Entrepreneurship Assessment Richard Branson�s Virgin Group Case Study

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Introduction of Entrepreneurship Assessment Richard Branson’s Virgin Group

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Entrepreneurship is the activity of establishing a business from scratch. New goods, services, and methods are often attributed to entrepreneurs as innovators, inventors, as well as suppliers (Kraus, Breier and Dasí-Rodríguez, 2020). Richard Branson is unquestionably one of the most well-known and renowned British entrepreneurs, Richard Branson. His first firm, the Virgin Mail Order Record Company, has been around for about 45 years already, and he is still running it today (Champroux, 2014). The Virgin Group is one of the biggest private firms in the United Kingdom, with a diverse group of companies under its umbrella.

Sir Richard Branson established it in 1970; it has since become one of the most well-known and renowned venture capital firms in the world today. When it came to choosing a name for their company, Virgin was the obvious choice because of their goal of starting fresh in every industry they venture into. Various areas, including transportation, music, financial services, soft drinks and mobile phones – all have seen a surge in the Virgin group’s corporate performance during the last several years (Sadq, 2016). Based on the context of Branson’s entrepreneurship, this essay will discuss his entrepreneurship, the Virgin Group as his entrepreneurial organisation, and the contribution of the group and Branson himself to the economy and society.

Entrepreneurship of Richard Branson

Branson as the Entrepreneur behind the Virgin Group

Sir Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group, which is one of the irresistible organisations, expanded their branch in various sectors. This high school dropout entrepreneur has a very short education and has acquired massive success in his journey of business through his entrepreneurial skills and spirit. From a young age, his ambition and entrepreneurial spirit were high (Branson, 2008). Sir Richard Branson possessed a variety of attributes that aided him in becoming a great entrepreneur, including decision-making ability, learning spirit, and analytical ability, innovative thinking, accepting big risks, self-confidence, and curiosity.An entrepreneur must have the skill to make the right decision in the organisation to successfully drive the organisation towards attaining the mission of the firm. Sir Richard Branson believes that there are always opportunities lying ahead of an individual, and one should not waste time on mistakes. He believes that new plans must be made when things do not turn to be according to the plan (Henderson, 2020). According to Richard Branson, making the correct decision is just as crucial as making the right decision. According to the creator of Virginia Group, one of the most important talents an entrepreneur should have is an eager to listen because the business environment is rapidly evolving (Henderson, 2020).Along with this, the ability to listen is another aspect every entrepreneur must-have. This entrepreneur claims that most of his business success happened due to his willingness to learn continuously from the world’s most inspiring people (Muthee, 2019).

In various interviews with Richard Branson, he highlighted the value of thinking different which sets an entrepreneur apart from each other (Henderson, 2020). It is the biggest superpower of the entrepreneurs who have carved out a reputation for themselves in the annals of business history. Richard Branson is another great entrepreneur who believes in using new thinking to get innovative results for the Virgin Group.In terms of Virgin Group and this life, Richard Branson ensures calculated risk as he tries to comprehend where is the boundary and takes careful decisions to reduce emotional turmoil and direct himself toward intelligent decisions (Baratti, 2022). Alongside, the founder of Virgin Group believes in himself and his choices. He challenges his employees and encourages them to build a motivating and encouraging environment to work inside. He offers freedom to the employees in making mistakes and learning. Richard Branson inspires and urges people to establish their own businesses. When a person is capable of using brains and smarts in his life, Richard Branson does not feel that he should always say yes.

Richard Branson, the flamboyant entrepreneur behind the Virgin Brand, has held the Virgin record since 1972. Wireless communication, radio stations, financial services, airlines, health clubs, renewable technology, hotels, and other businesses are all part of this conglomerate. Branson's net worth is expected to be $4.6 billion as of May 2022, according to Forbes.Finding the opportunity or the problem faced by people is essential as it offers the basis of any action which results in business growth and sales. As a teenager with the magazine students, Richard started his venture to launch a magazine (Yoon, 2021). Sir Richard Branson believed in his idea that it will benefit the young activist to raise their voice.

As many organisations were offering the same, the venture faced lots of challenges. In this regard, looking at the disadvantage, he produced an opportunity for his business by resorting to the business of selling records through the mail(Muthee, 2019). Considering the high competition, Branson sold the records at a discounted price. Through his constant effort, his magazine business flourished with record selling via running mail order advertisements. Richard regarded the student journal to be monotonous at the time, and his thoughts were too ground-breaking to be published in it. Richard created his first journal in 1966, with his love for music and the Vietnam war, and with an unconventional perspective (Baratti, 2022).

