domingo, 15 de abril de 2012

Richard Branson

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand, was born on July 18, 1950, to his lawyer father and stewardess mother. He attended Stowe Public school in England. Being dyslexic and nearsighted did not help him to achieve good grades in school.

His first business venture was a newspaper aimed at the students and teenagers in school. At the time he was only sixteen years of age. Three years later he founded the first of his Virgins, the Virgin mail order record company - virgins because they were all virgins in business. Shortly after that they also opened a record shop on Oxford Street in London.

In 1972 they built a record studio in Oxfordshire that proved to be the pivotal start needed for Virgin records. Mike Oldfield recorded his hit single Tubular Bells there. Another famous band turned down by some of their bigger competitors, were The Rolling Stones, which Virgin Records signed on. Other famous names include the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and Belinda Carlisle. Today Virgin Records are one of the top six record companies in the world.

Richard Branson seems undaunted by large competitors, especially where he sees a competitive advantage. This was the case when, in 1984, he sought to enter the airspace and announced that he would do it in three months. None of his critics could keep him out of the air and on June 22, 1984 the first flight of Virgin Atlantic Airways took to the air. Virgin Atlantic is now the second biggest international hauler from Heathrow and Gatwick.

Though he sold Virgin Records (to Thorn EMI) and a 49% stake of Virgin Atlantic (to Singapore Airlines), he still has numerous business interests in Virgin Cola, Virgin Pubs, Virgin Vision, Virgin Active, Megastores, V2 record label, books and hotels.

In 1993 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Technology from Loughborough University. In 1999 the Queen, for contribution to entrepreneurship and exuberance for the spirit of the United Kingdom, knighted him.

He is also an adventurer and thrives on challenges. In 1986 his boat Virgin Challenger II crossed the Atlantic in the fastest ever recorded time. In 1987 his Virgin Atlantic Flyer hot air balloon was the first hot air balloon to cross the Atlantic. Though he has failed numerous times in his attempt to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon non-stop, he wont quit trying. Recently, he also licensed the technology behind SpaceShipOne - the first privately funded craft to reach space and win the Ansari X prize - to form Virgin Galactic to take passengers to sub orbital space from 2010.

The quote for the entrepreneur wishing to enter a competitive space of giants, remember "the dinosaurs didn't last forever either." Yes, this is the story of a man with vision. He is an entrepreneur of extraordinary ability who aims for space and if no one will take him there, he will do it himself. It is the story of an undaunted Virgin, it the story of Richard Branson, an entrepreneur extraordinaire.

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