Home » Philanthropy » Indian American billionaire Manoj Bhargava devotes himself to alleviate global issues afflicting poor

Indian American billionaire Manoj Bhargava devotes himself to alleviate global issues afflicting poor

Bhargava has pledged to give away his fortune to charity.

By Raif Karerat

Manoj Bhargava
Manoj Bhargava

Indian American billionaire Manoj Bhargava, who amassed his fortune by founding the 5-Hour Energy company, has already pledged to give away most of his colossal fortune.

Now Bhargava is going public for the first time with work he’s been funding on inventions to alleviate global suffering by attacking problems in the areas of water purity, energy availability and health.

Several practical inventions created by 100-or-so engineers at Bhargava’s Stage 2 Innovations laboratory in Farmington Hills, Michigan, are based on relatively simple technologies that have been around for decades, but adapted to be more compact, mobile or efficient, reported USA Today.

He also has scientists in Michigan and Singapore delving into the graphene, which is 100 times more conductive than copper and 207 times stronger than steel by weight, according to Laptop Magazine.

Scoop Whoop detailed another innovation spurred on by Bhargava:

In the documentary “Billion in Change,” Bhargava talks about how almost half the world’s population lives with inadequate electricity (or no electricity at all in some cases). That is one of the major reasons why the poor aren’t able to harness the fruits of modern technology like the Internet. So, he got some engineers together to come up with “Free Electric – Pollution free limitless energy”, a stationary bike that generates 24-hours worth of electricity through one hour of pedaling. No pollution at all, and the side-effect? A strong and healthy body.

Bhargava, 62, is the narrator and central figure in the film, which pegs his net worth at $4 billion and says he plans to give 99 percent of it to charity.

“Awareness doesn’t reduce pollution or grow food. That takes doing,” he states at the start of the film. “If you have wealth, it’s a duty to help those who don’t.”

Bhargava’s promise to donate the majority of his estate to charitable causes is a result of his affiliation with the Giving Pledge, an organization that asks the mega-rich to wield their wealth for positive change.

Both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are both members and have also made the pledge, so Bhargava can count himself among good company.

“Service to others seems the only intelligent choice for the use of wealth. The other choices especially personal consumption, seem either useless or harmful,” he remarked to the U.K.’s Metro News.



  • Koreen

    Where will the parts and battery replacements come from? How and where is the metal mined/extracted? How limited are these resources? What are the ecosystem impacts of building these and discarding them? How will they be repaired? Has this been field tested? Does this solution create ongoing dependency? It is a great idea and creation and there are many benefits. I’m just pushing the envelope to challenge toward an even better design that is “Cradle to Cradle”. There is a whole ecosystem that goes along with something like this (or anything else) – it cannot be divorced from its ecosystem. That includes human behavior, as well. In whole systems design all the moving parts of human and ecosystem impact must be addressed for a solution to be truly regenerative, or even sustainable. It’s great that he is doing this – it would be even better if these men with this great wealth became whole systems designers and thought with entire systems and not just one piece of the problem. And maybe he does have solutions for these things, but they weren’t mentioned on his site or in his film, if so. I like the idea of releasing designs that could be made from locally available parts and training local areas to build these from locally available resources. If he wants to make a change by maximally enabling people locally, it is something he could consider.

  • Steve Parkinson

    Well done. Can it be modified to work from a normal bicycle? Can the parts be printed?
    I have asked Richard Branson to get involved… let us see what happens…

  • Joe Barry

    Let’s assume that they can acquire parts the same way they acquired the machine (purchase, charity, etc..). This is a brilliant, low tech, low cost solution. Basically a bicycle that generates power.

  • mariposaman

    Start with low tech solutions that are low cost. What happens when the stationary bike breaks or wears out, how do poor people afford spare parts and technicians to repair it? It ends up as a pile of expensive junk.