Virgin is a family group with varied activities, led by a charismatic and a typical boss, Sir Richard Branson. The latter is the head of a holding company which comprises over 200 companies in 30 countries, and operates on 5 continents, mainly in the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, Africa, Australia, Asia and several European countries. The head office is based in London and employs about 50,000 people.
Virgin is characterized by a rather successful diversification in sectors, which is considered difficult. The group is present in 7 different market segments.
The Virgin brand emerges as an international group, and a leading brand in Great Britain. As we have seen, this multinational is involved in many sectors. This makes it one of the most diverse brands in the world. Focused primarily on innovation, and operating through atypical communication, which includes the CEO Sir Richard Branson as the principal means of communication, Virgin wants to elicit the customers' interest, and attract attention because of its marginality.
[...] And yet, a good number of firms no longer belong to him, as is the case for Virgin Megastore in France, and more recently Virgin Radio and Virgin 17 in France. But Richard Branson, an astute businessman, became an expert in how to manage his brand, including when the companies were sold. Nothing is left to chance. The point is that the consumer wants to deal with a single company, which is powerful and non- conformist. The vehicle for this are the values of the Virgin house, such as nonconformity, youth, quality, impeccable customer service, innovation, or even provocation. [...]
[...] With respect to railways, we note that Virgin is one of the operators of railway with the least effective level of service, lower than it was before privatization. The market for cultural products is doing well and is far from reaching saturation, and the entertainment business should continue to grow. It must still take into account certain hazards such as illegal download of music. The telecommunications business suffers a downturn in the acquisition of new customers. This drop may be explained by the exhaustion of the request for music services from Virgin Mobile, which relies on strong brands. [...]
[...] The Virgin Group owns 51% of Virgin Atlantic Airways, the second largest British airline for international flights. The group is well positioned to benefit from this growth of the airline industry. Positive outlook for the travel industry and tourism According to a study by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the tourism and travel industry is expected to grow by a total of 6.5 trillion, which in the English currency is a trillion dollars, in 2006. In the next ten years, the industry should grow at an annual rate of showing a perspective of long-term growth. [...]
[...] The dispersal of activities from Virgin is not a coincidence, and the many successes of the group activities offer a very different testimony. Virgin's strategy is to be grafted on growing markets such as emerging markets or newly deregulated markets. We can cite the example of Virgin Trains, which takes advantage of the opening to competition of rail transport market in Britain, or Virgin Mobile and Virgin.net, Internet service provider that developed parallel to the Web, which is today the basis of a platform for the sale of all Virgin products. [...]
[...] Virgin Megastores has lost 260 million pounds in the last two years, and had to borrow 287 million pounds sterling from the group of companies. The group structure is opaque. It is therefore difficult to determine its true financial condition. Lack of synergies between activities is detrimental. Though a few exist, most segments have no synergies, such as Virgin Trains, and Virgin Cosmetics. OPPORTUNITIES Increase in global spending on leisure and media An increase is forecasted in the worldwide spending on entertainment and media with an annual growth rate of The U.S. [...]
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