Purchasing and logistics sprint to help India

Purchasing and logistics sprint to help India

ŠKODA has sent aid to India, which has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The timely procurement and delivery of the necessary resources was made possible thanks to the efforts of ŠKODA employees.

7. 6. 2021 Škoda World

Czech carmaker ŠKODA is in charge of Volkswagen Group’s activities in India, a country that is currently experiencing difficult times. That is why the Czech carmaker has donated EUR 1,000,000 in cooperation with the Volkswagen Group to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in India.

This includes material aid that was delivered to India in two airplanes. The first consignment consisted mainly of medical equipment, such as eight and a half thousand Oxymizer pendant cannulas that can increase blood oxygenation by up to 75%. The second load contained an oxygen generator and several hundred oxygen cylinders.

“The humanitarian situation in India continues to concern us. We are in daily contact with our Indian friends and hope that the situation will improve soon,” says Thomas Schäfer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ŠKODA. ŠKODA staff in India have also helped to identify exactly what kind of help their country needs most at the moment and what will therefore be included in the shipment.

Several hundred cylinders waiting to be loaded onto the plane.

Looking for a plane

ŠKODA’s purchasing and logistics teams worked very hard to find and transport the humanitarian material to the pandemic-stricken region as quickly as possible. “Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited, also took part in the coordination meetings, helping choose the equipment that would be of greatest benefit to India,” said Zbyněk Ďurovec from the ŠKODA team responsible for the Indian region.

“Due to the restrictions in place, organising air transport was a challenge. We had to get hold of an aircraft that could take an oxygen generator the size of a shipping container. In the end, we got hold of an IL-76 with a rear loading ramp. But this aircraft needed special permission in India,” says Jiří Kettner, Transport Manager in ŠKODA Logistics. 

kettner-copyJiří Kettner
ŠKODA Logistics Department

In the end, an IL-76 with rear loading ramp was got hold of.

“In order to ensure that the flight, which takes around 30 hours including a stopover for refuelling, went without a hitch, the experts had to calculate the generator’s centre of gravity so that it was optimally positioned in the aircraft,” added Tomáš Nevole, International Logistics Project Manager at ŠKODA.

nevole-copy Tomáš Nevole
ŠKODA Logistics Department

Time was of the essence – India needs help right now.

A race against time

Time was of the essence. India needs help now, but most technologies such as generators or cryogenic tanks currently have a delivery time of at least four months. Even so, around ten employees managed to get one of the largest types of mobile oxygen generators – specially adapted for use in India by Primetec – ready for shipment incomparably sooner, in just a matter of weeks. “We managed to get the cylinders delivered just as quickly. The Indian Red Cross will then distribute the material in India in line with local needs,” says Matej Ondrák from the purchasing department.

matej-ondrak-copy Matěj Ondrák 
ŠKODA Purchasing Department

Experts had to calculate the generator’s centre of gravity so that it could be optimally positioned in the plane.

And what is the message to colleagues in India from those involved in this express project? “Stay safe!” Matěj Ondrák says hopefully on behalf of everyone. “We hope that the pandemic can be tamed as quickly as possible and life returns to normal. I hope that the help provided by ŠKODA will contribute to this,” adds Tomáš Nevole.