Entrepreneurs differ in several aspects, although they depict certain similarities. This paper analyses a successful entrepreneur. It also presents the profiles of the individual and the business enterprise. Then lastly, an overview of the investor’s profile and that of the business is also given. The subject of this study is Virgin Group Limited, founded by Sir Richard Branson. Virgin Group Limited has been selected for analysis because it is a global business enterprise as it engages in a wide range of areas ranging from travel, entertainment, health, and financial services. Based on this, it offers a suitable case for study and a source of material that would be crucial for the analysis.
Virgin Group Limited Business's Profile
This is a global brand name in businesses which is owned and associated with Sir Richard Branson. Richard started the enterprise at only 16 years. By then, it was just a business venture called ‘magazine’. In the year 1970, he set up an Audio-record mail order business (Branson, 2010). Two years later, he opened a chain of record stores, which was called Virgin Records. Later on, the label was changed to Virgin Megastores. Virgin Atlantic Airways was set up and in the process, expanded the music Records Music Label. The Airways launched Virgin Mobile in 1999 and Virgin Blue in Australia (Branson, 2010). The European short–haul airline was then acquired by Virgin and subsequently renamed Virgin Express.
Virgin has since grown to be an advanced global investment group, being world’s most respected as well as recognized brand. In 1970, this brand was conceived; it has grown to success in the areas of travel, mobile telephony, and financial services, holidays, music, wellness, and health (Branson, 2010). It has about 50,000 employees in the 34 countries where it operates. The majority of the enterprise’s clients range from travellers, tourists, and borrowers. The company has several customers given that Virgin offers a wide variety of services and products. It took a very short period for Sir Richard to make profits after starting the ‘student magazine’. From there on, he utilized the funds earned to expand the business into the empire it has become.
Sir Branson’s Profile
Sir Richard was born in 1950 in Blackheath, London. He is the eldest child to a barrister, Edward James and Eve Branson. He was educated at Scaitcliffe School, which has since been renamed Bishops Gate School (Branson, 2011). He also attended Stowe School until when he was 16 years. His academic performance was not impressive but later discovered his ability to connect with others. He learnt and started business from the crypt of a church where he was in charge of the ‘student magazine’. He was successful. Later on, he used the funds to explore other areas leading to the establishment of the record shop, located in Oxford Street. In 1972, he launched the record label, Virgin Records (Branson, 2011). Under the leadership of Sir Richard, the brand has become very successful.
He is an extrovert as he depicts people oriented personality. He is also social. This explains his ability to reach other investors for negotiations on business transactions and operations. He has a confident personality as well. Regardless of the obstacles and challenges that have stood on his way, including competition and disputes, he has always kept his calmness (Engler, 2009). This has seen his brand grow tremendously over time. In addition, he is optimistic. At no point did he ever give up. That means, he trusted he would make it, regardless of the market forces or any other uncertainties. He is also a fearless risk taker. He once sold his brand, an aspect that he later regretted (Engler, 2009). His character also portrays leadership. He believes in empowering those in the lower ranks to enable them perform their duties effectively.
There are many advantages of owning the business. Incomes are high. The risk is minimized as it is spread by running several enterprises. Thereby, the revenue accruing to the owner is considerably sizable. The businesses are spread and are on different fields. Moreover, the various departments are able to support each other. For instance, in case of financial services, required by the airlines, they are easily obtained from the Virgin Financial Services. This is quick since many formalities that are associated with other financial providers are reduced significantly. Therefore, the business appears to be self-supporting. The fact that the brand is a global entity is critical. Moreover, it has sufficient resources to finance research. Thereby, the company is able to improve the quality of its services and products in the market. This earns the company more income.
There are also disadvantages that such an enterprise faces. The scope of operations is wide since it is a global enterprise. Exercising control over the affairs of the brand is a challenge. It is difficult to detect a problem and address it urgently. Many bureaucracies might also delay decision making which leads to the loss of opportunity. Hence, it is possible to incur losses. To start and run such a business, one requires a substantial amount of capital. Where the resources cannot be raised through the owner’s equity, financing would have to be pre-arranged. The conditions for this are stringent and often lead to losses to a borrower.
Virgin Group Limited invests in technology by awarding those who achieve in the field, and sponsors those who are interested in research. The group also hires experts to give advice on the market situation and forecasts into the future. This keeps the company informed. In case, there is a need to adapt a new advancement, the group’s impressive financial status enhances such ventures. This ensures that the group is prepared for any technological changes.
Overview of the Business and Owner
The business brand has no doubt grown to be a success in the modern society. It started as a small business, the student magazine, to a record shop, and now into a global brand with operations in many countries as well as a big number of employees, customers, and clients (Branson, 2011). This has been down to the founder’s determination and hard work. Sir Richard is responsible for the spectacular performance of the brand. His leadership and managerial skills have driven the business to such great heights. Therefore, there is a strong relationship between the business and the founder. With an appropriate and well-versed leader behind a business, success would be guaranteed. It is due to such a person is qualified to know when and how a correct decision ought to be made and implemented. Leading the employees is equally critical towards the success of an enterprise. Therefore, it is important that the person in charge be endowed with appropriate leadership, managerial and interpersonal skills.
I was surprised by the achievements the founder made, given the background information. For instance, we are informed that his performance in education was dismal. Thereby, it is surprising that he went on to achieve so much by becoming an employer. This underscores the fact that determination and leadership skills are central to success rather than theoretical educational concepts that may not be practical.