Kejriwal pushes for Pfizer vaccine procurement for children
The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has today tweeted urging for the procurement of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children in India. In the tweet, Kejriwal said: “We should procure this vaccine asap for our children”.
Kejriwal has reportedly been requesting India’s central government to look into suitable options for the vaccine, arguing that the possibility of a third wave in India may affect children. The Delhi government has also suggested that students and teachers should also be made a priority for the vaccinations in case the class 12 Board exams go ahead, having previously been delayed due to the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Pfizer doses in India and the vaccine shortage
Currently, Pfizer has offered five crore doses of its vaccine to India between July and October, with the US pharmaceutical company making regular contact with the Indian government to ensure their delivery. Pfizer has also shown authorities the most recent data surrounding efficacy trials and vaccine approvals in various countries led by the World Health Organisation.
This news provides hope for the country after it had a severe shortage of vaccines earlier in the year, with reports suggesting it could have had lasting effects. At the start of May, India had vaccinated less than 2% of its population as several states in the country reported that they were completely out of vaccines. With the shortage causing concern, the country was forced to open the vaccine programme to people aged 18 and over in an attempt to innoculate as wide a range of people as possible using the limited number of injections they had left.
New Delhi then placed an order for 21mn vaccines from the Serum Institute, which produces Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine, although the organisation was unable to confirm when it would be able to purchase the supply. Following a rise in infections in March, India was able to recover from the shortage further by ordering another 110mn doses as the government to out a loan to the Serum Institute to help it to increase its vaccine production.
In April, the Indian government also called for more jabs from overseas suppliers to keep the rollout moving efficiently, and now, in May, with the supply of 5 crore (50mn) doses from Pfizer, it seems the country is showing progress in its vaccine rollout and is starting to recover from the events of earlier in the year.
Coupa Launches US$50 Million Ventures Fund
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”.