Richard Branson: Megabrand Mogul
Richard Branson is a British billionaire and entrepreneur who owns’ 400 companies under the Virgin brand name. He has started businesses from the ground up and at sometimes almost run them into the ground. He has been knighted by the Queen for his entrepreneurial skills. Branson is an enthusiastic and at times crazy person but he is also an incredible business savvy man. Whether it be an airline company or a program that will take people into space Branson is always coming up with new ideas to change the way people live. Even though he is a very rich man he still does not let money rule him, he lets creativity take control.
Richard Branson was born in Surrey England in 1950; he dropped out of school at the age of 16. He always had a hard time with school because he suffered from dyslexia, which caused him to struggle with education. Once he dropped out of school he and a friend started a magazine called Student in 1966, Branson released the first 50,000 copies for free because he covered the price with advertising revenue. In 1969 Branson started his own mail-order record company to fund his magazine. The record company made enough money that by 1972 Richard built a recording studio. By the late 1970s the high school dropout had one of the top six record companies in the world. Branson decided to expand his business and in 1980 he opened a travel company by the name of Voyager Group. A few years later Virgin Atlantic, Branson’s airline company was born, but it did not start out as smooth as he had hoped. In 1992 Branson was forced to sell his Virgin music label just to keep his airline company from going bankrupt. Many people thought he was crazy for selling his record company but it turned out to be a wise decision by Branson, the music industry saw rapid declines from album sales after the Napster era. (Ted, 2007). Richard Branson truly is an entrepreneur, he has tried everything from a railway network to his own soda named Virgin Cola, but one of his more successful companies, Virgin mobile, was sold in 2007 for one billion dollars and the company who bought it still pays a minimum of eight billion dollars every year just to use the Virgin name (The Biography Channel, 2013). Branson is not all about the money, in 2007 he announced Virgin Earth Challenge, which awards $25 million to an individual or team that designs a viable product that will reduce greenhouse gases each year for at least ten years without any harmful effects. Over 2,600 applications were made and 11 finalists were revealed on 2 November 2011 (The Biography Channel, 2013). At the end of 2011 he also took over Northern Rock, a banking brand, for 747 million and now his Virgin Money is currently in service in the UK, Australia, and South Africa. Branson is about helping the people every chance he gets, which is why he expanded his healthcare empire in 2008 by opening healthcare facilities offering medical treatment for those who could not afford it, appropriately named Virgin Healthcare. Sir Richard as some people refer to him (but not many according to him) was knighted in 1999 for his services to entrepreneurship. He is known for his crazy antics and wild behavior, he also gets what he wants when he puts his mind to it, which is why it came to no surprise in