8. Marc Koska’s P.R. Campaign
One of the most inspiring things to come out of The Daily Beast Innovators Summit was the persistent argument from entrepreneurs that helping the world can be more than an act of grace—it’s also great business. Koska, for example, is the inventor of the K1 syringe, a non-reusable and auto-disposable syringe that took more than 17 years to develop but has since been credited with helping to save 9 million lives. In the developing world, Koska explains, the average syringe is reused four times, frequently in hospitals. One place where this problem was endemic was India, where 62 percent of injections in hospitals were carried out using dirty needles. Unfortunately, Koska just couldn’t get the minister of health to acknowledge the problem. “I asked for a meeting and he said no,” Koska recalls. “I asked him for another meeting and he said no…We hit a brick wall.” Rather than accept defeat, Koska started a PR campaign to shame the minister into reacting. “We made a film that dramatically showed the problem, and we were able to show this on television five and a half thousand times,” he says. “We had radio announcements from a very famous celebrity in India, we had 14 press conferences, 240 newspaper articles, and we were able to do that in a five-day period. Net result? “Seven hundred million people saw the message, and the minister saw me straightaway.” Soon after, the reluctant bureaucrat mandated the use of non-reusable needles (there are about 10 brands, aside from Koska’s); the law has now gone into effect in 11 Indian cities with an aggregate population of 250 million people.
To watch Marc at The Daily Beast click here: http://vimeo.com/16169642
Taken from "10 Inspiring Summit Stories" by Jacob Bernstein at The Daily Beast