In the present competitive landscape of businesses, innovation facilitates a business to sustain and thrive in the market (Tidd and Bessant, 2018). Business organisations look for various methods to innovate for finding a solution to various issues. Innovation and creativity are both used synonymously. Creativity is significant but innovation is the key component of novelty. Innovation can be a service, product, strategy or business model. Innovation can also be a simple solution for enhancing customer service or adding extra products. Through the help of innovation, an organisation can grow and increase its revenue. When an organisation innovates, it helps the business operations, services and products to be relevant to the contemporary world (Jin and Choi, 2019).

Furthermore, as per the statement of Henderson(2020), innovationbenefits Virgin Brand to meet the consumerdemand in this highly transforming world. This facilitates gaining a competitive advantage in this fiercely competitive world of business. Adaptability is another aspect that every business running in the 21st century should have. Innovation allows organisations to adopt the changes in the market and overcome the challenge of change (Hendriarto, 2021). Another advantage, which can be acquired through business innovation, is embracing new and modern technological solutions. Technology is rapidly transforming than ever before coming out with more efficient technologies to enhance products, and services, or do marketing or track business analytics.

The core of Virgin group is innovation, which stimulates employees to be innovative and this has made a robust culture of innovation inside the organisation (Henderson, 2020). The brands are known for differentiating their products and servicesThe brand has launched its segment in the music sector following the rules of innovation. In this case, the Virgin group found the opportunity of creating different recording experiences for musical artists. Thereafter, they leap into the aviation segment, which has been dedicated to offering a better flying experience to the passengers (Branson, 2011). After that, the group founded Virgin Unite for the people to create entrepreneurial opportunities for the people.

The Virgin Group as the Entrepreneurial Organisation

Building a team is among the most important actions for a corporation because an efficient group provides multiple benefits that contribute to the organization's growth. A company can increase cooperation and collaboration among its staff by using good teamwork.It is the collaborative effort of the workers, which facilitates a team to bring out the best for the firm (Svidron, 2021). Richard Branson has always emphasised team building as he has understood the value of a storing team which can bring out the best outcome for the Virgin group. 

The Virgin Group has grown from 20 employees to 71000 workers as a means of Richard Branson's innovative group (Gossand Sadler?Smith, 2018). This entrepreneur has built a world-class team through his dominant belief that the Virgin group has immense potential to flourish. The founder always emphasised communicating their goal and dreams with the employees. Most of the business started by Richard Branson has been introduced as a venture. For Virgin books and Videos, Branson partnered with Randolph Fields, the joint venture with Sprint and Burt Rutan. All of the collaboration has resulted in the result of today’s size Virgin group (Black, 2022).

In the 21st century, Richard Branson has emerged as a successful entrepreneur. The exponential success of the Virgin group owes to the leadership skills of Richard Branson. He can motivate, influence and guide the employee to enhance the effectiveness and success of the team. He manifests all the characteristics, which a successful leader should have. Sir Branson has spent a lot of time in his early business for helping the management to see the bigger picture of the business to effectively plan the future of business (Black, 2022). Furthermore, he has always claimed that he will establish an institution that will continue to expand even if he is not present (Svidron, 2021). In this regard, Virgin Group's owner has engaged a management and given them the freedom to use their skills to improve the performance of the company.

Branson always encourages the employees to attain the best and apply this perspective that the managers are responsible for the organisation, in addition, the Virgin group also offer assistance to the managers. From his early childhood, he has been known for his ambitious vision and for this cause starting from a very limited amount to becoming this billion-dollar valued organisation owes to his vision (Neac?u, 2023). A leader must have the conviction to make the best decision possible, and Branson exhibits this by claiming that the company has enormous potential to flourish in this world of global competition.As a leader Branson, motivate the employees to make the organisation’s vision a reality through reliable collaboration with each other. Consequently, through his leadership endeavours, Branson has driven the Virgin group into a successful organisation.

