How Richard Branson Built Virgin Group Into A Multi-Billion Dollar Empire

Photo by Jarle Naustvik / CC BY 2.0

Sir Richard Branson was born on 18th July, 1950 to Edward and Eve Branson in England. He is the founder of the Virgin Group, the mother company to Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Mobile among hundreds of other Virgin companies. Basically, Richard began by publishing one magazine at the age of 17; but look at him now! He is the owner of a giant conglomerate valued at more than $24 billion and is himself worth an amazing $5 billion.


Richard has battled dyslexia for much of his life and in fact he has been quoted as saying that not being good at school was very tough. Furthermore, the condition contributed to his dropping out of school at only 16. Nevertheless, Branson has not let dyslexia put him down, instead he has found his strength in giving people the products they want, then they in turn give him money and with that money he can hire people to count it for him.

Here Comes The Money……

It is no secret that Branson is one of the most fearless risk-takers of his time. He has actually been quoted as saying that “Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming.”And that is his winning attitude towards investment.

His journey to financial bliss began after he dropped out of school and started a youth magazine known as the Student. Having tested the waters, Richard was now ready to take on the world and he set up Virgin Mail Order that delivered records to clients via mail. Things were going very well for young Branson.

He set up the legendary Virgin Records that went on to sign Janet Jackson. From this point on there was no stopping Richard, the man took the world by storm producing at least one new Virgin product ever year. Furthermore he ventured into every possible market and fortunately for him he has made more money than he has lost.

Today, the Virgin Group boasts of over 50,000 employees in 50 countries. And some of Richard’s most notable successes include Virgin Megastores (established in 1979), Virgin Atlantic (1984), Virgin Hotels (1988), Virgin Money (1995) and Virgin Galactic (2004).

Some Things Just Weren’t Meant To Be

Given the large number of business ventures that Branson has worked on, it’s only logical that some have failed. The most notable disappointments have to be Virgin Cola and Virgin Vodka that folded in 1994. All the same, Branson took it all in stride and declared that he had learnt from his mistakes and wouldn’t be making them again.

Off To Space  

The next big thing for Richard is Virgin Galactic. His dream is to provide space travel to all who are looking for an out of this world experience (literally). However, the project is still underway, so all his anxious customers will have to hold their horses (for a while at least).

Lessons from Sir Richard Branson

Well, when all is said and done, Richard Branson has taught us a few lessons:

  • Failure in school doesn’t mean failure in life.
  • Just because one venture went south doesn’t mean all the others will follow it there.
  • Dream big; those dreams may just come true.

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"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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