Rohan Oza is a popular “Shark Tank” investor who focuses heavily on the food industry. As a marketing professional and branding expert, he has helped many struggling companies make a bigger impact on their market.
His expertise has made him a trusted investor, and his successes on the show include multiple businesses that are still in operation and moving towards earning a heavy profit soon.
Rohan Oza started his life in Zambia in 1971. Born into an ethnic Indian family that eventually relocated to the United States, Oza took an early interest in manufacturing and engineering.
He earned his BA from Nottingham University and later transferred to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to earn an MBA in marketing and corporate strategy. This decision changed his life very quickly.
Oza earned his first job as a manufacturing manager for Mars’ M&M’s when he was just 20. Oza’s background in manufacturing helped expand his understanding of this process, while his interest and training in marketing made it easier to identify branding opportunities. Mars, impressed by his work, gave him a marketing job advertising Snickers for Mars, Incorporated in Europe.
The Move to Coca-Cola
Rohan then moved to Coca-Cola, where his career started to truly take off. Oza was one of the pioneers of the hip-hop advertising movement, which focused on signing popular rappers and musicians to advertise products.
This intelligent understanding of the power of youth culture helped revitalize many brands for Coke. For example, he signed Kobe Bryant and made Sprite popular again.
Oza also brought in individuals like LeBron James, Gal Gadot, Madonna, and Tom Brady to market products. As a result, he was able to move to Glaceau, the Vitamin Water manufacturer, where he boosted that company’s image by bringing in 50 Cent as a promoter.
Its meteoric success impressed Coke so much that they bought Glaceau for $4.2 billion and made him their chief marketing officer.
Since his successes, many companies have attempted to copy Rohan’s methods. Hip-hop and youth culture advertising has become the main marketing method for food and beverage businesses.
As a result, Rohan decided to challenge himself with a major change and left Coca-Cola in 2009 to become a venture capitalist. During this time, his net worth has continued to balloon, and he continues to impress many investment specialists throughout the industry.
During his lengthy career, Oza has earned a net value of $200 million. Much of this income has come during his time as a venture capitalist, particularly after his successful work with Coca-Cola.
His deal to buy Vitamin Water and hire 50 Cent as a spokesperson showed his understanding of youth culture and the marketing power of hip-hop. These smash successes helped drive his worth into the stratosphere and make his later venture capital investments possible.
Oza has had similar successes bringing Justin Timberlake in as an endorser and investor of the drink Bai. Bai was an antioxidant drink struggling to make headway until Timberlake’s immediate marketability drove them to higher success. Bai was eventually purchased by The Dr. Pepper Snapper Group for $1.7 billion, earning Oza another big paycheck for his work.
Rohan Oza has also helped improve Sprite Sales, boost Powerade’s success, and continues to identify bold new food industry trends. It was undoubtedly these successes and his growing reputation that enticed “Shark Tank” to bring on onto the show. More and more food-related companies were coming to “Shark Tank” every season, and Rohan’s expertise was definitely needed.
Shark Tank Details
Rohan made his “Shark Tank” debut in the ninth season in 2017-18. Since then, he has made multiple deals on the show in that season, as well as the tenth and eleventh.
Oza has not made a return to the show since the eleventh season and seems focused more on boosting the brands that he purchased during his time on the show. Many of them show promise and could become successful in time.
Best/Worst Shark Tank Investments
One of Rohan Oza’s first investments was in “Jackson Honest,” an all-natural potato and tortilla chip company. A majority of his deals on “Shark Tank” were, naturally, for the food industry. He was impressed by the company’s commitment to using nutrient-dense fats in their foods, which make them a healthier version of potato chips that still had a good taste.
Oza was also touched by their story, as they made food that their son, Jackson, could enjoy that wouldn’t upset his rare autoimmune disease. Varieties included coconut oil sweet potato chips, sea salt and vinegar, barbecue, maple cinnamon, and salsa fresca. The family, Megan and Scott Reamer, were seeking $1.25 million, and Rohan Oza successfully won the investment bid.
Since then, “Jackson’s Honest” has pulled in around $10 million in sales every year and, while still seeking profits, seems well on its way toward success.
In addition, Oza owns about 15% equity in the business, giving him the potential to make a good profit. Unfortunately, the same is not likely the case for Mother Apple Cider, a promising vinegar-based drink that required just a $400K investment from Oza.
Mother was focused on creating a healthy drink that helped with bloating, immune support, and much more. The trouble with the drink is that apple cider vinegar, its main ingredient, isn’t exactly known for its good taste.
As a result, it’s a niche product, but one that admittedly has a pretty broad range. While Oza earned a 25% equity in the drink, Mother has mostly struggled to get off the ground and has required both more capital money and a rebranding.
While it’s way too early to claim that this investment was a failure, it is one of the least successful and propulsive of Oza’s purchases. With his lengthy marketing career and training behind him, it wouldn’t be surprising if Mother (now known as “Poppi”) turns around and begins making more money.