Richard Branson, one of today’s most prominent entrepreneurs, began his business career at the age of 16 with his student magazine, which included interviews with celebrities and was sold for $8,000 at the time. In 1969, he launched his mail-order record company, which was based out of magazine offices. With 20 employees, the new business was named Virgin. Virgin mail records were launched in 1970 and this grew to 14 records stored in 1972 (Koporcicet al., 2022). He discovered music level albums using the proceeds from a record chain business and has made millions of dollars from them (Stroe, Thorgrenand Wincent, 2019). Virgin Records became one of the top six record labels in the world by the end of the decade, with subsidiaries in France, Japan, and Germany.

Spending $180,000 Branson bought Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands in the year 1979. In 1981, Virgin Books and Videos have been launched and within the span of two years, the firm has acquired 50 different organisations with sales of more the $17 million. In 1984, Branson made a partnership with lawyer Randolph Fields to start Virgin Atlantic. Due to innovative flight comfort and customer service, in-flight message and sat back video the flight took off. Branson started Virgin Train in 1997 and 2001, Virgin group introduces Virgin mobile as a joint venture with Sprint. The wireless communication of “Virgin I” is now available in various countries.

In the year 2004, Richard Branson again turned to the sky and collaborated with Burt Rutan who was an American aeronautical engineer to launch Virgin Galactic, which will take tourists to space with the vision of offering heap space tourism (McLimore, 2013). Presently, Branson has four spaceship-building institutions: VOX, Virgin Orbit, Virgin Galactic, and Spaceship Company (Braunerhjelm, Anderssonand Eklund, 2022). Along with this, Branson has developed social activist programmes such as Virgin Unite, which fights HIV and AIDS, and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, which educates budding entrepreneurs’ entrepreneurial skills.

Branson’s Contribution to the Economy and Society

An important discovery in the field of economic sociology was made by Mark Granovetter, who showed that economic activity is intertwined with an intricate web of interpersonal relationships (Birsl, 2016). This idea was opposed to theories that permitted economic activities to be explained either by rational economic deliberation or by total dependent on society’s structural causes. He emphasized the dynamic connectedness between economic activity and society structures, highlighting the necessity of social interactions between economic entities. This is in line with Karl Polanyi’s work on embeddedness. British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is an example of Granovetter’s ideas in action (Champroux, 2014). In response to social, economic, and technological change, Branson's businesses have been able to expand across a wide range of industries thanks to his extensive networking practises over the last 45 years. At the same time, the agent's economic activities have changed the structure of his surroundings. To put it another way, Granovetter as social scientist has taken on the conceptions of atomized actors operating in line with economic logic or following socially ordained scripts and shown them to be either too or too socially constructed.

Product quality is consistently superior to industry norms for all Virgin offerings. Because Virgin is the largest private firm in the United Kingdom, Jones (2015) states that uniqueness and innovation were two of Virgin's key concerns. The goal was to give more for less money and to ensure that each endeavour was genuinely a Virgin in its sector. In addition, Virgin has a variety of websites for each activity, each of which offers a variety of services to its customers, such as online ticket purchases for flights and trains. To be sure, Virgin is empowering its staff and working hard to innovate its offerings for the benefit of the consumer, as stated by Grant and Jordan (2015). Virgin Group’s primary goal is to deliver high-quality services and goods by properly educating their staff and implementing the innovation process, which they follow up on the input of customers (Grant and Grant, 2008). Customers are prepared to pay a premium to have employees that are given the freedom and authority to consistently provide an amazing customer service experience. Virgin was able to tap into a new market because of the rapid advancement of digital technology. The Virgin group is well praised for its creative use of information technology to provide its services to customers in a professional manner (Sadq, 2016).

As a consequence of the entrepreneurial activity, the entrepreneur, the people who work for them, and the local economy all benefit from the increase in wealth that comes from this activity (Trenchard, 2015). If a company contributes more value than the entire cost of all resources used in the manufacturing process, it is considered affluent. National wealth is generated through the taxation of the people, and then distributed to the services and locations that are in the greatest need. As a result, the Virgin Group pays tax on all of its corporate earnings where they are earned. It is common for companies like Virgin Enterprises Limited to be registered in the UK, where they pay tax on the royalties they earn from their worldwide licensees. For example, Virgin was given a tax credit of £22 million in 2018 and a credit of £14 million in 2017 since it was not profitable during those years (Horton, 2020). Trading losses may be deducted from taxable income in the United Kingdom. It has been reported that Virgin Atlantic did not pay to the UK government the profit tax in 2 years, which is contrary to the findings of Horton (2020). 

