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Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group, AGM 2021’s motivating speech

Published by Darshana Jamindar

Dear Shareholders, Much as I would have liked to have welcomed you all in person, the current safety measures appear to have made these virtual meetings the newnormal. However, I am optimistic that our AGM of 2022 will be an in-person meeting–and I will have the opportunity to actually shake some of your hands. Today, I wish to share with all of you some reflections on the past twelve months –a period that has been extraordinarily difficult because of a rampaging pandemic that will leave its mark on the world for severaldecades to come. The statistics –sadly –are staggering. With close to 19 crore cases reported worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic is already the most widespread threat to global health in recorded history. It is also one of the deadliest. In its lethal march across the earth, the virus has alreadykilled over 40 lakh people. No continent, no country and no community has been spared. We must admit that every life lost is a tragedy. Undoubtedly, our countryshould have done much better, especially during the deadly Wave Two. However, as the nations of the world marshal their resources to fight the pandemic, I see India being targeted by several critics for not doing more to protect its citizens, especially in vaccination. We must recognize that,given the sheer size of our populationand densely packed metros –the challenge before India is far greatercompared to most other nations. To put this perspectivein numbers–India has more people than the combined population of all the countries on three continents–Europe, North America, and Oceania. In other words, our vaccination effort hasto be bigger than the combined efforts of 87 countries.The fact is that, of the 320 crore vaccine doses given worldwide, 35 crore doses were given in India. While I admit thatcriticism is justifiable, we must not fall prey to voicesthat demoralize our nation or break the morale of frontline workers whohave madeextraordinary sacrifices.And it is these frontline workers that have been our inspiration. Assisting the nation during a crisis is not about quantifyingin numbers what corporates like us do. Instead,it is about stepping upto make sure we do our part, it is about extending a handto helpevery individual we can reach, and it is about putting the nation.

firstin everything we do.And no one has inspired us more or reminded us better about our duty to serve the nation than the front line workers–who–allthrough the pain of the pandemic, exemplified the nobleIndian ideal of Seva Parmo Dharma–whichtranslatedmeans ’The primary dutyisto provideservice to mankind’Yes, the Adani Group reached out all across the world to find critical essentialslike liquid medical oxygen, cryogenic tanks and oxygen cylinders –but our contribution stands humbled by the immensity of the effortput in by our women and men of the Indian Air Force, who flew countless missionsday and night to places near and far to help us bring in the essential supplies. Yes, we boosted the PM Cares Fund withour contributions,but money cannever match the individual selflessness of the people on the streetwho rose above their own needs to help fellow Indians they never knew and will never meet again. Yes, we provided logistical supportall over the nation –by air, by sea, by rail and by road –and moved thousands of tonnes of desperately-needed supplies but that is nothing when compared to the immeasurably noble work of our doctors and nurses as they put their lives on the line to serve their fellow citizens. Theindividualstories of humanity have been moving–the sacrifices we have witnessed have been humbling –and through all of this,we have done our best to support oxygen distribution and in-patient careas the people from our Adani Foundation brought togetherresources and experts to help. For example, in just days, our engineering and medical teams converted the Adani Vidya Mandir school in Ahmedabad into an emergency care facility –with hundreds of beds, oxygen support andcatered food. It was literally ‘vidya-daan se jeevan-daan’, as our school’s halls of learning became halls of life. Likewise, our general hospitals in Bhuj and Mundra were remade into 100% COVID-care hospitals. None of this would have been possible without the coordinated efforts of thousands of my fellow Adanians, who ignored therisk to their own health to helpdrive this mission. One standout example of this is the length to which our logistics division went to deliver cold-stored vaccines to all parts of India –from east to west and north to south. As an interesting statistic–thedistance they covered is the equivalent of travelling twice around

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