Sir Richard Branson is one of Britain’s highest profile billionaires, the founder of Virgin Corporation International, the record-breaker in aeronautics, peace envoy and the owner of his own island.
His name is inscribed in the Guinness Book of Records, and the fortune, according to Forbes in March 2015, surpasses 5 billion, bringing him to the 4th place of the richest people of Great Britain.
Richard Branson was born on July 18, 1950 in Surrey, one of the UK counties. The Bransons disapproved of idleness and laziness: “My parents wanted us to grow stronger and learn to rely on ourselves.” The Bransons taught their four children to reflect on such “adult” topics as the family budget and projects for gaining profits from childhood. Richard was early attracted to entrepreneurship, as a child he was engaged in breeding budgies for sale, growing Christmas trees. Those projects did not bring the expected profits, however, the lack of income from the undertakings was not his main concern.
Due to dyslexia Richard suffered from he had to memorize texts from schoolwork. So he developed his memory, which became his real lifesaver in difficult cases. The School headmaster offered Richard to arrange publishing a newspaper for peers, and thus it marked the beginning of Branson’s first commercially successful project. Richard took the idea and transformed it in his own way – decided to issue a newspaper for students, which might be of interest for both schoolchildren and students in higher school.
Here, on the stage of creating his magazine «Student», Richard showed his adventurism in full. Without any printed issue, Branson telephoned potential advertisers. His persuasion methods were different for different ad men, for example, he wrote to Coca-Cola managers that Pepsi had already placed his ad. With regard to the content of magazine columns, Richard came up with a simple solution: he sent letters to celebrities politely requesting them to reflect on the themes of youth problems. Replies from a couple of “stars” were enough for the first issues of the magazine.
The first issue of «Student» was released, when Richard was 16 years old! The magazine was gaining popularity, there were interviews with Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Jean-Paul Sartre and others. Well, Branson began to receive his first revenues from advertising in this issue. Then came the project for sending mail records. It was then when the name – Virgin – appeared (Virgin meaning celibate), which gave life to the whole brand. The brand positioned Branson as “a beginner in the business”, who he, however, was.
Now Virgin Group has incorporated dozens of companies in such domains as recording, air transportation, mobile connection, TV, beverages production and … it’s just part of the list. Who needs to see the entire list should look at the company’s website www.virgin.com.