When he immigrated to the U.S. more than 20 ago, Tony Mangat took a job as a truck driver to feed his family. Slowly but surely, he worked his way up the ranks and eventually built his own trucking business shipping freight across the country.
Back in his small home province in India, Mangat had witnessed true poverty firsthand. It's why every year he looked for new ways to give back such as by building a school back in India for impoverished kids. Then, he launched he a program to help low-income families afford eyeglasses.
Still, it didn't feel like enough. What Mangat really wanted was a business with the charitable element built right in--something that would allow him to give back every day of the year, simply through the sale of a product.
"I thought to myself, what's something that people will spend a decent amount of money on, that they buy over and over again," Mangat asked. "I thought of my wife, and the answer came to me almost immediately: beauty products."
It was an unlikely avenue to go down. After all, Mangat's business expertise lay in trucking and logistics, not cosmetics. But after talking the idea over with a few trusted friends, Mangat knew he was onto something.
"My partner and I were attending a trade show, and we met a gentleman who developed cosmetics for a living. It was like fate," Mangat said. "We hit it off right away."
Working with his new friend in the beauty world, Mangat and his partners fleshed out a creative concept: a high-end skincare serum that gives to charity with every bottle sold. They called their product 'OUR Skin Cares,' and Mangat had the perfect charity in mind to support.
"Food for the Poor does amazing work around the world. They put God first, which was important to us, and more than 95% of all funds collected go directly to hunger relief programs."
Food for the Poor is one of the largest aid groups in the country, providing not only hunger relief, but secure housing, clean water, healthcare and emergency. Since its launch in 1982, the organization has provided some $11 billion in aid to the poorest people in 17 countries around the globe.
Food for the Poor children, photo provided by OUR Skin Cares.
Every bottle of OUR Skin Cares' anti-aging serum feeds a child in need for a month--three meals per day, every day.
"As a woman, I feel best when I'm confident in the way I look," said Eizel Yap, a friend of Mangat's and early supporter of his line. "At the same time, there's nothing that compares to the feeling of giving back to someone in need. I love Tony's idea because it offers me both."
OUR Skin Cares is part of a growing business trend known as social entrepreneurship; it's when a company uses its position in the free market to implement solutions to social, cultural and environmental issues.
According to the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, social enterprises are on the rise and will continue to tick upward for the next five to ten years thanks in part to a shifting business mindset among millennials, as well as the unprecedented access to connective technology.
All of this, Mangat hopes, will come together in favor of Food for the Poor and other groups like it.
"It's the way of the future," he said. "People are changing. They want to make a difference in the world, and they want to support companies who do that as well. We're proud to be a part of it."
To learn more about Mangat's venture and Food for the Poor, visit OUR Skin Cares on the web.