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Supporting corporates respond to the COVID-19 crisis in India /

Throughout 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic, we have connected with an unprecedented number of philanthropists, businesses and foundations driving change and creating global impact. What often appeals to these partners is that by working with Crown Agents they have full autonomy over what their donations are put towards, in effect co-creating programs that fulfil their philanthropic, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility goals. This is a marked departure from usual appeals that do not give the private sector any input in the way funds are utilised, particularly during an emergency.  

They also have the peace of mind that funds will reach those most in need. As much of our work is based in challenging contexts with long standing local partnerships, we can fund activities in regions few others have the capability to reach. We also ensure that every donation attracts further support, acting as a catalyst not only to encourage others to give but to also ensure a more sustainable funding approach where the world’s most vulnerable people will continue to receive support. 

These unique partnerships focus on each supporter’s philanthropic vision and passion to create a balance between giving back while supporting their business objectives. Not only can corporate social responsibility be good for company sales, but we also target impact so that it helps to achieve wider company goals.   

In May 2021, India was at the height of is COVID-19 crisis. The healthcare system was overwhelmed, hospital beds were full and there was a critical lack of oxygen needed to save lives. During this emergency, Crown Agents formed a rapid partnership with both MARS Inc and Primark to provide much-needed oxygen concentrators to hospitals in India. The chosen hospitals were located where the companies’ farmers and associates lived, so that they too could directly benefit from the support. Both companies worked with Crown Agents to develop a targeted response that supported some of the most vulnerable people in India, while simultaneously focusing on their own important markets and supply chains.   

Our partnership with MARS Inc and Primark and our unique emergency response acted as a catalyst for other companies to team up with Crown Agents and co-create similar response projects.  As the word spread, we were soon rolling out other life-saving activities in sub-Saharan Africa and South America, demonstrating the widespread effect that can be had when corporates believe that doing good can be good for business.