Founder of the 10th Largest Brewery in the World, Co-Star of CBC's Dragons' Den
In her early 30s, Manjit Minhas, the petroleum engineering student turned beer baroness, is one of North America's most exciting entrepreneurs. The alcohol industry has always been an old boys' club, dominated by the male-run businesses of old. Minhas has been able to do what few ever thought possible—start from nothing and successfully enter the beer and spirits industry, undoubtedly one of the most competitive markets around, all as a young female entrepreneur. She is a highly sought-after speaker and has given talks at the Rotman School of Management and the Haskayne School of Business, among others. She is a judge of the current season of CBC's Dragons' Den.
Minhas is the first brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans. The Management Warnings include such direct statements as: “Please do not drink and drive—ever,” “Expectant mothers should avoid drinking alcoholic products,” and “Enjoy this product responsibly—Respect yourself and others." Her commitment to ethical business is one of the many reasons why her ventures have been so widely successful.
Minhas is the author of the book Brewing Up a Damn Good Story and has received many awards, including Canada’s Women Executive Network's Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs, Profit’s Top Growth Entrepreneur, and Chatelaine’s Top Entrepreneur Woman of The Year. She's been honoured with The Calgary Herald's "Compelling Calgarian" Award, been named to Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 list, and her business was ranked number six in Alberta Venture Magazine's "Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies." Her story has been featured in many publications such as Maclean's, Canadian Business Magazine, the Globe and Mail, and have been featured on TV in programs such as the CBC National News with Peter Mansbridge, and CBC Venture. Minhas and Ravinder also own Spotlight Film and TV Productions, which produces TV commercials, documentaries, corporate videos, and half-hour television series. They also own a home building company, Shergill Homes Ltd., that builds single family and custom homes in Fort McMurray and Calgary. Minhas was born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and two young daughters.
The Minhas School of Beer Business Success
Manjit Minhas started as a 19 year old with $10,000 and a dream. Today, her brewery is the 10th largest in the world. How did a young female entrepreneur manage to break into one of the toughest markets in the world? In this talk, Manjit Minhas shares the principles and entrepreneurial values that has led her company to rapid success—principles she calls "The Minhas School of Beer Business Success." Why is trust one of the most important aspects of business? How can you identify the market gaps your competitors are ignoring, and use them to your advantage? How can you successfully market your product on a small budget? Minhas is as down to earth as she is business savvy, and shares her remarkable story with sincerity and verve. This is a fantastic talk that will enlighten entrepreneurs, students, and businesspeople of all industries, ages and genders.
Achieving Business Success in Male-Dominated Industries
As the co-founder of a now-$155 million brewery, Manjit Minhas is living proof that women can—and should—achieve success in even the most male-dominated industries. With her family-owned Minhas Breweries and Distillery, she’s combined savvy financial sense with a keen understanding of what women want out of suds (yes, women drink beer—lots of it). It’s taken passion, patience, and thick skin, but today she’s part of a changing (and exciting) landscape: dragging a well-known boys club into the 21st century and redefining success from the ground up.
In this empowering talk, Minhas offers advice for women in business—new entrepreneurs, longtime leaders, and aspiring executives alike—looking to do great things, get ahead, and transform their industries. With equal power, she also speaks to groups seeking to diversify and modernize their workforces: incorporating more women as leaders, more people of colour, and demolishing outdated stereotypes. Minhas is the motivational speaker sure to inspire an entire generation of female innovators—as entrepreneur, past engineering student, CBC television star, mom, and much more.
I had the privilege of having a personal conversation with Manjit in front of 100 or so eager listeners at the President’s League Retreat on June 4, 2016. She is the ultimate example of what it means to be an entrepreneur. When you listen deeply to Manjit, you understand her incredible tenacity. She was a field hockey star in school and her love of sports drives her fearless grit. She has overcome one obstacle after another. There were many times when her business looked like it might fail. She talks about being totally discounted and overlooked in a man’s world. It was tough enough to be a young woman, barely above the legal drinking age in Canada, let alone being a visible minority. She admits having a lot of nights that included tears of frustration, but they also fueled her relentless determination. In addition, she was an absolute pleasure to work with before and during the President’s League event. She was informative about her products, which were featured at the reception that afternoon, and she was extremely flexible in the format of delivery of the keynote interview.
We were very impressed with Manjit’s speech. She was inspiring, engaging, and authentic. She connected with our audience and was very open to interacting after the keynote with attendees.
Brewing up a Damn Good Story
This book tells the story of the oldest continually operating brewery in the mid-west USA, founded in 1845. Located in the rolling hills of southern Wisconsin, and right in the middle of the city of Monroe. It also tells about its owners and the brands—both past and present, and most importantly, the story behind its incredible success.
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