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Phucpho
4 min readMar 12, 2021

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He started a magazine about youth culture, called The Student. It was produced by students, for students and was launched in 1966. Branson was able to attract significant advertisement from firms wishing to tap the student market; this enabled him to distribute the first 50,000 copies for free. The 1960s in London was known as the ‘swinging sixties’ — Branson admits he was living the life of a hippy, in a London commune — a large shared house, surrounded by the music and drugs of the age. However, although he may have been a hippie, Branson also had a keen business sense, and he set up a mail-order record company called Virgin to complement the student magazine. The Virgin name was suggested by one of Branson’s workers — who suggested the idea because they were all new at business. Branson later said he got into business out of accident — not to make money, but out of frustration things weren’t better. Everything will kill you so choose something fun Snowcross poster.

Everything will kill you so choose something fun Snowcross poster

With modest profits from his magazine and mail order business, he was able to get a record shop on Oxford Street, London. Undercutting other High Street retailers, Virgin Records experienced good growth. Though, on one occasion, due to an unpaid tax bill Branson’s mother Eve had to re-mortgage her house to help Branson stay afloat. As the record business expanded, Branson created his own record label with Nik Powell — Virgin Music in 1972. Within a year, Branson had a great stroke of luck. His first artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded the album ‘Tubular Bells’ and this proved a smash hit, staying in the charts for over four years. This high profile and earnings helped Branson to sign up some of the top bands of the era, including Culture Club, the Rolling Stones, Genesis, and controversial bands such as the Sex Pistols.

In 1984, Branson branched out into his biggest business venture — forming Virgin Atlantic Airways, and he started competing in a market dominated by big national carriers, such as British Airways. At times this rivalry was intense, with Virgin accusing British Airways of dirty tricks in poaching customers. As the ‘dirty tricks’ was taken to court, British Airways eventually agreed to settle out of court. Everything will kill you so choose something fun Snowcross poster. However, in 1992, Branson had to sell Virgin Records to EMI for £500m to help keep a struggling Virgin Atlantic afloat. Other big business ventures of the Virgin group include — Virgin Mobile in 1999 and entering into British railways with Virgin Trains in 1993. In 2007, he created Virgin Money. Less successful ventures included Virgin Cola and Virgin vodka. He also failed to win a contract to run the National Lottery — even though he offered to do it for zero profit.

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Branson states that after meeting Al Gore, he became concerned about the issue of global warming. He has founded Virgin fuels to promote an alternative to fossil fuels. He has also promised to use profits from his transport business to develop more environmentally friendly fuels. In 2007, he set up the Virgin Earth Challenge which offers a reward of $25 million to the best commercially viable design for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, without negative effects. The Sunday Times estimates the wealth of Richard Branson at £3,065 billion, making him the fourth richest person in the UK. Much of this is invested in off-shore havens, and he has been criticised for avoiding paying UK tax. He responds that he prefers to live on Necker Island, a 74-acre (30 ha) island owned by Branson in the British Virgin Islands, for health reasons.

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