Richard Branson is one of the most successful and respected entrepreneurs in the world. He has literally launched hundreds of companies and one of the most famous brand names in the world Virgin.
A reason that Branson is so respected is not the fact that he was successful but the way that he would go about achieving that success. His motto ‘Screw it, let’s do it’ is a manifestation of his adventurous spirit. He certainly manages to have fun and live life to the full whilst competing at the highest level in a number of fields at once.
Branson was born in 1950 and was instilled with a sense of autonomy and self-reliance from his parents at an early age. As a teenager he started a magazine aimed at students to address issues around politics and also to help them with their problems. The name Virgin was suggested by one of the girls at Student magazine and the name stuck. In 1970 Branson launched Virgin Records and selected a wonderful location on Oxford Street, he managed to negotiate a period where they would not have to pay rent for a while to test the concept. The success of the store allowed for expansion with other stores and a recording studio, which would be the foundation for the influential label Virgin Records. The label would sign artists such as Mike Oldfield, Culture Club, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones.
Branson launched Virgin Atlantic in 1984 after seizing an opportunity that others did not see. They had a very tough time against the establish company British Airways and Virgin Atlantic survived and managed to expand into Asia and Australia.
Branson has achieved the unique distinction of building eight billion dollar companies in eight sectors.
Branson’s has achieved the fastest ever Atlantic Ocean crossing, a series of hot air balloon adventures and kitesurfing across the English Channel. In 2004 he established non-profit foundation Virgin Unite to tackle tough social and environmental problems and strives to make business a force for good. Most of his time is now spent working with Virgin Unite and organisations it has incubated, such as The Elders, Carbon War Room, B Team and Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. He also serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and supports ocean conservation with the Ocean Elders and Ocean Unite.
Richard Branson – The Virgin Way