Richard Branson: How A Dyslexic Kid Became Owner of 400 Companies

Can you imagine a dyslexic kid to be growing up and becoming a beast of the business world? Meet Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin group of companies. Richard Branson ventured into the business world at the tender age of 16. From dropping out of school and starting his own business to grow it into a billion dollar mountain, Richard has set an example before today’s youth to take risks and think bigger.

Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, son of Edward James Branson and Eve Branson, was born on 18th July, 1950, in Surrey, England. His father was a barrister and mother, a flight attendant. Richard’s poor performance in academics, at the age of 13, worried the teachers during his time at the all-boys Scaitcliffe School. He dropped out of school at the age of 16 due to continuous problems of dyslexia. This was the turning point in Richard’s life which would give birth to what would become a multi million dollar company – a youth-culture magazine, Student.

The magazine’s aim was to publish student written articles and various creative pieces. Richard sold first 50,000 copies of the magazine for free and covered the costs through advertising. He garnered $8000 worth of advertising money in the first edition itself. The next big idea Branson decided to transform into a business was the mail-order record company called Virgin. This would also help him in supporting his magazine. Branson soon expanded the mail-order business and started a record shop at the Oxford Street, London. In 1972 he successfully launched a recording studio in Oxfordshire, London. This school drop-out was on a greater mission and his next steps would significantly make him the smartest business man in the world.

The launch of Virgin Records also launched the careers of singers and musicians. The first artist, in 1973, on the label was Mike Oldfield who’s single ‘Tubular Bells’ was a record hit and stayed on the UK charts for 247 weeks. Branson, taking the advantage of Oldfield’s success, signed up numerous artists and then the world saw the rise of aspiring musical groups like Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, etc. The back to back hits from these artists helped Virgin music to reach a position in top six record companies in the world.

The next big leap Richard Branson took was venturing into the airlines business. He expanded his businesses and started the Voyager Group in 1980 and Virgin Atlantic Airlines in 1984. Virgin was rapidly becoming a brand name in the world. Branson faced a major fall of his company in 1992 when the loss was immeasurable. This crushed Branson and he had to sell the company for $1 billion to Thorn EMI. When everything was lost Branson made up his mind to hold strong the music business. And in 1993, he launched Virgin Radio which was followed by V2, another record company in 1996 thus launching the careers of artists like Tom Jones.

Branson’s further major achievements were starting a train company, a mobile phone company, a luxury game preserve and finally a space tourism company named Virgin Galactic. The test launch of Spaceship Two was so massive a success that about 500 people have already booked tickets to ride on Virgin Galactic Spaceship. The company’s next venture is to launch luxury cruises and plans to sail its first cruise in 2020.

Richard’s massive success has set tremendous inspiration for entrepreneurs all over the world. He lives with his wife and two children, Holly and Sam, at Necker Island residence. Branson also gives motivational speeches and is an active supporter of charity organizations.

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Harshal Pawar

Harshal Pawar is an avid reader, a TV show addict, and a writer. He has a personal blog where he jots down his articles and poetry about love and life.
He is currently pursuing film-making and wishes to bring the words written on a paper to the screen. More of all he is a scorpio.