Strategic Management - Virgin Group

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Background of VIRGIN

In 1968 a guy named Richard Branson started the Student magazine and that was the starting of his revolutionary business career and from that time Branson did not have to look back ever. Now today Branson has the huge size of his business which is VIRGIN BUSINESS GROUP. This group owns more than 200 companies. “Branson” and “VIRGIN” is now a symbol of a famous brand all over the world.

VIRGIN group holds a pretty number of companies. Most popular VIRGIN companies are VIRGIN Money, VIRGIN America, VIRGIN Australia, VIRGIN Money Giving, VIRGIN Casino, VIRGIN Holidays, VIRGIN Balloon Flights, VIRGIN Cola, VIRGIN Atlantic Airways, VIRGIN Galactic and VIRGIN Mobile. Starting a business from student magazine to airlines, VIRGIN group is now operating in many continents like America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

VIRGIN’s Competitive advantage

According to the Resource based view point, the resources which are valuable, scarce, difficult to imitate and can’t be substituted by another resources are considered as competitive advantage for the company. From this view point VIRGIN group has a couple of Competitive advantages. Their competitive advantages are shown below according to the VRIN model.

| Resources | Valuable (V) | Rare (R) | Inimitable (I) | Non-Substitutable | | | | | |(N) | | Brand | ( | ( | ( | ( | | Richard Branson | ( | ( | ( | ( | |Legal Complexity | ( | ( | ( | ( | |Organizational Culture | ( | ( | ( | ( |

Core Competencies of VIRGIN

The core competence of VIRGIN group is their Brand “VIRGIN”. The Brand is hard to imitate for its competitors. It has leveraged widely in many products and markets. It has also contributed to the end customer’s experienced benefit. Business tycoon Richard Branson had the high ambition of expanding the business by using the brand “VIRGIN”. That’s why the business of VIRGIN group didn’t stand still within some specific industries but expanded enormously. Synergies are shaped from hierarchical affairs and the interaction of the corporate head office with individual business units. By leveraging the VIRGIN Brand which has recognized reputation into the consumers’ mind, VIRGIN is able to enter new business areas with a bang and shake up existing orders.

The Growth of VIRGIN

As time passed by VIRGIN grew significantly and penetrated in different markets. VIRGIN’s growth can be mapped according to the “McKinsey’s Three Horizons of Growth” as given below.

VIRGIN GroupHorizon 3

(1970 – 2006) Credit Cards


Horizon 2 Cars & Bikes

Financial Services


Travel & Tourism

Horizon 1 Telecom


Videos & Games

Airlines & Cargo

Figure: McKinsey’s Three Horizon of Growth

Branson’s Implemented Strategies

Branson as an entrepreneur has some primary strengths like conceiving and implementing new business ideas. His unconventional business structure and strategies were...
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