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Counting the Cost
Branson's business
An interview with the popular entrepreneur, plus the latest from the Eurozone.
Last Modified: 27 May 2010 14:17 GMT

Hello folks,

This week we're obviously still looking at the financial dramas across Europe – layered, ongoing, full of ramifications … and in no way do I wish to dilute its importance or significance.

But the fact is, also this week, we've got a one-on-one interview with Sir Richard Branson, and it just isn't every day that you get something like that!

Branson is obviously no stranger to being on television, but it's the first time I've interviewed him and the first time he's appeared on our show.

He was in Doha to launch Virgin Mobile, a typically Virginesque and Bransonesque affair, in which he arrived at the Museum of Islamic Arts via jet-ski, and then proceeded to announce that Virgin Mobile would be operating that very day, after no buildup or fanfare! Nicely played and an indication of the very vibrant business model which Branson and Virgin run.

Sir Richard iss a very personable guy; just up for a chat. 

Which is what we tried to do in our interview … rather than drill down into every current business issue we could think of, we just had a chat about what it is to be a businessman and entrepreneur, and how he might do it if he were starting out now in 2010.

It was a very different world when Sir Richard started out, but the story remains impressive. 

He was just 16 when he launched his own magazine, 20 when he founded the Virgin Group as a mail-order music retailer, and 22 when a Virgin store opened in London. 

Now? Over 200 companies and a whole lot of money and exposure. As a journalist I try to be impartial, but as a person I can't help but be impressed.

So keep an eye out for our full interview this week, as well as the latest from Europe and the Eurozone. This week we also welcome back our resident economist Samah el-Shahat, who's been busy completing her PhD … great to have her back.

And don't forget to follow us on twitter too … @AJCountingCost is the name to look for.

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2030; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0130, 1630; Monday: 0830; Tuesday: 0600.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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