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Essay: Richard Branson

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  • Subject area(s): Business essays
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  • Published: 19 September 2015*
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  • Words: 760 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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For this assignment we had to think of an entrepreneurial person that inspires you. Well there are actually a few entrepreneurial people that inspire me, but for this assignment I decided to use Richard Branson. When we say Richard Branson, we say Virgin Group Ltd. Today Virgin Group has more than 50,000 people employed around the world, which operate in more than 50 countries and is ‘one of the worlds most recognised and respected brands'(‘About us’, 2014). The sectors in which the businesses are successful include music and travel. In 2012 the company made ‘global branded revenues of ??15 billion.’ (‘About us’, 2014).
Richard Branson was born in Surrey, England. His father was a barrister and his mother was a flight attendant. Branson had a hard time at school due to his dyslexia. After years of struggling he decided to drop out of school at the age of 16. He decided to set up a magazine called ‘the Student’, which was his first entrepreneurial move. The magazine was for and ran by students advertising popular records.
By 1970, Branson had moved to London and got in touch with the British music industry. He came up with the idea to begin a mail-order record company, called Virgin. This way the records were under the high street market price. Branson later said that ‘there is no point starting your own business unless you do it out a sense of frustration'(‘Richard Branson’, 2014). Referring to the fact that around that time products were sold under restrictive marketing agreements that limited discounts. The performance of his mail order record company was just enough to expand his business even further. His next step was buying a record shop in Oxford Street in London. Branson ‘was questioned over the records that were sold in the record shop because they had been declared export stock’ (‘Richard Branson’, 2014). He had to repay the unpaid taxes and a fine for doing so. With the help of his mother he was able to pay the settlement.
The shop was such a success that Branson was able to build a recording studio in 1972; Virgin Records Label was born. Many musicians, among the sex pistols which at that time no other record company wanted to sign, signed at Virgin helping Branson to make Virgin Music one of the six record companies in the world.
In 1984 Branson decided to expand again by adding the airline Virgin Atlantic to the list of Virgin brands. He clarified his decision by saying: ‘My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them … from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it'(‘Sir Richard Branson’, 2014). British Airways saw a big competitor in Virgin, which caused for some anger between the two. Virgin accused British Airways of ‘hacking into their computers and making Virgin Atlantic look bad'(‘Richard Branson, 2014).
In 1992 Branson’s Virgin Music Label was financial struggling, he decided to sell Virgin Music Label to EMI. Branson felt defeated by the loss, because Virgin Music Label was the beginning of the whole Virgin brand. Though he had to sell the label he remained interested in the music industry, and founded Virgin Radio.
Over the years Branson developed tons of other Virgin businesses and currently holds more than 200 companies.
I have only listed a few of the businesses Richard Branson has started up, because there a simply too many of them. There are several things about this person that inspire me. Well at first I think he sets a great example of showing people that a learning disability doesn’t mean you cant be successful. Even though he was struggling a lot during his school time, he did not let it influence his dreams. He started it off by selling a magazine and by selling mail ordered records, something very simple, but something the people needed at that time. He anticipates the needs of the people and transforms it into a business. It’s like this guy has a gift of knowing what the future wants and takes risks to create it; avoiding tax pays with the mail ordered record company, signing the controversial sex pistols at Virgin music label are both examples.
In rough times, for example the time he had to sell the Virgin Music Label, he felt defeated but got up and was determined to stay in the music industry. This shows that he is very persistent person who sets his challenges high and feels that he always should at least give a try.

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