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Riz Khan
Richard Branson
The billionaire explains how the economic downturn is affecting global business.
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2009 13:39 GMT

Watch part two

Richard Branson is one of the world's most recognisable businessmen and he has been called everything from flamboyant to philanthropic.

A self-made billionaire, Branson has backed state bail-outs for failing banks but says similar rescues should not be offered to other industries. He has a strong entrepreneurial spirit - even in these times of global recession.

Branson set up his first business venture at age 16, publishing a youth-culture magazine called Student

Since he needed to fund his magazine, he started a mail-order record business. That led to a recording studio, and in 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded as Zavvi in late 2007.

Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly and embraces trains, planes, media, wine sales, tourism, cosmetics, mobile phones, the internet and music.

He launched Virgin Fuels in 2006 to aid research into renewable energy, and he has offered a $25million prize for an invention to remove carbon dioxide from the environment.

Among his latest ventures are Virgin Galactic, a space tourism initiative, a new airline and promoting a health care plan.

On Tuesday, we speak to Richard Branson about how the economic crisis is affecting global business.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired on Tuesday, March 17, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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