Apr 27, 2021

Amazon provides logistical support for Covid-19 in India

Tom Swallow
2 min
We look at how Amazon has been working with it’s India branch and other organisations to provide logistical support during second wave of Covid-19
We look at how Amazon has been working with it’s India branch and other organisations to provide logistical support during second wave of coronavirus...

From what can be seen in recent news, India has been struck hard by a second wave of Covid-19, pushing death rates to an all-time high.

A shortage of oxygen and vital medicines has left many hospitals in India under pressure to source critical equipment and medical supplies. 

As many nations offer support, online retail and tech giant, Amazon, has recently procured 100 ventilators to be airlifted to India for distribution to the hospitals and healthcare facilities in urgent need. 

Amazon is working closely with Medtronic to finalise the consignment, which is due to be airlifted to India within the next two weeks.

The two companies will work together with agencies appointed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) to arrange end-to-end delivery of the ventilators, as well as installation, maintenance and training. 

“With the urgency of adding to the medical infrastructure and capacity for Indian hospitals fighting against COVID-19’s severe second spike, we decided to urgently source, import and donate 100 ventilators to hospitals to be identified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India,” said Amit Agarwal, global SVP & country head, Amazon India.

Also, Amazon India is working with non-profit organisations, including Swasth, Concern India and impact organisations ACT Grants and Sattva Consulting, to procure over 1500 oxygen concentrators and other vital medical equipment.

“We continue to explore other meaningful ways to help in saving lives and are committed to support the nation in this time of crisis,” says Agarwal.

On 25th April, Amazon began the process of transporting 8000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines to India from Singapore. 

Thanks to multiple funders, including ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation and Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response(PPCR), the much-needed supplies are due to be shipped to their destinations by 30th April.

Amazon will incur the cost of airlifting the equipment and manage the logistics once the donations arrive in India, moving them from the local airport to selected hospitals and facilities. 

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Jun 7, 2021

Coupa Launches US$50 Million Ventures Fund

3 min
Business spend management (BSM) is coming back ─ and with its return, Coupa intends to invest in the future of its supply chain operation

Operational resilience and agility. Following the events of the last twelve months, companies have focused on these strategic areas like never before. Some, as we’ve noted, have started to wonder whether this trend will continue post-pandemic—or will we go back to the same old supply chain? Not if Coupa Software has its way. 


Last week, the company launched Coupa Ventures, a global fund that will invest US$50mn in early- and growth-stage companies that target business spend inefficiencies. “Coupa Ventures enables us to invest in a future where businesses and their suppliers can harness the power of their spend to constantly adapt, transform, and innovate”, said Rob Bernshteyn, Coupa’s Chairman and CEO. 


What’s Business Spend Management (BSM)? 

Let’s be honest, it doesn’t sound particularly sexy—it sounds like a subsection of the finance department. But business spend management, together with ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management) and HCM (human capital management) make up the core operating process of any company out there. When companies spend money, sign contracts, analyse supplier costs, take inventory or budget for the future, that’s BSM. Overall, business spend management is made up of three main areas: procuring materials, managing invoice, and handling expenses. Essentially, it’s the engine of the entire operation. 


Why Change It Up? 

According to Coupa, the next wave of BSM is now. It wasn’t always this way: in March of 2016, advisory giant Gartner claimed that BSM was dead. At that time, the firm was partly right. Companies couldn’t handle trillions of bits of data by themselves—and they were sinking as the waves of big data swept over their heads. 


But recent developments have meant that BSM isn’t fated to die just yet. “The key to optimisation is data—and not just any data”, Coupa stated. The company has supported community intelligence, in which machine learning uses anonymised data from hundreds or thousands of client companies to suggest better spend tactics. This way, companies can get better insight into their suppliers, track supply chain disruptions, and investigate procurement alternatives. 


This network effect is part of what makes Coupa Ventures so exciting. Said Eric Christopher, co-founder and CEO of Zylo, “We’re excited to join an expansive ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and partners”. 



First Companies in the Ventures Portfolio 


  • Zylo, a leading SaaS management platform that helps companies manage cloud-based applications, offers visibility into what software is being used, how much is present, and how a company can optimise its software investments. 


  • SourceDay, a leading supply chain performance solution, bridges the gap between a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and its supply chain network. 



At SourceDay, Coupa’s investment is heralded as a chance for the company to really take off. “The investment from Coupa Ventures will...enable our joint customers to save money and leverage supplier performance as a competitive edge”, said Tom Kieley, SourceDay CEO. “We’re honoured to expand our relationship with the Coupa ecosystem”. 


Looking ahead, Coupa will capitalise on community intelligence to help its partners make smarter spending decisions. “[Organisations will] place bets on which investments will quickly pay off to accelerate their growth and resilience in the post-pandemic economy”, said J.J. Freitag, senior vice president of Corporate Development at Coupa. “[And] we’re looking to back the best ideas across Europe and beyond to help businesses build back even stronger”. 


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