Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Co-Founder & CEO
Manoj Bhargava is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of the Billions in Change movement, which aims to bring useful inventions to the unlucky half of the world in order to improve quality of life for billions of people. Bhargava is best known in the United States for creating the popular 2-ounce drink 5-Hour ENERGY®. He was also featured in the documentary films Billions in Change (2015) and Billions in Change 2 (2017), which chronicled his work as an unconventional philanthropist to develop and distribute life-changing solutions that tackle some of the toughest problems of our time.
“My approach to things is this,” says Bhargava. “Let’s invent things that make a difference to peoples’ lives. And the inventions that really matter are the ones that will help the unlucky half of the world. Let’s not talk about awareness and inspiration. Let’s do stuff.”
Born in Lucknow, India, Bhargava moved to the United States in 1967 at the age of 14. Bhargava grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and attended Princeton University for one year before dropping out and focusing the remainder of his education on spiritual studies in India and the United States.
In 1990, Bhargava founded a plastics company that he grew to $20 million in sales before selling to a private equity firm. With this money, he started a consumer products company, Living Essentials®, which became an overwhelming success with the introduction of 5-Hour ENERGY® in 2004.
Bhargava, whose net worth is estimated at US$ 4 billion, has committed 99 percent of his wealth to finding solutions that could improve the lives of the ‘unlucky half of the world.’ To that end, Bhargava founded and financially supports Stage 2, an invention lab in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, which focuses on creating and developing useful products that can help address problems the areas of water, energy, and health. He is also the primary funder of The Hans Foundation, one of India’s largest charitable organizations, which is helping to deploy the Billions in Change solutions in India.
Bhargava’s motto is, “Do something useful.” And he believes the only useful thing to do is to serve humanity.