Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an ultra-successful entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and also an investor. He is the founder of the giant company Virgin Group and owned and controlled more than 400 companies and businesses around the world. Branson showed a strong entrepreneurial spirit since he was young. He started a magazine called ‘Student’ at the age of sixteen when he was still in the school. He then went on to start his first record selling stores which grew into the Virgin Megastore.
In 1972, Branson launched Virgin Records and bought a country estate in north Oxford. The company then signed many celebrity-status artists including The Sex Pistol, Peter Gabriel, UB40, Rolling Stones, Paula Abdul, Mike Oldfield and Steve Winwood. Virgin Records then became the world’s largest independent record label, winning many praises and awards. Apart from that, Branson also ventured into the airline business by starting the Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984.
In order to keep his airline business afloat, Branson sold Virgin to EMI for a whopping £500 million in 1992. Since then, Branson did not stop venturing into other businesses and other industries. The Virgin Group today owned many businesses ranging from diverse industries including mobile, transportation, entertainment, health, and even space exploration through Virgin Galactic.
In the year 2000, Richard Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship”. And in 2002, he was named the top 100 greatest Britons by BBC. Apart from his business success, Branson also broke several world records including fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing in 1986, traveling from Japan to Arctic Canada through hot air balloon, and also traveling from Dover to Calais in a Gibbs Aquada in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 6 seconds with an amphibious vehicle. Today, Branson is a celebrity entrepreneur, a business guru and also a philanthropist who has featured in many movies, magazines, talk shows and many humanitarian initiatives. Forbes listed Branson’s approximate net worth at $5 billion.