Friday, November 16, 2012

The Energy Drink, The Man, and His Untiring Energy!

A person can do anything he/she wants! Just look at the ups and downs of this man, and how high he rose after being decimated to a construction laborer and a taxi driver!


NRI’s energy drink under lens for 13 deaths in US

WASHINGTON: A high-caffeine energy drink which has propelled an Indian-American businessman to the billionaire's club — and arguably to the top of the wealthiest NRIs in America list — is under scrutiny after being cited in 13 deaths over the last four years.

 Lucknow-born Manoj Bhargava, whose "5-hour Energy" drink has a cult following in the US, is at the centre of Federal Drug Administration (FDA) filings examining links between energy drinks and serious fatalities such as convulsions and heart attacks.

A Forbes magazine article earlier this year said that Bhargava may be the wealthiest Indian in America, and some estimate put his net worth at $4 billion.

Bhargava moved to the US with his parents as a teen and grew up in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, as his father pursued a post-graduate degree at Wharton. A math whiz, Bhargava Jr enrolled at Princeton but dropped out in his freshman year, returning to India in search of a spiritual education and living as a monk and mendicant in ashrams across India. He took on a variety of jobs, working as a construction labourer, cleaning contractor, accounting clerk, taxi driver, printing press operator and business manager, before starting a plastics raw material company in 1990 called Prime Conduit which he grew to $20 million in sales and then sold it to a private equity firm.

Early last decade, Bhargava founded the consumer products company Living Essentials, and in 2004, introduced 5-hour Energy, a caffeinated and vitaminized energy booster that he developed. Sold in two-ounce shots in stores across US, the drink became a monster hit, racking up a billion dollars in sales within seven years.

At a personal level though, Bhargava has earned a reputation as a philanthropist, signing up with Bill Gates-led Giving Pledge by billionaires to donate 50% of their wealth. A minimalist who does not believe in excessive personal consumption, he plans to offload as much as $1 billion in charity in India over the next decade through a non-profit foundation he has established.

For now though, his energies are being consumed by the FDA scrutiny of the product that brought him the billions.

No comments: