness and provide both financial and logistical support. Here at Talent, we are also assisting our local employees in India with financial & wellbeing initiatives. On top of this, other companies such as Salesforce and Verizon have announced their own initiatives to aid with the crisis. So, what are they doing and how can you help?
Aussie Tech for India
In an announcement earlier this week, Canva spoke about why they could not sit back and watch this any longer and proactively made the decision that action was needed to save lives. Rallying together with SafteyCulture, Airtasker, Airtree Ventures, and Blackbird Ventures, they launched ‘Aussie Tech for India’. The initiative is in partnership with Medical Oxygen for All, a local organisation working in India to distribute oxygen supplies. These tech giants will provide both financial and logistical support for the sourcing and purchasing of oxygen and other medical supplies in India.
Within 24 hours, the initiative had pledged more than $400,000 towards crisis relief, and the first batch of supplies touched down in India earlier this week. All proceeds from paid media purchases on Canva will be directly donated to relief efforts. Not only that but Canva also launched a range of new India-specific templates with core information from the local government and World Health Organisation to assist public health officials with sharing information. This program highlights the importance of the Australian tech landscape, how it is a global community, and why it is essential they use their resources to help in times of need.
The power of Salesforce
If there was a company who prides itself on their global community it would be Salesforce. The juggernaut has offices around the world and consistently is striving to better help their teams in making sure they are safe, happy, thriving in their roles, and above all healthy. A lot of companies could learn a thing or two from the leaders at Salesforce. It was no surprise when they announced in late April that they would assist in the crisis.
Unbeknownst to many, Salesforce in India is home to over 4,000 employees and many of their colleagues and their families are in need of urgent support. They have since made a $1 million USD donation to local partners focusing on medical equipment and supply sourcing, vaccine awareness and distribution, community isolation centres, and food security for the most vulnerable populations.
In addition to the above, they have launched a global employee giving and matching campaign to further the impact. They have expanded their family care leave, offering one-time payouts to go towards any COVID-related expenses and soon will provide hotel rooms for local employees to safely isolate away from home. Not only that but employees in India and around the globe have joined forces to staff a 24/7 Volunteer Helpline that provides teams and their families in India the latest crowdsourced information on hospital bed availability, COVID-19 testing, doctor consultations, quarantine facilities, hospitalisation, medicine availability, and more.
Salesforce’s core belief system is in the power of coming together, and if the above is anything to go off, they are succeeding.
Verizon lives up to its values
Verizon’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Christy Pambianchi, said “we stand with you and hold you in our hearts” in a taped message to their networks. The global company has consistently been at the centre of donations since the pandemic started with over $50 million in contributions to non-profits around the globe. Late last month, Verizon launched a 24/7 newly created helpline where teams have direct access to information needed to stay safe as well as a $100,000 donation in support of the American Red Cross COVID-19 Response Fund which is directing support to Indian Red Cross relief efforts. The Indian Red Cross is supporting a variety of relief efforts including ambulance services, first aid, medical care, PPE, food, oxygen, vaccinations, community outreach, hygiene promotion, and prevention awareness.
Verizon will also match an additional $2 for every $1 donated by employees to American Red Cross. The strength of Verizon is monumental and it’s brilliant to see just how caring their teams are in relief efforts. Their leaders are very clearly building a greater world of work.
One last takeaway
There is no doubt, the scenes that have been broadcast on what is happening in India is only half of the heartbreak, loss, and suffering people are experiencing. Tech companies have a huge responsibility globally in assisting people through this pandemic and it’s inspiring and uplifting to watch so many people and organisations come together. As Rick Baker, General Partner at Blackbird Ventures said, “The technology ecosystem is a global community. We all have a responsibility to come together and do what we can to help India during this health crisis." The last year has proven that people can do remarkable things when they rally together.
For those who are looking to provide support to the community in India, please find links to organisations that you can donate to: