Finding Mr. Pink is not easy.
Everyone knows what he does, except no-one really knows who he is. Go to almost any major celebrity bash in Los Angeles, and “Mr. Pink” Ginseng drinks pretty much own the place. Launched only last October, many Hollywood celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Michael Jackson’s children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, for the first time ever since their father’s passing, have helped turn Mr. Pink Ginseng Drinks into one of the biggest sensations on the US West Coast. It is already in 50,000 locations in California, with plans to “conquer” the globe well underway. Investors are confident that not only is this wellness drink “the next evolution” in the functional beverage market, it has all the ingredients to grab a huge chunk of the energy drinks market, where last year alone Red Bull notched up $3bn in US sales.
“We think Mr. Pink is a brand that will be making $30bn a year in sales in a decade,” says one of “Mr. Pink’s” advisors.
The founders of Mr. Pink are already confident they are currently sitting on top of a $3bn empire.
None of this comes any close to explaining exactly who Mr. Pink is. The man behind the phenomenon has never attended one of the many parties he throws. In fact not only he has never been pictured in public before, but his name has never been printed anywhere. Potential investors and partners are diverted to a company called Mr. Pink Collections, which in turn is owned by Kings International Investment Group, an LA-based company that describes itself as a global investment firm. There is a management team and a CEO, but nobody there is willing to say who “Mr. Pink” is.
“He doesn’t do media. No need to. Goodbye,” says a receptionist.
After several months of phone calls and emails, I eventually get a message that “Mr. Pink” himself is ready to talk. But even that is not straightforward. Macau becomes Monaco, which becomes Beverly Hills. Each time, the venue is changed or cancelled, as I am told “Mr. Pink” is having second thoughts about giving an interview.
“He’s never given an interview to anyone before, so he’s still not convinced he should now,” explains an advisor.
In June, I get a phone call out of the blue. “Are you in London?”
By pure coincidence, I am. Two hours later, I am sitting in front of a 33-year-old Chinese billionaire called Poe Qui Ying Wangsuo. He is young, ultra-smart, trendy and looks more like a fashion model. He is also the Mr Pink. And he is pretty direct.
“I’m not happy about doing this interview. I really didn’t want to, but my advisors said you told them it’s the only way you would ever agree to write about Mr. Pink drinks. So here I am. What do you want?”
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