What would make an entrepreneur give up on a successful IT startup in Bengaluru for a social cause? For Karthik Naralasetty from Andhra Pradesh, it was reading about a thalassemic girl’s struggle to find blood donors in rural Karnataka.
Karthik started Socialblood – an app and a startup to connect blood donors with recipients in – 2011. In the seven years since, he has successfully created impact in the lives of three lakh people, not just in India but across the globe.
Karthik dropped out of Rutgers University in the US and came to Bengaluru to start Redcode Informatics in 2009. The startup was running successfully for two years before he came across the news about the thalassemic girl. Talking to The Economic Times about what made him address this issue, he said,
If my social networking site can notify me about my friend Raj's birthday why can't it tell me that my friend Raj met with an accident and needs three units of blood. I am a heavy Facebook user and it made perfect sense for me to use my network of friends to solve this problem.
Solving blood donation related problems in India was easier said than done. On the one hand, donors do not know where and when their blood type is required. On the other hand, lakhs and lakhs of blood is getting wasted ever year due to improper management. He wanted to address these problems and make sure that every person in need of blood gets it in time.
So, in 2011, he started eight Facebook groups for eight different types of blood and invited his friends to join. Shortly after, he understood the potential that Socialblood had and started it as a full-fledged company with a mobile app.
According to Huffington Post, Karthik's mission is to make sure that people donate blood not out of pity but because they believe it is a social responsibility. In his words,
As Socialblood we want to disassociate blood donation from the stigma of blood donation and the pity that motivates people to do the right thing. We are trying to build humanity into the system, where humanity becomes cooler and our users take pride in taking forward the movement. Being self motivated to help a fellow human is the true nature of humanity.