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1. Sir Richard Branson, Founder Of Virgin
Business tycoon, Sir Richard Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is one of those entrepreneurs whom the world looks up to. In 1999, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his relentless “services for entrepreneurship”, as quoted in the UK Millennium New Year’s Honour List. An incredible inspiration, Richard Branson is the sole owner of the Virgin Group of companies that has plenty of business concerns under its umbrella (on the picture: Richard Branson and Mick Jagger in the early 70’s, photo courtesy: Virgin).
2. His Mother Knew He Would Be Successful In Life: ‘He’ll Become The Prime Minister Of England’
Born on July 18, 1950, in the small British town of Surrey, Branson’s mother always had really high hopes for her son, often telling people he would become the prime minister of England. Well, to Mrs. Branson’s delight, her son achieved what others could only wish for.
3. His First Business Venture? The Magazine ‘Student’
Branson dropped out of school at the age of 15 and started a magazine by the name Student. This magazine was his first ever business venture (1968). Who knew things would soar for this young lad so much that he would become one of the most sought after personalities of the world.
4. Richard Branson Is In Top 5 Of Richest People In The UK
Thanks to the successes of the Virgin Group, Branson’s net worth in 2012-2013 has summed up to a whopping £2.58 billion, making him the 5th richest person in the United Kingdom. His position on the Global list of Richest Men last year: 254th.
5. As A True Philanthropist, Richard Branson Has Been Awarded By The UN
Branson is a philanthropist to the core. He has contributed to the education, uplift and quality of life of African children. Moreover, he has made a lot of contributions to the environment and humanitarian causes, earning him the title of The United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award. Together with Nelson Mandela, Branson initiated The Elders, a human rights advocacy group, in 2007 to voice concerns and improvements in the areas of injustice and human suppression (photo courtesy: Virgin).
6. Two Marriages, Two Children With Lady Joan Templeman
Richard Branson married Kristen Tomassi in 1972 but the marriage ended in a divorce in 1979. From his second and current wife (married in 1989), Lady Joan Templeman, Branson fathers two children, Holly and Sam Branson (photo courtesy: Virgin Media).
7. The Hot Air Balloon Adventurer, Breaking World Records
Known for his adventurous streak, in 1987 Branson broke the world record for being the first and only person to cross the Atlantic in the largest hot air balloon! Following this, in 1991 he again broke his own record by crossing 6700 miles of the Pacific in a Virgin hot air balloon of 2600,000 cubic feet at a speed of 245 miles per hour (photo courtesy: Virgin).
8. Richard Branson As The Perfect Manager: ‘Bottom Heavy’ Empowerment
Being an entrepreneur and a friendly manager is something Branson has perfected. According to business records, he is one of those corporate people who believe in a ‘bottom heavy’ approach, love to delegate and give responsibility to workers and inculcate in his employees, a habit to love the work they do and enjoy it.
Video: Interview In 2011
9. ‘Virgin Interplanetary’, Richard’s Space Travel Operator
For Branson entrepreneurship knows no bounds. Predicting the viability of space travel in the future, he has registered the name ‘Virgin Interplanetary’ for the travel service that Virgin will operate in space! Talk about some distant future planning!
10. Richard Branson Enjoys Collecting Memorable Cars
If you are an auto-lover, Branson’s taste in cars will impress you. Owning priceless vintage pieces like the Morris Mini Minor and the Humber Super Snipe, the Virgin leader loves to invest in pricey yet elegant collectables. For driving around casually, his Range Rover is a must on a warm sunny day in London.
11. Virgin’s First Hit: ‘Tubular Bells’, with Mike Oldfield
Virgin Records’ first song, ‘Tubular Bells‘ was recorded with Mike Oldfield and was an instant hit. New to being a businessman, Branson had the intuition and intellect to deal with clients and knew what the market wanted to see. His first production was a top seller on the UK charts for more than 200 days.
12. The Virgin Empire: Over 200 Businesses
Did you know that the Virgin Group is more than just an airline? It comprises of more than 200 business concerns in various fields such as music, entertainment, clothing, cosmetics, financial services, nightclubs, train services, tour operations, health clubs, publishing, film industry, mobile phone services and even condoms.
13. Necker Island, When It Is Time To Relax
Being one of the richest people in all of the UK, Branson owns not only villas, jets and hot air balloons but also has his very own island! Necker Island, as it is called, is in the middle of the British Virgin Islands. Necker Island is a famous recreation spot for the elite to take a break from their busy lives and reconnect with nature. 74 acres in total, this small piece of land is decorated in luxuries just like Sir Richard likes his ‘hideaway’ to be.
Video of Necker island
14. Struggling With Being Dyslexic When Young
Richard Branson struggled with being dyslexic all through his schooling. Even though he eventually gave up studying, he refused to be daunted by this weakness in his professional career. Soaring Virgin to great heights, this man is a true role model for every individual who aspires to become an entrepreneur.
15. All Virgin Business Ventures Are Very Close To His Heart
Being a self-made man, Richard Branson is known to be very touchy about the welfare of his companies. In June 1992, when he sold Virgin Records to Thorn EMI for a reported $1 billion, he cried the entire time the deal was being carried out.
16. Virgin Records, Richard Branson’s ‘first time’
The name Virgin isn’t just a coincidence. According to Richard Branson, when he first started his record company in 1969, he had no experience in handling a business on his own. Therefore, he called his record label, Virgin Records, standing for ‘first timer’. The name spread like wildfire and soon every business venture he started had ‘Virgin’ along with it as a trademark of being Branson’s business venture.
17. Necker Nymph, The Underwater Ride
Most of us only dream of flying in the skies. Billionaire Branson dreamt to travel way beneath the ocean surface. Branson’s Necker Nymph is an underwater ride that takes high profile travelers to Necker Island, which is an extremely luxurious vacation spot for some of the most famous names across the world.
Video Of Necker Nymph
18. Richard Branson Owns Luxurious Lodges All Around The World
Richard Branson’s superb taste for design, architecture and small details is apparent in the top-notch lodges he owns around the world. These lodges are fully equipped for a luxurious retreat and are nothing less than heaven on earth. Some of the most famous ones are Ulusaba Safari Lodge in South Africa, Kasbah Tamadot amidst the Atlas Mountains, The Roof Gardens in London and The Lodge Verbier in Switzerland.
19. The Excitement Richard Branson Gets From All Sorts Of Air Travel
Among his favorite hobbies are outdoor sports such as Kite surfing, jet packing and hiking across the world in his notorious hot air balloon! Stemming out of his interest to travel to space, The Virgin Galactic is a concern of Virgin Airlines that makes suborbital flights into space with a ticket worth £200,000. Most of these flights have Branson himself on board thumping with excitement.
20. Family Comes First For Richard Branson
A man of his words, Branson is a devotee when it comes to his family and beliefs. According to a British poll, he is one of those few men, after Mother Teresa, who could be eligible to write the Ten Commandments.
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