Manoj Bhargava- A Sanyasi turned Billionaire, Now plans to return his money to society

Behind every successful person, there is an intriguing story to tell. Manoj Bhargava’s story is one that needs to be told to give a ray of hope for the ones who want to stand on their own.

Manoj Bhargava is an Indian American billionaire businessman and philanthropist. He is the proud founder and CEO of Innovations Ventures LLC, the company known for producing the 5-hour Energy drink.

Bhargava had moved to the United States at the age of 14. Bhargava quit his studies in between. After dropping out of college, he returned to India and lived as a monk for twelve years in the mountains of India. In India, he spent 12 years meditating – meditating in caves, meditating in deep forests.

12 years later, Bhargava returned to the US and made up his mind to stand on his own legs. So, he started his own business in 1990. In 2004, Bhargava was at a tradeshow and came across an energy drink. A splendid idea came to his mind to create an energy drink without sugar, unknown stimulants, and with less fluid ounces. Later, he created a small, 2.49 ounce bottle, that provided “5 hours of energy”.

People were surprised by his innovative idea. He said, “Everyone asks, how did you do that? I tell them, we weren’t that smart. We just didn’t do dumb stuff… and that pretty much differentiated us from all other corporations”.

Manoj Bhargava, the Indian American Billionaire who was born in Lucknow, India in 1953. Bhargava became famous in 2001 for his 5 Hour energy drink. A dropout from the prestigious Princeton University, Manoj was on the Forbes list of the richest Indians in America in 2012.

He made an unprecedented promise to give 99 percent of his wealth for research and development (R&D) of products and services, which can effectively deal with the most critical issues being faced by the world.

His team has invented low-cost devices to make pure water, low-cost eco-friendly electricity generators and even techniques for farmers to increase their yields. Bhargav says, “Electricity is a great enabler. It opens all sorts of opportunities related to education, income, entrepreneurship, communication. And yet, nearly half the world still only gets power 2-3 hours per day. Mobile electricity could change things like mobile phones did.” 

Bhargav claims that crores of Indians, who still have to drink unsafe and unclean water, won’t have to do so any longer, once the product is ready. They are also busy finding substitute for urea based fertilisers. In an experiment, the team has been able to make a fertiliser from waste like dry leaves, green grass, remains of crop yield, manure from animal dung, all in just 18 days! Manoj says with excitement, “The results are stunning. Farmers are seeing higher yields, they’re getting higher quality produce, they’re using less pesticide and less water, their kids are healthier because they’re eating more nutritious food.”

He says, “We are taking one step at a time, right now we need to focus on one project and meet the demand for 100,000 units. It’s a long way to go.” The Youth salutes this great man “Manoj Bhargava” who is doing invaluable service to humanity, and giving back to the society, in one of the most effective ways possible.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.