Manoj Bhargava

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Manoj Bhargava
Born 1953 (age 62–63)[1]
Lucknow, India
Citizenship United States
Education Princeton University (one year)
Occupation Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Known for 5-Hour Energy brand
Net worth USD $1.5 billion (2013)[2]

Manoj Bhargava is an Indian American businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of Innovations Ventures LLC (dba Living Essentials LLC), the company is known for producing the 5-hour Energy drink.[3][4] By 2012 the brand had grown to do an estimated $1 billion in sales.[5] In 2015, Bhargava pledged 99% of his net worth to improving the well-being of the world's less fortunate.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Bhargava was born in Lucknow, India in 1953[1][7] and in 1967, moved with his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2][8] Bhargava's father attended the Wharton School of Business in pursuit of a doctorate degree,[1][7] while his son won a math scholarship to an "elite private academy" called The Hill School.[7] After high school graduation, Bhargava attended Princeton University for one year in 1972.[2][9]


After college, Bhargava returned to India and spent the next 12 years traveling to and from a group of communal-like monasteries owned by the Hanslok Ashram.[2][8] During this period, Bhargava moved back and forth between the US and India and worked a variety of middle-class office and construction jobs.[10]

Bhargava returned to the US and joined his parent's PVC manufacturing company. In 1990, he purchased a company that produced parts for outdoor furniture.[9] He later sold Prime PVC Inc. in 2006.[9][11] A subsequent company, specialized in inventions and new ideas for business.[9]

Bhargava created Innovations Ventures LLC (dba Living Essentials LLC),[9] and launched 5-hour Energy in 2003.[1] By 2012, retail sales had grown to an estimated $1 billion.[1] Over time, Bhargava created additional entities or funds to support a variety of new ventures.[9] These include the capital venture company MicroDose Life Sciences,[12] a manufacturing venture laboratory called Stage 2 Innovations LLC,[13] a private equity fund called ETC Capital LLC, Plymouth Real Estate Holdings LLC[9][10] and Oakland Energy and Water Ventures.[14] In 2014, he financed a New York City-based film distribution company Bleecker Street.[15]

Bhargava was interviewed on the ABC News show Nightline in September 2012.[16] That year an article in Forbes magazine said Bhargava and his company, Innovations Ventures, had participated in up to 90 court cases[17] against competitors, suppliers[7] and associates[9] since 2003.[18] As of 2012, fourteen of those cases had been settled or dismissed.[18]

In 2013, Forbes reported Bhargava's net worth to be $1.5 billion, but he was dropped from its list of billionaires in 2014.[2] Bhargava's 2015 documentary, Billions in Change, reports he has a net worth of over $4 billion,[19] while some news articles report the $4 billion figure to be unverified.[13][20]

Bhargava is a member of the Giving Pledge campaign.[21] In 2015, he pledged to give 99% of his wealth to philanthropic causes.[19] His foundations include the Hans Foundation[1][22] and Rural India Supporting Trust.[23] In 2016, Bhargava told National Geographic that he planned to distribute 10,000 of his stationary, power generating bikes to rural homes and villages in India.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Manoj Bhargava, richest Indian in US commits 90% earnings to charity". The Economic Times. 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Profile". Forbes. 
  3. ^ "Manoj Bhargava, Founder and CEO, Innovation Ventures LLC and Living Essentials LLC". Smart Business. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Duggan, Daniel; Walsh, Dustin (29 May 2011). "Energy Drink King Behind $100m Fund: Bhargava Sets Up Tech Park For New Firms". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  5. ^ O'Connor, Clare (February 8, 2012). "The Mystery Monk Making Billions With 5-Hour Energy". Forbes. 
  6. ^ Ilan Mochari (15 October 2015). "Inside the Mind of the Billionaire Who Built the 5-Hour Energy Empire". Inc. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d Murphy, Eamon (9 February 2012). "5-Hour Energy: A Success Equal Parts Caffeine, Chemistry and Meditation". DailyFinance. 
  8. ^ a b Staff writer (Oct 11, 2015). "Dropout, Monk and billionaire". Sunday Times of India. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Duggan, Daniel (19 February 2012). "Wizard of odds". Crains Detroit. 
  10. ^ a b "Newsmakers of the Year 2011". Crains Detroit Business. January 1, 2012. 
  11. ^ Frank Esposito (June 4, 2007). "Spell purchases Prime PVC". Plastics News. 
  12. ^ Gormley, Brian (May 19, 2010). "With Tempting Idea For Start-Ups, MicroDose Makes First Two Deals". Wall Street Journal. 
  13. ^ a b c Koch, Wendy. "Creator of 5-hour Energy Wants to Power the World's Homes—With Bikes" (Oct 6, 2015). National Geographic. Retrieved Nov 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ Tom Henderson (4 March 2014). "Bhargava Funds Company to Invest in Water, Energy Deals". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Cheney, Alexandra (August 13, 2014). "Ex-Focus Features Chief Launches Distribution Company". Variety. Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
  16. ^ Johnson, Eric. "5-Hour Energy Inventor Likes 'Toiling in Obscurity'". ABC. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  17. ^ O'Connor, Clare (February 8, 2012). "The Mystery Monk Making Billions With 5-Hour Energy". Forbes. 
  18. ^ a b Ben Wieder (March 26, 2015). "The political kingmaker nobody knows". Center for Public Integrity. 
  19. ^ a b Ilan, Mochari (Oct 15, 2015). "Inside the Mind of the Billionaire Who Built the 5-Hour Energy Empire". Inc Magazine. Retrieved Nov 22, 2015. 
  20. ^ Kumar, Bhaswar (Oct 22, 2015). "Manoj Bhargava's crusade: From energy drinks to limitless energy". Business Standard. Retrieved Nov 22, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Current Pledgers". The Giving Pledge. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Saumya Bhattacharya (November 11, 2014). "Philanthropists in the world not thinking through what people need: Manoj Bhargava". The Economic Times. 
  23. ^ "Manoj Bhargava". Glasspockets. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 

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