by V S Rama Rao on January 18, 2009
Grabbing and successful:
Richard Branson, entrepreneurial owner and founder of Britain’s untraditional Virgin Group, has fused two dissimilar lines of work – show business and commerce – into a single, extremely profitable enterprise. Virgin Group comprises more than 100 companies in 15 countries. It includes Virgin Atlantic, a 12 plane long distance carrier, the Virgin Retail Group outlets that sell CDs, videos and games; Virgin Communications including a small publishing company a commercial AM radio station, and a television station; Virgin Interactive Communication a computer games software publisher, and the Voyager Group a collection of diverse assets ranging from a hotel chain to a model agency.
Branson’s business strategy places him at the forefront as the company’s most effective marketing tool. He has become the world’s greatest underdog commented a London analyst. He is great actor. In addition his strategy also involves making the most of publicity. If you have got an airline, Branson asserted, you’ve got to keep it in the public eye somehow. This he accomplishes through a variety of methods including headline grabbing adventures such as crossing the Atlantic Ocean by speedboat and balloon.
Such exploits have served to define Virgin’s organizational culture. In addition morale is boosted by the success of Virgin Atlantic which had humble beginning as an upstart airline and was vulnerable to allegedly unfair competitive tactics by rival British Airways (BA). Being around through the gulf war, the recession and BA’s dirty tricks campaign has been particularly satisfying. The airline now holds 22 percent of the transatlantic market. This is less than BA’s share, but more than American or United holds. And Virgin is still expanding.
The structure Branson relies on entails his heavy involvement. He believes in taking a hands-on approach particularly with... [continues]
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