BASF joins India’s efforts to fight Covid-19 pandemic

Polymers to manufacture N99 masks

ATIRA will make N99 masks

As part of the effort to support the Indian government in fighting Covid-19, German chemicals major BASF has manufactured and donated 4 metric tons of Ultramid B24 N-polymers to the Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA), an autonomous body associated with the Ministry of Textiles, to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Indian medical fraternity and police force.

With the help of the Indian embassy in Berlin, along with the BASF team at its Antwerp site, BASF manufactured Ultramid B24 N-polymers at short notice. The products were airlifted from Frankfurt, Germany, to Mumbai and subsequently reached Ahmedabad by road.

ATIRA will use the raw materials to produce filters for more than 10 million high-quality N99 face masks for the Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO), the research arm of Ministry of Defense, and for the Indian Ministry of Health.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to BASF for the donation as well as the quick response from their teams across India, Germany and the Netherlands, ensuring the products were manufactured and delivered in time. This collaboration enables us to produce filters for high-quality N99 masks and provide them to our frontline Covid-19 warriors,” said Deepali Plawat, deputy director, ATIRA.

Additionally, BASF has contributed to Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM Cares Fund). The company has earmarked a fund of INR 31.2 million for Covid-19 relief activities. A large portion of this fund, INR 18 million, has been dedicated to the PM CARES Fund.

Also, with a fund of INR 13.2 million, BASF is supporting local communities around its manufacturing sites by distributing critical essentials, including food supplies, masks, sanitizers and gloves.

BASF also created a platform for employees to donate from their salary to the PM CARES Fund voluntarily. In addition to several employee volunteering initiatives, Baden Aniline and Soda Factory dedicated a sum of INR 1.2 million from the employee contribution.

“At BASF, we are committed to being a strong corporate citizen. We will stand in solidarity with the people of India and the government to fight the coronavirus and to reach out to the people in need. Through our joint efforts, we will emerge stronger from this crisis together,” said Narayan Krishnamohan, managing director BASF India Limited and head South Asia.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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