Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is a well known entrepreneur from the United Kingdom. There is no industry in which this charismatic founder has not experimented. The Virgin Group is most famously associated with the Virgin Airlines. While Sir Richard Branson soared to great heights, let us look at some unknown facts about him.
There are many unknown facts out there about Sir Richard Branson and one article cannot accommodate all of them. Here’s our extension about the legend Richard Branson! Read our first part here.
Unknown facts about Sir Richard Branson
An avid car collector
Sir Richard Branson is an avid car collector with a partiality for owning vintage cars. He owns multiple cars and vintage cars like the Humber Super Snipe and the Morris Mini.
Had multiple business failures
Sir Richard Branson has multiple successful businesses to his credit, however, this business tycoon had a few failed ventures too. These include the Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Brides and Virgin Clothing, amongst a few others. However, he did not let failure affect his entrepreneurial spirit.
Sir Richard Branson made a cameo in Casino Royale and Superman Returns. Branson played the role of a passenger passing through a security check-in at an airport in the Bond film Casino Royale. As Virgin Airlines is British Airways’ competitor, the latter removed the scene featuring Sir Richard Branson in Casino Royale while offering the film to their customers as a part of in-flight entertainment.
Holds a record related to his hot air balloon
Sir Richard Branson likes to travel in his hot air balloon. He holds the record for being the only individual to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a giant hot air balloon in 1987. He later broke his own record when he crossed the Pacific Ocean in his hot air balloon, covering approximately 6,700 miles.
Sir Richard Branson believes in space travel being possible in the future. He is good friends with Elon Musk, who is also trying to commercialise space travel with his company SpaceX. Sir Branson registered the name Virgin Interplanetary in the hopes of space travel becoming a reality. Currently, Virgin Airlines offers suborbital flights for GBP 200,000 per ticket.
Sir Richard Branson is a true entrepreneur who is always on the lookout for new frontiers to conquer. He even has a succession plan in place, so his company is always on the right track.
Ferrari – The Story Of The Luxury Automobile Brand
The name Ferrari evokes a sense of respect amongst motor car enthusiasts. All over the world, Ferrari is known for its luxury car offerings with high end engine specifications as well as swanky designs to go with them. It is always at the forefront of innovation, constantly finding ways to upgrade its line of products. However, it is also renowned for its rich history of motor car racing. Ferrari is one of the biggest and oldest teams to compete in Formula One racing.
Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari. However, Ferrari was not initially a luxury car manufacturer. Enzo Ferrari wanted to work with FIAT, but his application was rejected. He then worked as a race car driver for Alfa Romeo, post which he founded Scuderia Ferrari, which translates to Ferrari Stable and was a sporting society which allowed its members to race.
Scuderia Ferrari was formed in 1929 with its headquarters in Modena, Italy. Scuderia Ferrari fielded Alfa Romeo cars for racing. Scuderia Ferrari went on to become the racing division and team of Alfa Romeo after the Company disbanded its in house racing team. Alfa Romeo later acquired Scuderia Ferrari and formed the Alfa Corse and subsequently disbanded Scuderia Ferrari. Alfa Romeo also appointed Ferrari as Sporting Director.
Founding of Ferrari
In 1939, Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo on the grounds he would not use the Ferrari name in association with racing cars for at least four years. So, Enzo founded Auto Avio Costruzioni, the ancestor of Ferrari which manufactured machine tools and aircraft accessories. Due to the World War II, Ferrari saw little sales and their factory in Milan was bombed by the allies.
The factory was eventually rebuilt and the first Ferrari car, powered by a V12 engine and bearing the black prancing horse logo which is symbolic of Ferrari, made its debut.
Enzo Ferrari was an avid race car driver and his passion lied there. Although Enzo was making cars for the public, he saw it as a way to obtain funds to fuel his passion for racing via Scuderia Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari is now the racing division of the luxury sports car manufacturer.
Ferrari is one of the oldest race car competitors and the only one to compete in all the editions of Formula One since the championship’s inception in 1950. Scuderia Ferrari has produced some of the greatest drivers like Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso.
Today, it is easy to recognize a car of the Ferrari make by looking at the black prancing horse logo. Over the years, owning a Ferrari has come to symbolize status, wealth and the love for speed. In 2002, Ferrari released a car, the Enzo Ferrari, named in honour of the brand’s founder Enzo Ferrari. Only 400 of these cars were made and the 400th one was donated to The Vatican for charity.
Enzo Ferrari and his brand are an inspiration to many across the world and racing purists will always swear by the quality and design Ferrari provides. The Ferrari brand was painstakingly built over the years and the popularity has not waned, mostly due to the dedication of Enzo Ferrari and his vision. People looking for inspiration can take lessons from his life and his passion for automobiles.
Read about Henry Ford’s unknown facts here: Henry Ford Unknown Facts
Carlos Ghosn – The Rise Of A Titan Of Automobile Industry
Car makers like Nissan and Renault are now known to many and their automobiles are used all over the world. Nissan, in particular, has a reputation for quality engineering, which reflects on its Japanese roots. However, there is one person who is behind the success of Nissan and Renault and that is Carlos Ghosn. He was instrumental in turning around the fortunes and reviving these failing companies and turned them into some of the world’s largest car makers. The journey of Carlos Ghosn is truly inspiring and will be spoken about at many business schools worldwide.
