Richard Branson

By: Mick Yates

It seems that there is hardly an industry he hasn't touched, but in such a diverse environment, what are the secrets of his success?

Today, Virgin is one of the world's most recognised brands, but how has Branson managed to expand it so effectively? The simple answer is he strives to be the best rather than the biggest, working towards making profits in small pieces of large markets. Now able to use the success of his brand to attract investors and negotiate controlling shares and the management of the company, Branson leaves his partners to supply the majority of the capital.

A flamboyant, charismatic character, Branson believes in self promotion, having fun and risking it all to achieve his goals. This has however meant that he has had tasted failure, as his ventures in vodka, computers and magazines prove. Yet his positive attitude and his ability to apply large amounts of enthusiasm to each project, means that he attracts both assistance and support and so remains unstoppable.

Now one of the world's most successful businessmen, Branson has an insatiable desire to push business practice boundaries, enabling him to successfully take on the big players.

Ever the opportunist, Branson has now registered the business name 'Virgin Interplanetary' just in case space travel ever becomes commercially viable. The big question now is will his appetite for success ever be satiated?

By Melanie Smith