Washington [US]/New Delhi [India], October 5 (ANI): The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has honoured the 2021 Global Leadership Humanitarian Awards to Julie Sweet, CEO and Chair, Accenture; Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO, IBM; and Brad Smith, President and Vice-Chair, Microsoft, for their strong leadership and their companies' contributions towards the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response (GTF).
Nisha Biswal, President, USIBC and Senior Vice President for International Strategy and Global Initiatives, US Chamber of Commerce, noted, "Early this year the world watched as India battled the second wave of COVID-19 infections. Julie Sweet, Arvind Krishna and Brad Smith quickly coordinated a group of 40+ CEOs to assemble corporate resources to aid relief efforts in India and formed the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response (GTF). The outpouring of corporate support to procure ventilators, oxygen concentrators and support employees on the ground were unparalleled in the global fight against COVID-19."
"We are grateful to Accenture, IBM and Microsoft for spurring this coalition and for the incredible drive and passion these leaders brought to this challenge. In addition to procuring critical medical supplies, the Global Task Force created a network of support for millions of employees who were impacted by COVID in India during the second wave. These three leaders gave not only their financial contribution, but most importantly gave the most precious commodity--their time--to raise funds, to solve problems, and do whatever it took to help save lives."
Julie Sweet, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Accenture said, "I am deeply grateful to the USIBC and the US Chamber of Commerce for stepping up to help organize the Task Force, bringing their vast expertise, driving the day-to-day work and acting as a convening force. I am inspired by the incredible leadership of Arvind, Brad and the more than 40 CEOs and their teams of the Task Force's companies and non-profits; and appreciate the support of the Business Roundtable. I also want to recognize the responsiveness and dedication of the US and Indian governments. All of us worked together to achieve more than we each could have done alone with a singular purpose to help address the urgent needs of the great people of India during the pandemic. I am optimistic that we can build on this model to handle the challenges ahead, including our ongoing work in Southeast Asia. And, I am so appreciative and proud of the work of our Accenture team to support the Task Force, and of the USIBC's recognition of this work with this honour."
Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO, IBM said, "The Global Task Force highlighted the power of purpose-driven public-private partnerships to have a real impact on people's lives. We quickly came together in a unified effort across business, government and non-profits, and I am hopeful this framework can continue to be called on in response to major emergencies. I am grateful to the USIBC, our partners and all of the IBMers who made this important work possible."
Brad Smith, President and Vice-Chair, Microsoft added, "Microsoft launched an interactive map to help users track the status of the COVID- 19 pandemic in various regions. It became a powerful tool to mobilize a Task Force response to the surges in India and globally. I am extremely proud of my team and would like to thank USIBC and the US Chamber of Commerce for recognizing our efforts."
The Task Force was launched in May 2021 to deliver resources to assist COVID-19 efforts amid rising case counts across the globe, especially India during the second wave.
Forty-plus American companies joined hands in an unprecedented public-private effort to combat worldwide COVID-19 surges.
Together these businesses provided over USD 46 million in support for India's healthcare response by donating critical medical supplies including ventilators and oxygen concentrators as well as other indispensable supplies.
All leaders will be honoured at the 2021 India Ideas Summit, scheduled for October 6-7, 2021.
This year's dynamic line-up includes top names from the US- India Governments including Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs; Commerce & Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal; Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, MoS for Health and Family Welfare; US Deputy Secretary for State Wendy Sherman; Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav; US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry; Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar; Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs Harsh Vardhan Shringla; Samantha Power, Administrator, USAID; Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Roy Cooper, Governor, State of North Carolina and many more. (ANI)