Proactive approach to pandemic paves way for a brighter future

The onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic precipitated lockdowns and pushed the healthcare infrastructure of nations to the brink. Industries were faced with the twin tasks of contributing in the fight against the pandemic, while maintaining continuity in their business operations. At Tata Chemicals, we took a concerted stand to rise to the occasion and work together for a healthier future.

Our approach to Covid-19 was built on three key pillars – first, the safety of employees, communities and our company assets; second, conservation of cash in short term by addressing Opex and Capex through tight working capital controls; and third, a robust review of medium and long-term strategy to accelerate investments in Food & Pharma sectors, besides renewing our thrust on Digitalisation and Sustainability projects.

Rising to the challenge
The foremost priority was to ensure the safety of our 5,000+ strong Tata Chemicals team and their immediate families. We implemented several measures to make our working community safer, including social distancing and remote working, besides health checks and extensive sanitisation protocols at our offices, plant sites and depot operations. And we are continuing these stringent measures until the situation is completely under control.

Through these challenging times, the company’s values and credo truly came to life – from the untiring efforts of the manufacturing and R&D colleagues at the sites, to the unwavering commitment of our sales teams. The resilience of our supply chain, operations and admin teams ensured that we could be at the forefront of the fight against the global pandemic.

Contributing to communities
Being an organisation dedicated to servicing society through science, we took the opportunity to be of service to the community during these tough times and to create a positive social impact. As the pandemic hit in April 2020, we stepped up efforts to quickly repurpose our manufacturing units to produce large quantities of disinfectants at Mithapur and hand-sanitisers at Rallis’ Akola and Ankleshwar units, supplying them free to government agencies for distribution across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, and Karnataka. Till date, we have supplied over 1.8 million litres of disinfectants and more than 110,000 litres of sanitisers.

Besides earmarking a corpus of Rs 30 million towards relief funds, we proactively invested efforts in preparation of a approx 100 bed isolation ward in Mithapur to supplement the Government's infrastructure requirement. Towards this, we procured the entire inventory of coverall suits, PPEs, N-95 masks, surgical masks, medical equipment like nebulisers, oxygen concentrators and suction machines, disposables as well as medicines to ensure full-preparedness to deal with COVID-19 cases at Mithapur. With masks being the need of the hour to curb the contagion, we engaged 275 women from self-help groups to produce 200,000 masks for pan-India distribution. Tata Chemicals supported local communities by providing dry ration kits and hygiene kits for more than 9,000 families across our facilities in different parts of the country.

On the manufacturing side, we have focused on producing essential commodities that go in food, food products, pharma products, personal hygiene products and products of farm protection, to ensure uninterrupted supply of these essential ingredients across the country to avert any shortage crisis in these testing times.

Back to business
Even as Tata Chemicals strictly maintained safety and hygiene protocols for the well-being of its employees and associates, the organization quickly adapted to the new normal of remote working and addressing the emotional needs of employees through positive engagement. Post lockdown, all units are operating normally and there is a fresh emphasis on manufacturing food/pharma-based products as essential ingredients. Addressing new opportunities emerging out of Covid-19, the company is equipped to meet the increased demand for such ingredients in India as well internationally.