Manjit Minhas is a Canadian woman entrepreneur, author and television personality who started out hoping to become a petroleum engineer but accepted what fate has for her. She ended up a brewery entrepreneur. Manjit Minhas co-owns one of the best Canadian local and finest brewery – Minhas Breweries and Distillery with brother Ravinder.
Minhas is worth an estimate of $200 million. Her earnings are from her book, brewery business, television appearances and marketing of different liquor brands.
Manjit joined Dragons’ Den panel for its tenth season in 2015, a Canadian reality business television series where prospective entrepreneurs present their businesses or business ideas to a panel seeking a stake. Manjit was considered for this position after being recognised by several industrial bodies. She received top awards such as PROFIT Magazine’s ‘Top Growth Entrepreneur’, ‘Canada’s Top under 40’, and ‘Top Women Entrepreneurs in Canada’. This article walks you through the life of Manjit Minhas, her net worth, age, husband, and investment on Dragons’ Den.
Manjit Minhas was born on 31 May 1980 in Calgary, Canada to Moni and Rani Minhas who are of Sikh. Moni Minhas is a cultural Sikh and not a baptised Sikh, hence it was easy for him to venture into the liquor business, thereby turning a liquor store into a big family business. Baptised Sikhs do not eat meat, or smoke, or drink alcohol. Imagine what Canada’s economy would have lost if Manjit Minhas parents are baptised Sikhs?
Manjit has a brother Ravinder who serves as her business partner too. Manjit’s father was laid off as a mechanical engineer in the Alberta oil fields during the period Alberta announced the deregulation of government run-liquor stores. He used the opportunity to set up a liquor store known as OK Liquor Stores in 1993. Having worked in the oil sector for 15 years, Moni knew nothing about liquor but didn’t hesitate in taking the risk involved; hence we are not surprised by his children’s success in business. He allowed Manjit and Ravinder to work in the store as stocking and cleaning assistants. However, the store grew surprisingly to three outlets within three years. Though their father was laid off, Manjit and Ravinder still wanted to follow his steps and become engineers. Manjit enrolled at the University of Calgary to study Petroleum engineering. While in the university Manjit and her brother worked for OK Liquor Stores stocking shelves and became familiar with customers’ favourite products. At the age of 18 and 21 respectively, Ravinder suggested to Manjit that he wouldn’t like to work for their father’s liquor store for that summer, so they opted to try something different.
They decided to make their Irish cream that would compete effectively with Bailey’s Irish Cream, which was customers’ favourite. Manjit sold her RAV 4 for $10,000 to raise the money for their new venture to achieve this. With the capital, they employed the services of consultants who worked with them to create a recipe. In 1999, Manjit and her brother launched their brand of Irish cream called Blarney’s Irish Cream which competes favourably with Bailey’s Irish Cream in quality and taste but was about $15 cheaper.
They didn’t experience rapid sales, so they found their business philosophy that centres on tasting in an attempt to boost sales. They had people try it by working with retailers and marketing directly to customers, which they had done while working with OK Liquor Stores. This time, Manjit ensured that they maintained the quality of Blarney’s Irish Cream. Then, the sells started yielding. In words of Manjit – “Within a year, we know we had hit the nail on the head. we knew to spend more time on this.” Manjit and Ravinder were able to achieve all this while still students at the University of Calgary.
Next, they went entirely into the alcohol industry in 2002 when they started developing and importing premium rum, vodka, tequila, and whiskey. Manjit and Ravinder have a shortage of blue agave during this period to thank for their success as they were able to stock tequila before the prices rose, allowing them to make more money. In 2003, they released their first beer, Mountain Crest. The brewing was contracted out while restricting other services such as labelling, promotional materials and commercials department under their controlling to minimize their expenses. Mountain Crest was their baby, giving birth to other beer brands such as Boxer lager and Boxer Pilsner. To master their business, Manjit and Ravinder enrolled to beer and can institutes at Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology and Moonshine University respectively.
In 2006, Manjit bought the second oldest brewery in America, Joseph Huber Brewing Company in Monroe, Wisconsin. The brewery founded in 1845 was formerly known as Blumer Brewery and now renamed as Minhas Craft Brewery. As at 2019, Minhas Craft Brewery is the 10th largest craft brewery in the US by sales volume. Now, it brews for other brewers and other private label beers and spirits such as Tesco, Walgreens and Lidl. Minhas Craft brewery brews quality beers shipped across America and Asia.
In 2012, Manjit opened a new brewery in Calgary named Minhas Micro Brewery with distillery added to it. Manjit Minhas is the first brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a management warning on all her products to educate and warn the citizens on the dangers of abusing alcohol. Manjit and her sibling bring their technological background to ensure the safety of their consumers.
Manjit co-owns Spotlight TV and film production based in Calgary Vancouver and Los Angeles. This handles the writing, directing and producing of Minhas digital commercials, feature films, and documentaries. With the outbreak of COVID – 19, Manjit and Ravinder paused the activities in the distillers to set up a make-shift production unit for the production of sanitisers, thereby employing additional 110 employees amidst the pandemic lockdown. Manjit is the author of Brewing up a Damn Good Story.
Manjit Minhas and Dragons’ Den.
In 2015, Manjit Minhas became one of the panelist on the 10th season of CBC business reality television series Dragons’ Den. She has been on the Show for six years, and the exposure has helped push her brand to the limelight as one of the best local brewers in Canada. Fans have named her the Beer Baroness, and she is known for her bluntness and encouraging entrepreneurs to manage and control their expenditure. Over the years on the Show, she has invested in 31 companies worth an estimated $2.7 million. Her investment on Dragons’ Den include but not limited to
- Partyskirts – owned by Lauren and Mariel Armstrong as a brand of clothing
- Haven – A simple device that stops fires immediately installed into a ceiling and releases a dry chemical that puts out fires.
- Make My Belly Fit – A jacket extender that can be zipped onto any jacket meant for expecting mommy.
- Everything Butt Cream – A diaper rash cream that is easy to apply and remove.
Manjit Minhas Net Worth
Manjit Minhas’ net worth is an estimate of $200 million. Her earnings are from her book, brewery business, television appearances and marketing of different liquor brands.
Manjit Minhas husband and children
Manjit Minhas got married to Harvey Shergil in July 2007. They have two daughters together. Her husband owns a successful construction company – Shergil Homes Limited, which construct houses in Fort McMurry City.