Richard is the man behind one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands, Virgin. His Virgin Group has a presence in international retail, air travel, mobile communication, music, resorts, clean fuel, space travel, and many other areas–over 400 companies altogether.
Richard Branson (Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson) had his first business venture with a magazine called Student at the age of 16. Branson advertised popular records in The Student Magazine and it was an over night success.
In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label.
Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984, launched Virgin Mobile in 1999, Virgin Blue in Australia (now named Virgin Australia) in 2000.
Richard Branson made several world record-breaking attempts after 1985, when in the spirit of the Blue Riband he attempted the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing.
On 25 September 2004, Branson announced the signing of a deal under which a new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, will license the technology behind Spaceship One—funded by Microsoft co-Founder Paul Allen and designed by legendary American aeronautical engineer and visionary Burt Rutan—to take paying passengers into suborbital space.
On 21 September 2006, Branson pledged to invest the profits of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains in research for environmentally friendly fuels. The investment is estimated to be worth $3 billion.
In 2006, Branson formed Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, an entertainment company focussed on creating new stories and characters for a global audience.
In 2010 Richard Branson became patron of the UK’s Gordon Bennett 2010 gas balloon race, which has 16 hydrogen balloons flying across Europe
Branson is the patron of several charities, including the International Rescue Corps and Prisoners Abroad, a registered charity which supports Britons who are detained outside of the UK.
Branson was the first celebrity guest for the popular charity fund raisers, Reserve Dinners, raising over $75,000 in one evening towards his Virgin Unite charity.
Branson has been very supportive of Kenya during its troubles, and in May 2008 had gone to Masai Mara to open a new school (Sekenani Primary School) which has also been partly funded by Virgin Atlantic frequent flyers who volunteered their time to help with the construction.
Since 2010, Branson has served as a Commissioner on the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a UN initiative which promotes universal access to broadband services.
Branson’s next venture with the Virgin group is Virgin Fuels, which is set to respond to global warming and exploit the recent spike in fuel costs by offering a revolutionary, cheaper fuel for automobiles and, in the near future, aircraft.
Richard’s considerable business experience, combined with his pleasing manner, informed approach and articulate delivery, make him a natural choice for personal appearances, motivational and after dinner speaking, as well as corporate days and promotions.