Richard Branson biography

Richard Branson Biography

In thirty years, Richard Branson has built an empire around his most eclectic favorite brand: Virgin. Success-like saga for less conformist patterns English, accustomed shots bursts, whose sole motto is to have fun while working.

In May 2005, Richard Branson launches an insurance product under the Virgin brand for Americans modest revenue. One more financial adventure for the music press has been dubbed “the hippy entrepreneur” who reigns today over 200 companies. In the aftermath, the businessman announced that holders of this new product will offer cheaper tickets on flights of the airline. A rather original fill their planes … and ensure the development of its many activities.

Richard Branson is insidious: constantly boiling, always ready to meet new challenges and never short of ideas to ensure success. With one goal: to impose his Virgin brand of across the globe. Apart from the entrepreneur himself, Virgin is in fact the only real common denominator of the galaxy he created companies which operate in sectors as diverse as soft drinks, air and rail transport, distribution cultural products, financial, hospitality, fitness centers, e-commerce and telephony. The result, in any case, is well visible: Virgin is now in Britain, the brand with the highest reputation. As summarized in the survey Frédéric Thérin he devoted to the contractor, it is now possible to “check on Virgin Net financial income if invested by Virgin Direct achieved the performance expected … to offer his bride in case of capital gains, a wedding dress sold by Virgin Bride before leaving to tour with Virgin Sun Virgin in a hotel or boarding an aircraft for Virgin Atlantic go to the Caribbean during the flight and listen to Virgin Radio programs while drinking a Virgin Cola. ” The less fortunate can always take comfort in going to buy a disc in a Virgin Megastore!

But what puts Richard Branson? Certainly not the money! Despite a fortune estimated at 895 million pounds, the bearded entrepreneur is totally detached from the things of this world to the point of “type” to his friends and collaborators menus everyday purchases. His only sign of wealth is its enormous house 9, Holland Park – one of the most expensive streets of London – purchased at the request of his second wife, Joan, tired of seeing their previous residence, located at number 11 the same street, crowded with people and friends of her husband. He had made his home office, happily mixing professional and personal life! But for the rest, look no: beautiful cars, costumes brand shoes prices or luxury resorts, none of this is of interest Richard Branson, which raises money for the immediately reinvest in new business. Even the few that allows follies were quick to become new sources of profit, in the image of this private island in the Caribbean converted holiday resort for millionaires tired.

The secret spring of Richard Branson, it’s actually fun. “Fun working” so its only creed. This obsession with pleasure explains very particular management style that prevails in the group. At Virgin, we work with friends in the greatest simplicity and without any formality. Jokes and challenges of any kind are required. The group’s history is littered with stories featuring a joker Branson more than ever. Festivals he organized at his home in the 1970s were known for their atmosphere of total freedom. One night stands and drug use were the rule. This approach does not take anything seriously long remained one of the main strengths of the entrepreneur, often misjudged this fact by its partners in business. We know the phrase used by Lord King, chairman of British Airways in the 1980s: “If Richard Branson had worn steel-rimmed glasses, a suit of steel and had shaved his beard, I would have taken seriously. But it was impossible. I underestimated. ”

Richard Branson has always known what he wanted to remain in control of his life. A philosophy which owes much to his mother, Eve. Driven by tremendous energy, it pushes early children – Richard, born in 1950, and her two sisters – to take control rather than relying on others. Education is oriented entirely towards one goal: to foster the spirit of independence. Like her sisters, Richard was asked to usefully occupy their leisure time. At twelve, the boy creates his first case: fir seedlings he planted himself, and he intends to sell the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, because the rabbits have their plantations! A new attempt a year later – this time with parrots – will not be more successful.