Early life and beginning
Carlos Ghosn was born in Porto Velho, Brazil. After falling sick and being unable to recover, his mother moved with him and his sister to Beirut, Lebanon, to stay with Carlos Ghosn’s grandmother. Carlos Ghosn did his schooling in Lebanon and obtained his graduation from France’s top schools, École Polytechnique and École des Mines de Paris.
Following his graduation, he began working at Michelin, Europe’s top tyre manufacturer. He spent eighteen years there. He then went on to be appointed head of research and development for the industrial tyre development division in 1984. Following this, Ghosn was appointed chief operating officer (COO) for the South American operations and reported directly to François Michelin.
Ghosn completely turned around the South American operations during the time of Brazil’s hyperinflation by employing cross functional management teams to determine best practices. His performance in South America led to him being later appointed COO for the North American operations.
Having heard about Carlos Ghosn’s success story at Michelin, Renault, a French automobile maker, invited him to work with them. Renault was undergoing a severe recession in sales and Carlos Ghosn was roped in as Executive Vice President, in charge of purchasing, advanced research, engineering and development, manufacturing and power train operations. He reported directly to Louis Schweitzer, the Chief Executive Officer of Renault at the time. Carlos Ghosn was able to replicate the success he had with Michelin at Renault as well.
The Renault-Nissan alliance
In 1999, the automobile industry was set to see the biggest turnaround with the Renault-Nissan alliance. It was dubbed by many as a failure due to the friction in the drastic difference in working and corporate cultures between Japan and France. Renault purchased a 36.8 % stake in the nearly bankrupt Nissan and Carlos Ghosn was appointed COO of Nissan while maintaining the same role at Renault. He turned around the fortunes of both companies with a revival plan which included drastic cost cutting measures, downsizing and investing in design. This move earned him the moniker ‘Le Cost Killer.’ He announced a three year plan, wherein he would put Nissan at the top of the industry and bring back profits, failing which he would resign. He went on to successfully achieve all the targets he set. He went on to become the CEO of both Renault and Nissan and became the first person in the world to run two Fortune 500 companies simultaneously.
While the automobile industry celebrity went on to achieve many milestones in his illustrious career, he courted multiple brushes with the law, leading to him being incarcerated and his image being tarnished. He was stripped of his titles and responsibilities, owing to huge financial frauds wherein he under reported his income earnings from Nissan to the Japanese authorities and a coup which involved whistleblowers who were his close aides. The fall from grace has been heavily reported all over the world, but it does not change the fact that Carlos Ghosn is a true visionary and leader.
Read about how Carlos Ghosn turned from a CEO to an international fugitive here: Carlos Ghosn : From Automobile Industry Celebrity To International Fugitive
Adam Neumann – Unknown Facts About WeWork Founder
Adam Neumann is the founder of the American real estate company WeWork, which offers fully furnished co working spaces to freelancers and entrepreneurs so they can pursue and fine tune their business ideas. Taking his Company to the elusive territory of a unicorn was not an easy road, with Adam Neumann being in and out of the news for his wild adventures and he has had an interesting journey so far.
Let us have a look at some unknown facts about WeWork founder Adam Neumann.
Born in Israel
Adam Neumann was born in Israel and as a child, spent time on an Israeli kibbutz (gathering of a community) and went to school near the Gaza Strip.
Adam Neumann was severely dyslexic as a child and could not write until he was in the third grade.
Spent time in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)
Israeli citizens have to spend three years in the IDF, as mandated by the government. Adam Neumann served in the Navy for five years before being discharged at the rank of Captain. After finishing his stint with the IDF, Neumann moved to New York City, enrolled in a community school and obtained his Masters in Business Administration.
Failed at business before founding WeWork
Adam Neumann started a business from his apartment called Krawlerz, a clothing line for infants. The clothes, especially bottom wear, featured padding in the knee area to make crawling more comfortable for children. The business failed to take off and Adam Neumann was left with the inventory due to lack of demand.
Made outrageous claims
Adam Neumann is known for his radical and impulsive thoughts. During an interview with a magazine in New York, he expressed his interest to run for President of the United States of America. He also once claimed he would run for the position of the Prime Minister of Israel and also expressed his desire to be the president of the world to match his ego.
Trademarked ‘We’ and sold it to WeWork
Adam Neumann opened a private company named The We Company and trademarked ‘We.’ WeWork, during that time, wanted to rebrand itself around the word ‘We’ and Adam Neumann was the CEO of WeWork at the time. WeWork paid Adam Neumann six million dollars for trademark rights to use ‘We.’
Adam Neumann is a self made billionaire. Though he is eccentric and has impulsive urges, he has always believed in the idea of a community and built his offerings around the same, in the hopes he would be able to help young individuals find and pursue their passion.
Read more about the story of WeWork here:WeWork The Story Of The Real Estate Unicorn Startup
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