Tel K. Ganesan, founder and executive chairman of Farmington Hills-based Kyyba, has set up a “PPE swat team” that is searching the world for ways to bring personal protection equipment (PPE) to Michigan.
Suppliers in Australia, Brazil, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Canada have already been contacted, and the team is working through the process.
What Ganesan is really doing is setting up a supply chain that will quickly get needed PPEs to health care workers in our state. There are suppliers and manufacturers across the world with the supplies needed, but the world was hit so fast the normal methods don’t move fast enough.
He is doing the leg work to find the materials and give a quicker route to supplying PPEs to people in need.
“The world has changed overnight, and Michigan is now in the top five hot spots for the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Ganesan. “In these times, the people and healthcare workers are looking with anticipation for the innovation community to collaborate and partner for immediate and efficient delivery of solutions to their safety needs as they fight this disease.”
He is trying to think both short- and long-term, looking beyond just the immediate work done by large companies like Ford and GM, which are currently working to make masks, face shields, ventilators in large numbers. He wants to make sure there isn’t a shortage once the pandemic crisis it is over.
His goal is to make sure all the needed PPEs are available now and later. That’s where the supply chain comes in.
Ganesan is partnering with KG Denim, India’s largest denim manufacturer, to set up a plant in Flint to produce masks. However, since India is not exporting to the US right now when the plant will open is up in the air but it will be making masks when it does.
“There will be an ongoing need for masks in the U.S., even after the pandemic peaks, especially once governments begin recommendations that all citizens wear masks when out in public, the number of masks needed will measure in the billions worldwide,” he says.
“So innovative approaches will be needed to meet that demand, and the work has to start now. Workers on the front lines, from medical staff to the law enforcement officers and grocery store employees, are counting on those with the ability to help to make this happen.”
Ganesan is also looking for businesses or entrepreneurs with sewing facilities or robotic parts that can help produce the needed PPEs.
“If somebody has a manufacturing (facility), we want to set up a supply chain,” he says.
Unsurprisingly, the state and nation’s overworked and overrun hospitals are the biggest target. Any suppliers that follow CDC and FDA guidelines are welcome to join the supply chain.
After Michigan is taken care of the PPEs will be sent to other hotpots like New York and New Orleans.
Medical 3-ply masks, N95 masks, protective goggles, hand sanitizers, face shields, body suits, isolation gowns and infrared thermometers are currently needed.
Any business interested in discussing a role in this collaboration should contact Ganesan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 is a crisis that demands outside-of-the-box thinking to get needed supplies. As Ganesan says, “Some of the best ideas come from crisis.”