Even though the word virgin has a totally different meaning to some people, to Sir Richard Branson (the man behind the virgin brand) it means a sturdy rise in business and the brand name that earned him the title of Global Marketing Tycoon. Named as the forth richest man in the UK by Forbes 2011 billionaire list, Richard Branson is estimated to be worth over US$ 4.2 billion. His virgin brand is splashed over everything from music mega stores, to credit cards and airlines, and he is always seeking new business ventures.
Born in 1950 to a well off family, he was educated in Bishopsgate School previously known as Scaitcliffe School until age 13. He then went on to Stowe School for three years. Unknown to a lot of people, Richard Branson had learning disabilities so he was poor in academics, but he later realized that he had the ability to easily connect with various individuals.
His business ways began early, at 16, where he ran a magazine called The Student From The Crypt of The Church. He advertised the latest trendy records in a student magazine and it was an overnight success as his magazine was price lower than the high street outlets, specifically the well-known store W.H. Smith. He then began a series of modifications which resulted in a large-scale recorded music discounting.
In 1971, He started his record shop in oxford street, London, but he was charged with selling already declared export stork in his virgin store. The matter was settled out of court and he paid a fine plus all the unpaid tax. His mother had to unfortunately re-mortgage their home to help her son with this settlement. In 1972 Branson with his pal Nik Powell began the virgin records and set up a recording studio in his country estate where he used to lease studio time to various artists like Mike Oldfield, whose album the tubular bells was virgin’s first release plus the best seller. Virgin then signed the then controversial group the Sex Pistols, but virgin received tremendous praise for exposing them to various vague avant-garde song like the can and the Faust.
The brand virgin soon blossomed as did the man behind the virgin brand and the virgin name began popping up in various different ventures. In 1980s he bought the heaven, a gay nightclub. In 1984 he began the virgin-Atlantic airways and the recession of the early 1990s saw him sell virgin records for five hundred million pounds to EMI so as to keep his other venture the Virgin Airline afloat. He then started V2 records to re-enter his first venture, the music industry. In 1999 he launched the virgin mobile, the virgin blue which was later renamed to virgin Australia. In 1993, Sir Richard Branson entered the most risky venture ever, the railway business, but in due time the virgin trains finally won the franchise for the cross-country British rail sector and the intercity west coast.
Currently, the virgin brand has over 400 companies worldwide. His brand is respected by many all over the world and not only because the man behind the virgin brand is such a vibrant and loveable character, but simply because of his reputation as a man who is never afraid to take risks. His organizations are not aimed at raking in a lot of money, but instead he is always looking for way to make life as easy as possible for everyone to enjoy.