|Born||1953 (age 61–62)
|Education||Princeton University (one year)|
|Known for||Founder, 5-Hour Energy|
|Net worth||USD $4 billion|
Manoj Bhargava (born 1953) is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder and CEO of 5-hour Energy, the company which markets the energy shot. He was born in Lucknow, India and moved to the United States in 1967 at the age of 14. According to Forbes Magazine in 2012, Bhargava may be the wealthiest Indian in America. Crain's Detroit Business awarded Bhargava its "Newsmaker of the Year 2011" award. and he was named Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012. Bhargava was interviewed on the ABC News show, "Nightline," in September 2012. Forbes Magazine reported his net worth near $4 billion (USD).
Bhargava graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1972. He went on to attend Princeton University for one year. After that, he went back to India where he lived as a monk in the mountains for 12 years.
Early in his life, Bhargava worked at a variety of jobs including construction labourer, construction cleaning contractor, accounting clerk, taxi driver, printing press operator and business manager. He started a plastics raw material company in 1990, Prime PVC Inc., later called Prime Conduit, which he grew to $20 million in sales and then sold to a private equity firm. After that he started a consumer products company, Living Essentials. In 2004, the company developed the product "5-Hour Energy", which has become a well-known brand in the energy drink market. Bhargava's stake in Living Essentials is valued at over $3 billion.
His business start-ups include Living Essentials (maker of 5-Hour Energy), Senterra Water (desalination and water purification), ETC Capital (an investment company), Oakland Energy & Water Ventures (an investment company), Stage 2 Innovations (products for fuel efficiency that invests in Michigan tech), Microdose Life Sciences (medical devices), and US Rail (railroad and freight terminal operations).
5-Hour Energy was introduced to the marketplace in 2004. Retail sales grew to over $1 billion by 2011. Forbes reports that the research firm Symphony IRI believes 5-Hour to hold 90% of the energy shot market. Bhargava's innovation was creating a blend of vitamins and amino acids that was safe and effective for those who felt tired. His other innovation included the 2 oz. packaging, pointing out that people who needed energy were not necessarily also thirsty enough for an 8-ounce drink. The smaller size packaging allowed retailers to place the product near check-out counters and at easy point-of-sale locations. The product contains functional nutrients, such as B vitamins and amino acids. Production and distribution are handled inside the company itself, in a million-square-foot facility located in Wabash, Indiana.
5-Hour Energy is a clinically tested dietary supplement, as confirmed in March 2011 by the Consumer Reports magazine. The magazine's reporter viewed a summary of the company's randomised, double-blind clinical trial, which demonstrated that 5-Hour Energy "significantly outperformed" a placebo in tests measuring attention and alertness. The Consumer Reports article concluded that "5-Hour Energy will probably chase away grogginess at least as well as a cup of coffee."
Bhargava's foundations include Knowledge Medical Charitable Trust and Rural India Charitable Trust. The company technically donates forty-five percent of profits to charity; the charity is named Rural India and was set up by Bhargava with David Lieberman, also Bhargava's attorney, as the principal officer. The donation came in the form of a 45% stake in the company, which was then sold to Nevada 5 for $623 million. According to an associate of Bhargava's and official Nevada State Incorporation Documents, Bhargava is president and director of Nevada 5. Of Rural India's $1 billion only $5.1 million have been donated. The charities have funded medical research in the United States and over 400 charities in India. Two of the major initiatives are hospitals for the poor and education for disadvantaged women in rural areas.
The Hans Foundation, a charitable organisation, is solely supported by the Rural India Charitable Trust.
In September 2012, Bhargava joined The Giving Pledge.
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