The Virgin Group: Risks and Success

Subject: Strategy
Pages: 3
Words: 570
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master


The Virgin Group, one of the most successful venture capital companies in the United Kingdom and worldwide, was created by Richard Branson in 1970. It serves as an example of a brilliant implementation of company diversification. His innovative approach to doing business led the company to a period of rapid growth, which was fueled by a constant search for additional joint ventures in market fields in which customers were under-served (Johnson et al., 2017). Up to today, the Virgin Group has created over 400 companies worldwide and operates simultaneously in multiple markets unrelated to each other (Clarkson, 2016). Its strategy became an example for future businesses across the globe, and this assessment aims to highlight the reasons behind the company’s success.

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Analysis of Strategic Development

In the presented case, there are several key directions of development that the Virgin Group follows. They include further diversification, as Branson himself noted that he is interested in further growth of the company, and preparation for Branson’s yet unannounced, but inevitable departure from his position (Johnson et al., 2017). However, the main goal for the company remains the same: to provide the best possible goods and services to its customers. Branson used to check the quality of services and attitude to customers personally to experience the service as his customers would (Feloni, 2015). Sadq (2016) states that “competitive advantage has been established by Virgin Group among its competitors by providing services and a good value to the consumers in different ways.” The company strives to add a unique experience to every market it joins by providing valuable and innovative products.

The organization endeavors to keep Branson’s unique and ingenious delegation strategy. Each business owned by the Virgin Group is being scaled up to the company’s standards while providing the maximum possible freedom of actions for subsidized firms (Johnson et al., 2017). Even though sometimes it means selling unprofitable or unnecessary businesses, the Virgin Group takes a cautious and pragmatic approach to such actions, while it is known as risk-taker when it comes to purchasing new companies (Johnson et al., 2017). The strategic development of the company, despite the fact that Branson has moved away from the main dealings, remains the same.

Corporate Parenting Role of the Company

According to Figure 8.5, the Virgin Group takes the corporate parenting role of a portfolio manager. The reason behind this is that the companies that are owned by this venture capital conglomerate are regularly unrelated to each other (Sadq, 2016). The only reason when two businesses are owned by the Virgin Group are related is when the company saw an opportunity to expand its brand (Sadq, 2016). Its investment strategy is focused on diversification due to the fact that it provides the largest possible opening for innovations and gives an opportunity to positively affect more human lives. Entering a new market early allows the company to have the highest possible impact on it.


The approach taken by Richard Branson allowed him to create the biggest joint venture organization in the United Kingdom. His deep understanding and focus on customers’ needs and preferences created a new approach to business strategies. Personally, I recommend that each company that strives to become successful should think first and foremost, what unique part of its products or services can positively affect society and the planet. Unrelated diversification for a growing company can prove to be extremely profitable if executed correctly.


Clarkson, N. (2016). Richard Branson’s secrets for success. Virgin. Web.

Feloni, R. (2015). Why Richard Branson is so successful. Business Insider. Web.

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Johnson, G., Scholes, K., & Whittington, R. (2017). Fundamentals of Strategy (4th ed.). Pearson UK.

Sadq, Z. M. (2016). Virgin Group success businesses: Diversification, and key strengths. Account and Financial Management Journal, 1(1), 78-83. Web.