On the lines of General Motors and Ford in the US, India’s automotive giants such as Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra are stepping in to help produce critical medical equipment and supplies.
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki (MSIL) will assist three different companies in producing ventilators, masks, and protective clothing the Delhi-based company informed on March 28.
“At the request of the Government of India, Maruti Suzuki examined its ability to assist in the production of ventilators, masks and other protective equipment”, the company said in a statement.
MSIL entered into an arrangement with AgVa Healthcare, an existing approved manufacturer of ventilators. MSIL would work with AgVa Healthcare to scale up the production of ventilators to reach a volume of 10,000 units per month.
AgVa Healthcare would be responsible for the technology, performance and related matters for all the ventilators produced and sold by them. MSIL would use its suppliers to produce the required volume of components and use its experience and knowledge to upgrade systems for the production and quality control of the higher volumes.
“MSIL would also help, to the required extent to arrange financing, and obtain all permissions and approvals required to enable the higher production. MSIL would provide these services free of cost to AgVa Healthcare,” Maruti added.
Krishna Maruti, a joint venture of MSIL with Ashok Kapur the founder of Krishna Group, would be manufacturing 3-ply masks for supply to the Haryana and Central governments. Production is expected to start as soon as all approvals are received. Kapur will provide 2 million masks free of cost as his own contribution.
Bharat Seats, a joint venture of MSIL with the Relan family, would be manufacturing protective clothing as soon as all approvals are in place.
Two days ago the Mahindra Group said that it is working on a very affordable version of the ventilator costing less than Rs 7,500 as against the typical cost of Rs 5-7 lakh. A prototype is expected to get ready in three days.
The Mumbai-based group is simultaneously working with the indigenous makers of ICU ventilators.