The third test will be good. In 1966, with the consent of their parents – and first Eve, the only person he really listens – Richard Branson left school at the exclusive Stowe, where he distinguished himself by his poor results, to launch magazine “Student”. It is a success. But his fortune, Richard Branson owes mainly to the music. It is what will allow him to build his empire to 200 companies. It all began in 1969, three years after the successful launch of “Student”. This year, thanks to the money earned, Richard Branson created a business of selling records by mail. Virgin Music is born, the first official appearance of the name “Virgin”. Two years later in 1971, jeopardized by a postal strike, the budding entrepreneur changes his tune and opens in the heart of London record store. In the process, this music enthusiast bought a dilapidated mansion near Oxford and installs a small recording studio. Mike Oldfield, Phil Collins, Belinda Carlisle, Genesis, the Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson: future superstars of the year 1 1980 to succeed soon.

This is money earned by Virgin Music, pending resale to Thorn EMI for $ 1 billion in 1992, which will allow Richard Branson multiply new adventures. Driven by a genuine bulimia, hippy entrepreneur starts successively in air by creating, in 1984, Virgin Atlantic, in sodas with Virgin Cola in 1994 with financial products Direct Virgin in 1995, the rail in 1996 with Virgin Trains in the distribution with the first Virgin Megastores and soon in e-commerce, alcoholic beverages, clothing, automotive, hospitality, fitness centers and telephony. Some of his adventures, such as clothing, cosmetics or vodka, will result in abject failure. Others are slow to produce their first benefits, such as Virgin Trains, a victim of disrepair General English railway and obsolete equipment. But Richard Branson does not care, winning widely on one side it loses some of the other …

So great entrepreneur Richard Branson? Not only! In the 1980s, the businessman thoroughly enjoys the liberal wave initiated in Britain by Margaret Thatcher and continued by his successor, John Major. Formidable negotiator, Richard Branson did not like him to find funding to enable it to gain a foothold in a new area. Matter of survival! Starved of funds, the Virgin Group is always looking for money. Part comes from asset disposals – Virgin Music to Thorn EMI in 1992, Virgin Cinemas UGC in 1999 … The other most important industry associations. In almost all Virgin companies were created in partnership with groups storefront: Cott Corp and sodas, Stagecoach Holdings for rail or even the Royal Bank of Scotland and a fund for Australian financial services. ..

This is the great reputation of the brand that pushes industrial and financial blindly businessman, even sometimes you get hurt. Because the ability to promote Richard Branson is the real key to his astonishing success. To speak of Virgin, its main asset and its first asset, he will stop at nothing. The list is endless extravagances: the launch of Virgin Mobile, seen and walk with some truck models naked in the heart of London. For the launch of Virgin Cola in Japan, he participated in a game show and book a live contest grimaces before spitting the contents of a can in the face of the facilitator. For the maiden flight of his company in 1984, he used 70 cases of champagne to the 35 journalists aboard the plane and holding a magic show in full flight. Even the personal exploits of the contractor – the crossing of the Atlantic Outboard in 1986, the Atlantic and the Pacific in a balloon a year later – are not innocent: through him, it is draw attention to the Virgin brand.

These shots they shine enough to make a real galaxy Virgin group? Financial circles in doubt, forget too quickly that, throughout his career, Richard Branson always knew how to surround himself with high caliber managers, like Gordon McCallum, the “boss” of the brand, came from McKinsey, or Stephen Murphy, CFO, passed by Mars, Unilever and Quaker Oats. Between Richard Branson and financial striped suit, current, in fact, never happened, the hippy entrepreneur with no consideration for the establishment – which did not prevent him being knighted by the Queen England in 1999 – he takes pleasure in denigrating. For their part, bankers and analysts do not like this self eccentric and testify. An IPO in 1986, Virgin will be delisted two years later because of its very poor stock performance, forcing Richard Branson to take out a loan of 1.82 billion francs to buy back its shares. More than anything, it is the apparent lack of strategy that feeds the skepticism of observers. Where is Richard Branson really? regularly examines the financial press. In November 2004, the contractor gave them an answer much in the way of signing a $ 15 million with an American company for the production of space shuttles. The first Virgin in space are planned for 2008. The City is prevented: the hippie business has not finished talking to him!

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