Virgin Atlantic earns roughly £250 million a year in passenger fees and £135 million a year in employee taxes. For the seventh consecutive year, LinkedIn’s top businesses ranking placed Sir Branson’s Virgin Group as the greatest place to work in 2017 (Roughol, 2017). It is not as simple as it seems to evaluate Virgin based on corporation taxes. Further, according to Horton (2020), the company acquires Airbus planes powered by Rolls-Royce engines made in the United Kingdom and employs workers who pay taxes. It also flies customers who pay expensive departure fees. Those who are acquainted with the corporation will not be surprised by the company’s viewpoint. Certainly, Branson himself has stated that taking care of his staff at Virgin will ensure that everything else will fall into place, and with a net worth of almost $5 billion, it is hard to disagree with him (Krapivin, 2018). Within the next five years, investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure can generate 510,000 new jobs and contribute £70 billion to the UK gross domestic product (GDP), according to a study by the firm (Clarkson, 2021). To ensure that economic development, new employment, and more equitable society are achieved, they have pledged to spend a total of £10 billion over the next five years.

Forbes estimates Branson’s worth at £4.1 billion, although this sum is based on the value of Branson’s businesses and the proportion of shares, he holds in each of those firms that are held by Forbes (Business Matters, 2020). To put it another way, he won’t have easy access to much of his riches to put it back into the company. As a result, Branson recently reinjected £250 million into the Virgin Group to keep it solvent and safeguard his workers. In this approach, firms build a contingency plan in the event of a financial crisis, allowing them to continue to function. Nevertheless, both major and small companies throughout the world are presently battling for survival in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic, with many appealing to their governments for a loan to aid them in their efforts (ResponseSource Ltd, 2020). Richard Branson’s plea for a loan from the government to keep his airline firm, Virgin Atlantic, afloat has received more attention than any other.

As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, the company has been severely impacted. There was an 80% reduction in passenger numbers for 2020, and the airline recorded a pre-tax loss of £659 million in April (Butler, 2021). Virgin Atlantic’s alleged request for an estimated £500 million bailout has been the focus of significant controversy, whereas Easy Jet has already received a £600 million loan. This raises the possibility that the criticism is motivated only by a dislike for Branson rather than a sincere desire to help small firms and prevent more job losses in a down-turning market. Workers at Virgin would be the ones to suffer the most if the government decided to stop providing loans (Business Matters, 2020). Branson will undeniably weather the storm and remain a quite wealthy person, however, the loss of jobs in Branson’s UK workforce would not only affect individual points but would also have repercussions for the broader economic recovery in the UK by trying to add to the total job losses throughout the nation.

Not only will the 8,500 Virgin Atlantic workers be impacted, but so will the accompanying support sectors, which will see job losses as a result of the restructuring. As a result, Virgin is recognised as a great place to work, despite the fact that many have been eager to demonise Branson as a terrible boss. There was a nearly universal agreement among Virgin personnel and their unions to accept a salary decrease of eight weeks stretched over six and a half months in reaction to the pandemic to secure their employment for the long run (ResponseSource Ltd, 2020). The longer the UK’s economy takes to recover, the more firms will close as a consequence of the outbreak of the disease. As a consequence of the loss of jobs, the economy will collapse, income tax revenue will be reduced, and the welfare system will be hit with additional costs.

Conclusion

Virgin Group was founded by Sir Richard Branson. Because of his entrepreneurial passion and abilities, he has had tremendous success as an entrepreneur. Innovation is at the heart of the Virgin Group’s business model, and the company’s culture of innovation is well-established. This makes it easier to get an edge in today’s intensely competitive corporate environment. A storing team that can provide the greatest results for the Group is very valuable to Branson. Because of Branson’s leadership, the Virgin Group has become a prosperous enterprise. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is an illustration of Granovetter’s theories in action. For the group’s principal marketing strategy, innovation is defined as a new idea or product that is developed by an individual. Quality products and services are at the core of Virgin Group’s mission. Any profits that the company makes, including those from its international licensees, are taxed in the country in which they are generated. Since the coronavirus outbreak, his airline, Virgin Atlantic, has suffered greatly. The airline scandal stemmed from two years’ worth of unpaid UK profits taxes. When it comes to demonising Branson, those who don’t like him have been swift. Businesses will shut down as a result of the UK’s economic recovery taking longer. Workers at Virgin would bear the brunt of any reduction in government financial support.

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