Sir Richard Branson,Founder Virgin Group is an English billionaire entrepreneur and business tycoon well known around the world as a successful businessman at the helm of world famous Virgin Group with a business interest in fields such as telecom, airlines, music and hospitality.
Richard Branson born on 18th July 1950 is a son of barrister and flight attendant. He struggled with dyslexia in school and dropped out from school at an age 16 to start a youth culture magazine called Student where he interviews famous peoples.
The first 50,000 copies was distributed for free but still he cover the cost of magazine through $ 8000 worth of advertising which he get for the first edition.Richard also started to sell music records through his magazine at a much-discounted price, helping in an overnight success.
In 1971 Branson opened his first record shop, but because he is labelling records as export stocks he has to pay heavy fine and unpaid taxes. At that time Branson`s mother had to mortgage her house to help his son pay the settlement cost with the government authorities.
After earning enough money from his Virgin Record Store, in 1972 Branson launched his own record label Virgin Records.
Mike Oldfield was the first artist signed by Virgin Records Label and his song Tubular Bells is a big hit, staying on the UK charts for 247 weeks. After this Branson signed some controversial and aspiring music bands like Sex Pistols which other companies are reluctant to sign.
In coming years Virgin Records sign other famous artists such as Rolling Stones, Culture Club, UB40, Genesis, Peter Gabriel and Paula Abdul and to become world`s largest independent record label and one of the top six record company in the world.
Selling of Virgin Records
Richard Branson is not every time successful, in 1992 Virgin was struggling to stay financially afloat and in order to keep his airlines going on, he was in pressure to sell his record company.
He suffer major financial failure and loss in the airline business, to overcome his loses Richard Branson sold his music label to EMI for 500 million pounds. In his biography, Branson says that he was completely distraught and crying after the contract was signed.
The record business was his first foray into the business world and has been the very start of the Virgin business empire, but he remained determined to stay in the music business. He starts Virgin Radio in 1993 and in 1996 he starts his second record company V2 in order to re-enter in the music business.
After few initial struggles Virgin Airlines become successful and today Virgin Group has a business interest in 35 counties around the world including England, Europe, America, Australia, Canada, Asia and South Africa with approx. 70,000 employees working in Virgin Group.
Branson has expanded his business interest in Train Company, luxury game preserve, mobile company and a space tourism company. Richard Branson`s Virgin brand today is synonymous with value and customer service making Branson one of the richest people on earth.
All this is the result of Branson`s hard work and his attitude of not giving up.
- He was knighted in 1999 for his remarkable contribution in entrepreneurship.
- In 2009 he is at No. 261 in Forbes World Billionaires list with $2.5 billion self-made fortune.
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