India's rise as the 'world's pharmacy'

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James Mathew is CEO And Managing Partner at UHY James
James Mathew is CEO And Managing Partner at UHY James

Both the UAE and India were exemplary in controlling the spread of the pandemic with the critical help of the frontline healthcare staff.

By James Mathew

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Published: Tue 26 Jan 2021, 12:01 PM

Almost a year ago, in January 2020, no­body could have foreseen the role that the healthcare sector would come to play in sustaining the entire human race against a deadly pandemic. In a year-long battle against Covid -19, some countries clearly out­shone others, they rose to the occasion and super­seded expectations in a way they managed the rampant spread of the deadly coronavirus.

In my books, India and the United Arab Emir­ates are two countries who truly walked the talk in their fight against Covid-19. If we were to re­wind to the start of the pandemic, global media reports slammed India for being in denial about the Covid-19 crisis and labelled its response as a 'humanitarian disaster'. Fast forward to January 2021, Covid-19 cases in India fell to its lowest since June 2020 and the country is gearing up to execute the world's largest vaccination program. The UAE, on the other hand, did an exemplary job in sanitising the country every day during the lockdown, putting into place stringent health and safety protocols and opening its doors to global tourists on July 7, when much of the world was still struggling to find its foothold in controlling the spread of Covid-19.

The Covid-19 crisis has opened our eyes to the reality that state-of-the-art healthcare infrastruc­ture is not only the bastion of the Western world but thriving in developing and emerging economies like India and the UAE too. Today while hospitals in the US and UK resemble a war zone, India and the UAE are frontrunners in conducting rapid im­munisation programs to protect its citizens.


As India celebrates Republic Day on January 26, I truly believe the country deserves to be applaud­ed for positioning itself as the 'World's Pharmacy'. Amidst a global healthcare crisis, India has taken upon itself the onus of immunising its 1.3 billion population while 'nursing its neighbourhood' through its vaccine diplomacy program - #Vac­cineMaitri. While the global superpowers of the world battle the Covid-19 crisis within their coun­tries, India is on a mission to heal one of the most densely populated regions of the world for free! Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Seychelles, Brazil and Morocco have already re­ceived doses of India's vaccine free of cost.

India's magnanimity in the battle against Co­vid-19 is not a one-time phenomenon. Right from the start of the pandemic, India has walked the extra mile to support its allies in combatting the deadly virus. In May 2020 the world was witness to Indian paramedics, doctors, critical care nurs­es and healthcare professionals being flown into the UAE, amidst stringent lockdown measures, to support the frontline workers in the UAE. This humanitarian act was not a consequence of for­eign diplomacy tactics, rather its roots lie in the century-old ties that UAE and India share with each other. Further, I would also attribute this humanitarian act to the fact that business leaders in the UAE's healthcare ecosystem are by and large Indian expatriates who play a pivotal part in the realm of healthcare across the UAE. Leading healthcare providers like the Aster DM Healthcare Group, VPS Healthcare, Zulekha Hospital, Thum­bay Hospital have Indian expatriates at the helm of affairs and they have been at the forefront in working alongside the UAE government in its re­lentless battle against Covid-19.


Historically India and the UAE have always main­tained harmonious ties, but even when both na­tions battled a global pandemic, they chose to help each other sail through the crisis. This comes as no surprise since out of 18 million Indian expatri­ates based around the world, more than 3.5 mil­lion of them choose to call the UAE their 'home away from home'.

Led by Indian expatriate James Mathew, UHY James has played a pivotal part in shaping the au­dit, advisory and consulting practice in the region, since 2005. The firm has successfully catered to the business requirements of some of UAE's lead­ing healthcare providers and other diverse busi­ness sectors including retail and trading, manu­facturing, hospitality, real estate for almost three decades. UHY James is powered by a strong foot­print across key emirates in the UAE and is among the select few auditors regulated with DFSA and ADGM; thereby strengthening its position as a preferred partner of choice for businesses across the UAE.

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