Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

The private sector versus the pandemic

Companies and wealthy individuals of all kinds are stepping up to slow the virus's spread and help find a cure

Published: Apr 27, 2020 09:50:24 AM IST
Updated: Apr 27, 2020 10:08:30 AM IST

The private sector versus the pandemicImage: Shutterstock

World War II, today’s corporations are retooling their production lines to make everything from hand sanitisers (LVMH) to respirators (Ford, GE). In the UK, billionaire inventor James Dyson announced his vacuum cleaner firm would start manufacturing ventilators. German drugmaker BioNTech—backed by twins Thomas and Andreas Struengmann, both billionaires—is working with Pfizer and Fosun Pharma to develop a vaccine. It is one of more than a dozen Covid-19 vaccines under development—smart considering that two of every three vaccines for infectious diseases fail, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study.

But you don’t need to be a multinational or have billionaire owners to pitch in: Italian startup Takis Biotech, with 25 employees, is racing to make a vaccine, while Carbon, a 3D-printing outfit in California, will soon be distributing testing swabs. On the right are 11 companies on the coronavirus frontlines.

The private sector versus the pandemic

(This story appears in the 08 May, 2020 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)