Mechai Viravaidya

When I first met Mechai Viravaidya, Thailand's "Condom King," 15 years ago, it became clear that he places a high value on action and impact, even if it means making some people uncomfortable. Never afraid to challenge the status quo, he's a refreshing change in arenas too often concerned about consensus and not rocking the boat. Mechai, a longtime Senator and cabinet minister, has little patience for committee meetings — he's more at home leading a rural Thai community in a condom-blowing contest, handing out kitsch souvenirs promoting safe sex, or greeting guests at his Bangkok-based chain of restaurants, Cabbages and...

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