- Founder of 5-Hour Energy: Manoj Bhargava
- Manoj Bhargava Net Worth: $1.5 Billion.
- Age at Founding: 51
- When: 2004
- Industry: Energy Drinks
- Annual Revenue: $1BB in Retail Sales. Company Revenue of $600-$700MM. $300MM Net Profit.
- # of Employees: 65 Key + 250 in Manufacturing
- Famous For: Introducing “Energy Shots” to the market.
How Manoj Bhargava Company Started ?
Born in Lucknow in 1953, Bhargava relocated to America in 1967 when his father decided to pursue a PhD at Wharton. The family, which was well off in India, had a tough time in the US. So Bhargava started doing odd jobs and businesses in his teens. He excelled in mathematics and joined Princeton, only to quit after one year when he decided to follow his ‘own way’ of education.
In 1974 he moved to India and spent most of the next 12 year in monasteries of Hanslok ashram.Bhargava returned to the US for good to help his father with his plastics business. He bought several small, struggling outlets and turned them around, before finally selling his Indiana PVC business to a private equity firm.
He got the idea for 5-Hour Energy at a natural products trade show where he tried a 16-ounce drink that promised to enhance productivity. He found it amazing and he made a mental note of its ingredients.
Six months later he came out with his own version-two ounces of caffeine and B vitamins-because he did not want to compete with Red Bull and Monster and fight for a space in the refrigerator. Despite its small size, Bhargava priced 5-Hour at $3 a bottle, even though he was advised against it, and slowly convinced retailers to stock it at their cash registers.
Ask him about his biggest challenge and Bhargava says, “The biggest challenge is always the governments – they try to stop all good things. I try to stay away from them as much as I can, as I know if someone can destroy something good, it’s the government!” He sounds like a rebel, but Bhargava is closer to a monk.
In fact, he says he spent 12 years of his life shuffling between monasteries in India and learning to still his mind. He still spends an hour everyday in contemplative silence.
And he is known for his frugal lifestyle and humble behaviour. Dressed in a simple kurta-pajama, Bhargava lives up to this reputation.
He thinks businesses in India give too much importance to education and mostly hire from top institutions. “It’s like hiring theoretical plumbers! None of us are too impressed by MBAs,” he says.
Source : Economic Times. Link is in the end of Article.
- 2004: Bhargava launches 5-Hour Energy.
- 2011: $1BB in retail sales.
- 2012: 5-Hour energy has 90% of the energy-shot market.
- 2013: Bhargava becomes a billionaire
Bhargava Startup Advice
”There are two ways of getting technology; 1. Inventing It, or 2. Finding It. Inventing has about the same likelihood of a lottery ticket… [it’s easier to look]“
“Cut out any expenses or activities that don’t make money, don’t improve the product, or make the customer happy”.
“Money doesn’t buy brains but it usually buys stupidity. Keep things simple. [Don’t bring in ‘Experts]‘”.
Must Watch a Short Trailer of His Documentary “Billions in Change”