Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2006 (Revised July 2012)

PSI India—Will Balbir Pasha Help Fight AIDS? (A)

by Elie Ofek and Peter Wickersham


In 2002, Population Services International (PSI) was committed to curbing the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in India. Sanjay Chaganti, program director of HIV/AIDS at PSI India, has to decide on the best communication strategy to achieve this goal. Up to this date most efforts consisted of on-the-ground efforts by PSI personnel, but Chaganti was considering shifting a significant portion of funds to a provocative mass media advertising campaign. The campaign would feature a fictional character—Balbir Pasha. At one extreme the campaign would impact that target population and lift barriers to safe sex practices. At the other extreme the campaign could be controversial, ineffective, and squander precious resources.

Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Communication Strategy; Health Disorders; Marketing Communications; Social Marketing; Social Enterprise; India;


Ofek, Elie, and Peter Wickersham. "PSI India—Will Balbir Pasha Help Fight AIDS? (A)." Harvard Business School Case 507-032, September 2006. (Revised July 2012.)