Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic is likely to become the first “billionaire in space,” after revealing that he will fly a suborbital trip into space as early as July 11th. Heard of Richard Branson for the first time? Me too. So let’s know Who is Richard Branson and what is his journey?
Who is Richard Branson?
The Virgin Group is owned by Richard Branson, an English business magnate and philanthropist. Since its inception with Virgin Records, the Virgin group has grown to include over 400 enterprises. Branson, a serial entrepreneur, has had a remarkable life filled with ups and downs. He has embraced both his triumphs and his setbacks, and he has used his indomitable spirit to transform failures into stepping stones to success.
Virgin Records, with humble origins as a record shop in Oxfordshire, England, was his first endeavour. His achievements in music eventually led him to create Virgin Atlantic and put all of his businesses under the Virgin Group umbrella. And, at the age of 70, he is still going strong, building on his more than fifty-year legacy and now set to fly for space.
Richard Charles Nicholas Branson was born in Surrey, England in 1950 to Edward James Branson and Eve Branson. He had a difficult time in school as a youngster. Branson’s dyslexia made it difficult for him to keep up in school. He attended the Stowe Institution, a residential school in Buckinghamshire, England, after leaving Scaitcliffe School. He chose to leave out for good at the age of 16. As a result of this socially unusual decision, he founded Student, a student-focused youth culture publication. In 1966, Student published its debut issue, which included $8,000 in advertising and 50,000 free copies.
Virgin Records becoming a top Record label
One business concept led to another. His time spent living in a London commune cemented his place in the British music scene. As a result, Virgin, a mail-order firm that supplied money for his magazine, was founded. Branson eventually used the company’s revenues to build a record shop on Oxford Street in London, in addition to funding his magazine.
Mike Oldfield was the first artist signed to Virgin Records in 1973. The song “Tubuler Bells” by Oldfield topped the UK charts for 247 weeks. The phenomenal success of Virgin Records’ very first artist demonstrates Branson’s ability for spotting talent. More record agreements with now-iconic acts like the Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, and Culture Club resulted from this success. Virgin Records became one of the greatest record labels in the world as a result of these acts.
Virgin Records, on the other hand, could only maintain its popularity for so long. By 1992, the company’s financial woes had accumulated to the point that it was struggling to stay afloat. Branson had to sell it to THORN EMI for $1 billion the next year. Prior to this failure, Branson had already established two travel companies: the Voyager Group and Virgin Atlantic. His initial store on Oxford Street grew to become a chain of Virgin megastores.
It wasn’t simple for Branson to sell Virgin Records; it was a mental ordeal for him. He was said to have cried after signing the deal.
He founded Virgin Radio the same year as the sale. Three years later, he founded V2, his second record label, which signed musicians such as Tom Jones and Powder Finger.
Branson’s other business disasters include Virgin Cola, Virgin Cosmetics, and Virgin Brides, in addition to having to sell Virgin Records. Virgin Cola is the most popular failure, with barely 0.5 percent of the market share in the United States. In 2012, the firm was forced to discontinue making the drink.
He learned from each of his failures and utilised them as a springboard to greater success in the future. It also exemplifies his entrepreneurial spirit in going into a variety of companies without fear of failure.
In 1984, Branson expanded his business by launching Virgin Atlantic, an airline. Virgin Atlantic competed against British Airways when he leased his first 747 to fly from New York to Gatwick. Virgin Media, Virgin Money, and even Virgin Trains are among his other major businesses. All of his businesses are part of the Virgin Group, which has over 200 businesses in nations including Canada, Australia, the United States, and portions of Asia, Europe, and South Africa.
Space and High-Speed Travel
It’s no surprise that Branson joined with Scaled Composites to form The Spaceship Company, given his ability to see forward and continuously move forward. The SpaceShip Company is a Virgin Galactic subsidiary that Branson founded in order to pursue his ambition of exploring space and delivering it to a wider audience. Branson’s capacity to move on despite prior setbacks is exemplified by this company. The original spacecraft was destroyed on the first test flight in 2014. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2), on the other hand, successfully completed its maiden test flight of the craft’s atmospheric re-entry mechanism in 2018.
With his recent investment in Hyperloop One, a firm that develops high-speed transportation and cargo pods that travel at 250 miles per hour, Branson is gazing deeper into the future. To accomplish this amazing speed, magnetic levitation propels the pods down a track at aeroplane speeds, allowing them to travel great distances.
Branson founded his first charity when he was just 17 years old. Branson has been a benefactor to African educational organisations on a regular basis. In addition, he has committed $3 billion over the next ten years to combat global warming.
Inspiration to all
Whenever Virgin Galactic plans to fly non-astronauts into space, Branson’s tale will serve as proof that continual work, learning from errors, self-discovery, and persistence lead to great achievement and development for people and society. His mentality also demonstrates how past errors are only additional motivation to go forward and accomplish new goals.