Global premium spirits maker Beam Suntory and its parent company Suntory Holdings on Wednesday pledged USD 6,00,000 (around Rs 4.4 crore) to support COVID-19 relief work in India which is reeling under a devastating second wave of the pandemic. The aid is focused on increasing access to medical care in the hardest-hit areas and supporting on-trade partners who have been impacted by the surging pandemic, Beam Suntory said in a statement.
Suntory Holdings CEO Tak Niinami said, “We are proud to stand with Beam Suntory and our team members in India to support urgent public health needs and hard-hit communities as India confronts the alarming surge in coronavirus cases.”
The donations will support British Asian Trust, which is working to deliver oxygen concentrators to hospitals and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), that is undertaking extensive relief operations across India with various government agencies and local authorities in the areas affected by the second wave of COVID-19.
Besides, the aid will also support recovery efforts in the food and beverage industry through Beam Suntory’s partnership with the National Restaurant Association of India, along with professional training and vaccination cover where needed by staff of the association members.
It will also support government-led relief efforts to mitigate the shortage of hospital equipment in India’s most severely impacted states, the statement added.
Beam Suntory President and CEO Albert Baladi said, “The pandemic has been a tragedy globally but the current situation in India has hit close to home for us, as it has impacted many of our team members, their families, and communities.”
He further said, “Contributing to vibrant and equitable communities is a pillar of our proof positive sustainability strategy, and we are committed to helping support these hard-hit communities in India.”
Last year, Beam Suntory had donated USD 150,000 (Rs 1 crore) to the National Restaurant Association in India as part of its USD 3 million pledge to support restaurant and bar workers and their families across numerous markets in the world.