Upstream’s Zero-D platform keeps millions of mobile users in developing markets safe and informed – All operations 100% remote, on the path to growth & new job openings
London, April 22nd, 2020 – International mobile technology firm Upstream continues to develop its COVID-19 response, supporting its partner mobile operators and protecting its people and communities in what are unprecedented times. As a firm with global interests and notable customers based in high growth markets around the world, Upstream has been monitoring the situation closely since the very early stages of the pandemic.
Mobilising and protecting teams
The immediate response was to mobilise the workforce, ensuring that 100 per cent of operations could be handled remotely. Travel bans were then enforced in order to help the global effort to contain the virus and prevent it spreading between borders. “It is our people that enable the company to thrive and not the other way around”, Upstream CEO, Dimitris Maniatis, said in a public statement at the beginning of the lockdown. Upstream has since worked to ensure the comfort, health and safety of its remote working staff. From regular communications and check-ins, to online Pilates classes and free health advice from a doctor and occupational therapist, the firm has strived to offer staff reassurance and guidance throughout the unfolding crisis.
Powering mobile operators to drive the global economy & help communities
With the switch to remote working carried out seamlessly, the Upstream team continues to deliver from over 20 locations around the world, in support of the company’s partner-mobile operators’ objectives.
“Mobile operators in the developing world are being put under increased strain to maintain high levels of connectivity and continue powering the world economy as the world itself shifts indoors in the face of this adversity. It is our duty to keep going during this period and deliver more to our customers than before”, Maniatis commented.
With great effort and in record time, the team has managed to launch a revamped Zero-D operation for its partners. The update to the firm’s Zero-D platform, which enables mobile operators to provide free access to essential online content for its users, now has important public health information on COVID-19. Mobile users in developing markets can access life-saving information online even when they are out of data credit.
Supporting digital education & people in need
Upstream’s initiatives do not stop here. With people around the globe being affected by the pandemic in different ways, the business is doing what it can to support actions aimed at helping communities navigate the crisis. In Greece and in tune with its vision for bridging the digital divide, Upstream pledged its support in response to the appeal by the Ministry of Education to provide schools with technology to facilitate remote learning.
Maniatis said:“We have an opportunity to transition to a more substantial digitally enabled education system. Let’s not leave anyone behind during this crisis and be a part in the long-term betterment of our schools”.
The firm has already earmarked funds and said it will match any employee donations, resulting in hundreds of tablets for tens of schools around the country.
Upstream is also supporting Greek street magazine “Shedia” vendors that are unable to sell their magazines and earn their livelihood due to the lockdown via solidarity subscriptions. In South Africa the company supports the “Gift of the Givers Foundation”, the largest disaster relief organisation of African origin, providing clean water for sanitation, hospital gear & COVID-19 testing stations in the country during the pandemic. In Brazil Upstream supported local NGO “Citizenship Action” (Ação da Cidadania) that collects funds to mitigate hunger bringing food to families living under the poverty line, that are those hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
Growth on the cards
As a mobile communications specialist, easily adapting to home working and digital collaboration, Upstream says its plans for growth continue almost unhindered. “Despite health and economic headwinds hitting our markets, we have managed to maintain our outlook for the year. Not many companies are in a position to say this”, said Maniatis during April’s townhall attended remotely by Upstream employees across the world via live streaming. The company’s staffing plan and initiatives remain unchanged.
The confidence to grow, expand and invite new members into the fold comes from the company’s grip in coping with the pandemic so far. As the crisis continues to unfold around the world, with stringent lockdown measures being tightened and relaxed, Upstream will continue to take action to protect its people and do its part for the global community.
“At Upstream we have the will, the ability and the creativity to succeed. I’ve witnessed this shared mentality more than ever recently. There will no doubt be more challenges to come as we navigate this unplanned phase in our evolution, but where there are challenges there is also opportunity. As economies around the world are being put under increased pressure, our plan is to keep working, making a difference and adding people to our teams. #WeStayAtHome and we press on”, as Upstream CEO, explained.
For more information please contact:
Upstream Corporate Communications