For some reason I was looking for information on Sir Richard Branson‘s Necker island (it came up in conversation recently and intrigued me). While searching for the Necker site, I came across an interview done by Fortune magazine back in 2003. It’s a very interesting read, a great insight to a man who does business a little differently.
I was on a Virgin Atlantic flight recently (who knew they were half-owned by Singapore Airlines?) and was surprised to find the Virgin Group has interests outside the businesses we’ve all heard of (I didn’t know they had a cosmetics line, a clothing range, or a wedding apparel company, the wonderfully named Virgin Brides). In fact, according to the article, they/he has 224 companies (at the time of writing).
I’ve always been a fan of Branson, but I hadn’t realised just how impressive his business stats were, nor his informal way of working. He doesn’t use a computer (he writes out everything long hand in a notebook, including any emails), he doesn’t have an office, he works from his various homes and even has clients and his CEOs visit him there. I’m not the only person who thinks him newsworthy, he has an unofficial blog too. His autobiography is on order (though not from Virgin Books – I ordered it off of Green Metropolis).
Now, in light of MG Rover’s current problems and Branson’s love of British invention (e.g. Concorde), we just need to convince him that Virgin Cars could be his next venture (damn, there already is a Virgin Cars)?
Boy did I have to think before choosing a title for this entry, talk about getting the wrong sort of people visiting an entry titled after Branson’s brand.