The Man Who Kills Giants

The Man Who Kills Giants

He was born a dyslexic, i.e. someone with a learning disorder severe difficulty in recognizing and understanding written language, leading to spelling and writing problems. This disease is not caused by low intelligence or brain damage, however. His restlessness, eagerness to live out his dreams and desire to make a mark made him drop out of school. But this was due to a magazine he started to publish, which he designed to create an Alternative Culture that would bring together other students of his age.

The first issue of his magazine sold around 50,000 copies, so he quit school to run it full-time. His headmaster however wrote him a note: “Congratulations, Branson. I predict that you will either go to prison or become a millionaire.”

Yes, you now know who I am talking about. His name is Sir Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Group Limited. He was born in 1950 in a London suburb, but was fortunate to have had parents who always encouraged him to never just stand by and watch other people do things. After his magazine business, Branson went ahead to start Virgin Record Stores, and from there Virgin Records which successfully signed on heavy-weight music stars like Janet Jackson and others.

He also went into the airline business where he came into direct and a great vision, Virgin Atlantic Airways has recorded a competition with British Airways. With creativity, dynamism huge success, and has given British Airways a run for their money.

With the success of his business interests, Branson has dabbled into areas where giant corporations had held control in time past. His interests now cover a wide range of products, from personal computers to vodka and cola. Virgin Cola today has captured 15% of the British Cola market giving the established brands like Coca Cola and Pepsi a big fight.

In an interview he granted Forbes in 1997, his reply about his company is worth noting, “What does the Virgin name mean? We’re a company that likes to take on the giants. In too many businesses these giants have had things their own way. We’re going to have a lot of fun competing with them” (Culled from The Very, Very Rich…by Steve Mariotti).

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Bottom line

As an aggressive entrepreneur and investor with the insight for spotting opportunities even if they are afar, Richard Branson has added another feather to his cap by capturing the juiciest part of the airline business in Nigeria, where Virgin Nigeria, a company he owns in partnership with the Nigerian government, has now become the national carrier for a country that is the largest black nation on earth!

Richard Branson is a success no doubt. Today, he is comfortably the richest man in Britain. In his interview with Forbes in 1997, Branson says, “We’re a company that likes to take on the giants. In too many businesses these giants have had things their own way. We’re going to have a lot of fun competing with them.

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