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Marketing firm Kobba gets creative with coronavirus safety products

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Patryk Szafranski and Niall Kilcullen

Patryk Szafranski and Niall Kilcullen

Patryk Szafranski and Niall Kilcullen

Kobba, a creative marketing agency based in Dublin, has diversified its business due to the coronavirus outbreak, designing and selling protective counter tops and face shields for retail and health workers.

The company's co-founders, Niall Kilcullen and Patryk Szafranski, decided to design the products after several of its marketing projects were cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic worsened.

Kilcullen, who featured in the Sunday Independent's 30 under 30 list, said the Kobba co-founders had some expertise in product design.

The two felt they could offer value in the fight against coronavirus, believing the products could also help them to keep the business open through the current harsh trading conditions for marketing firms.

"When coronavirus hit, we, as a small business in marketing, were hit," he said. "We started thinking about how we could diversify and use our expertise in design to create something.

"[The products] could help us stay in business at this time," he adds, with the company holding exclusivity over the design of the protective counter top and face shields.

Kilcullen said Kobba had received strong interest, including from one of the country's largest retail groups, a pharmacy chain and a retail bank. Last week, the company received its first orders for both the counter top and face screens from an office supplier and distributor.

The entrepreneur admitted the most significant issue for Kobba is getting enough of the products delivered to Ireland from its manufacturing partner in Poland.

"The key to building on our progress is to keep investing in the stock while the time is right," he said. "It's an immediate need.

"Even though this is a reactive market, there will be longevity for this product as a preventative measure well after the coronavirus pandemic has finished," he added.

Sunday Independent