Describe the work of one entrepreneur. What innovations did he/she bring to the world? What were the risks involved? What were the difficulties? What failures did he/she encounter? How did he/she react to the risks, difficulties, and failures? What are the major lessons to be learnt?
Richard Branson is a very unique entrepreneur as he is known by his humorous characters and as he is the founder of the Virgin Group which has more than 400 companies underneath nowadays. Today, Branson is the fourth richest man in the Unites Kingdom with his billions of wealth. The road to success for him is extraordinary due to his own characteristics which makes him so much different from other entrepreneur.
Branson started his business in the music industry as he set up Virgin Records which was a chain selling records at the very beginning. Later, he started to expand his business to different fields like airline, telecommunication, trains and even food industry. He as the founder and the chairman of the Virgin Group has displayed a very bold character in making business decisions and what he had done may seem silly or unbelievable from the eyes of the public or other entrepreneur as he may have depart from ordinary routine. Back in the early days, the Virgin had done something bold and somehow rebellious – signing the Sex Pistols which was a controversial rock band in the UK at that time while other companies did not want to sign them. This act might seem foolish to people at that time. However, the Sex Pistols turned out to be an iconic band with huge impact to the world and the Virgin had helped the public to expose to such extraordinary music and culture. After his groups of companies became successful and on the track, he did not stop being creative and bold as he set up a space tourism company in 2004 aiming to offer space travel experience for customers. With his wealth and fame, he did not solely pursue profit maximization as he started to invest in research for environmentally friendly fuel and tried to offer cheaper and environmentally friendly fuel to the general public. As a successful entrepreneur, Branson had fulfilled his social responsibility by bringing changes to the society.
One the other hand, Branson is good at promoting the whole Virgin Group brand image. He made himself like a star by having cameos on television show to increase his own fame. Moreover, he even had his own television reality show called The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best to get himself more exposure to the public. His is very successful in making himself the soul of the Virgin Group as people equal Branson to the Virgin Group in their minds. He has started a brand-new and unique way of marketing strategy.
Despite the huge success of the Virgin Group, there must be risk involved especially the Virgin Group involves hundreds of companies. Branson admitted that big and creative ideas also mean big risks. For example his business ventures in train industry and space travel industry includes huge risks. However, he is very bold and is willing to take risk because he believes that you can gain nothing if you don’t venture. With all these risks includes in his ventures which may bring him millions dollars of lost, he is still very bold in taking risk nowadays despite his failures in the past. Of course he has failed a lot in the past as the Virgin Group has attempted in entering almost every industry in the world, and some may not work out. In a sharing session, Branson recalled that his subordinates panicked after knowing that he wanted to enter the airline industry as the Virgin Group was only a record label at that time. However, ‘To be a true entrepreneur you’ve got to take bold risk throughout your life’ he said during the session which explains his frequent attempts in expanding his business in different fields. But, of course, he did not blindly take any risk and lost million dollars as he added ‘But you’ve got to make...
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