Rohan Oza is a businessman and guest panelist on the NBC series Shark Tank. Oza is best known for his work with name brands like Snickers and Coca-Cola, and has been commonly referred to as the “Branding Godfather.” Oza has also worked with brands like Chef’s Cut Real Jerky, Sir Kensington’s, Vita Coco, Popchips, Flywheel Spinning Studios and Bai Brands.
Given Oza’s success, and his prominent role on Shark Tank, there are many consumers who are curious about his monetary status. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Oza has an estimated net worth of $200 million. Read on to find out how he made his money and how he likes to spend it.
Here’s what you need to know about Rohan Oza’s net worth:
1. Oza Was Fired from His First Job as an M&M’s Marketer
Oza was born and raised in Zambia and is of Indian descent. He attended Nottingham University in the United Kingdom, and his first job was at a factory for Mars M&M’s. Oza wanted to work his way up from packager to marketer, but was ultimately fired because his employers felt that he was not effective enough. “I was involved with the manufacturing side but I really wanted to get into marketing,” he told Business Insider. “I asked my boss but he said I didn’t have the necessary marketing skills. I said ‘alright, let’s agree to disagree.'”
He later told E! News that getting fired was a crucial moment in his career. “Everyone thinks that when you have a run to the top it’s smooth. People are surprised to realize that I got fired from my first job at Mars’ M&Ms’,” he recalled. “They said I wasn’t that talented a marketer… That experience in getting fired a couple of times, having to fight to win and then living your brand is what changed everything for me.”
Oza then relocated to the United States. “I left to go to Michigan in the U.S. to study for my MBA,” he said. “I always wanted to work with iconic brands and the U.S. was the place where brands were at the time.” Oza’s first U.S. job was as an executive at the Coca-Cola Company.
2. Oza Worked for Coca-Cola & Helped Sprite Grow 30% In Sales
Oza worked primarily on the Sprite and Powerade brands during his time at Coca-Cola. He was among the first executives to recognize the marketing power of the hip-hop world and youth culture, and he started a campaign where he would supply unlimited Sprite to various DJs to increase its visibility. The gambit worked, and Sprite sales increased by a whopping 30% during Oza’s tenure.
“I was part of an amazing team that made Sprite one of the coolest brands in America,” he told Business Insider. “I helped build the brand with smart partnerships and built a bridge between Sprite and hip-hop culture and got American artists, NBA athletes on board. I brought Sprite to life on basketball courts and at concerts. I then was moved to Powerade.”
Oza’s time with Powerade was successful, though not to the dizzying heights of his work on Sprite. “While I helped sales grow more than 30% at brands like Sprite, it is very hard to make the same massive impact at other brands — these companies are too big and there are too many cooks in the kitchen,” he explained. I wasn’t very corporate either so I thought I would jump ship before Coca-Cola fired me.” Oza left Coca-Cola in 2002, and became partner and chief marketing officer for the beverage company Glacéau.
3. Oza Sold Vitamin Water to Coca-Cola for $4.2 Billion In 2007
Oza’s greatest success to date has been with Glacéau’s Vitamin Water. Initially, his bosses at Coca-Cola scoffed at the notion that he leave them for a less successful brand. “I had a party and then my boss asked where I was going,’ he recalled. “I said I was going to be a partner in Vitamin Water, which was small and made around $25 million in revenue annually in 2002, and he just laughed and said ‘good luck with that.'”
Oza’s marketing acumen would help make Vitamin Water a global success. He grew the company’s sales to $700 million a year by 2004, and he helped ink endorsement deals with the likes of and 50 Cent. The latter was paid $5 million in cash and asked for a 5% stake in the company in exchange for his endorsement. “I only hire brand messiahs — they live and breathe the product, not just sell it,” Oza said, when asked how he determines which celebrities to approach. They have to create a culture around the product itself.”
Oza had an annual salary of $700 million during his time with Vitamin Water. He sold it to Coca-Cola for a whopping $4.2 billion in 2007, bringing his career path full circle. He took the profits he made from the deal and has since pursued a career as a venture capitalist.
4. Oza Sold Bai Brands to Dr. Pepper for $1.7 Billion In 2016
Oza has spent the last decade investing in various brands. “When [Vitamin Water] sold, though, I didn’t want to retire, so I became a venture capitalist and [got] involved with products that I really connect with — like Vita Coco, Pop Chips, and Bai Brands.” The latter proved to be the most successful of the bunch, as well as Oza’s personal favorite.
“Bai is my favorite in the gang in a nutshell. It solves the diet dilemma — everyone wants things to taste good but without a tonne of sugar,” he told B.I. “This takes out the likes of Pepsi and Coca-Cola. People also are growing more towards to not having artificial sweeteners, so that strips out the Diet Cokes and Diet Sprite.” Oza partnered with pop star Justin Timberlake to purchase Bai Brands, and they sold it to Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for $1.7 billion.
“It’s very annoying to be hanging out with Justin because the guy is good at everything he does,” Oza jokingly told E! News. “When we sit down and talk about brand strategy, which is what I’m supposed to be the best at, [Justin] also knows a ton about brands and brand DNA and what it means to consumers. And I’m like, OK, well let’s go play golf instead!”
5. Oza Wants to Create the 1st Billion Dollar Brand on ‘Shark Tank’
Oza continues to look for new investment opportunities on Shark Tank. During an interview with Business Insider, the venture capitalist talked about the show and how his skillset makes him unique. “The difference that I could bring was that my expertise in food and beverage doesn’t exist currently on the panel,” he explained. “And that’s a trillion dollar industry that’s getting disrupted because most of the things on the shelves today are bad for you, and millennials are all looking for products that are better for you.”
Oza went on to say that his goal is to create the first billion dollar brand on the show. “The opportunity to disrupt the aisles, both in stores and online, in food and beverage is huge, and I want to help create the first billion dollar brand on Shark Tank,” he revealed. “I feel that America is one of the greatest countries in the world to be an entrepreneur, and what Shark Tank does is it taps into and fuels that entrepreneurial spirit. So, I loved the energy that came from funding people’s dreams and building iconic brands.”