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How to choose new ventures

Where to focus the Virgin Group’s attention...

I was asked recently how we decide on new ventures and where to focus the Virgin Group’s attention.

We did not have a traditional master plan with sectors and new territories marked for expansion neatly mapped out.

In fact, we still do not have that sort of plan or organisation, since we believe that our entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility are vital to Virgin’s success. This approach has had a profound effect on the way we develop our new businesses.

At a casual glance, one would think that we have been rather opportunistic in our choices over the years about the businesses and sectors into which we expanded.

Initially, we moved into areas where I had a personal interest (such as music and media); then, as we began to understand more about Virgin’s strengths in terms of customer service, where we felt industries were ready for shaking up (airlines, health clubs, mobile phones); and more recently where my passion for exploration has taken us (space and deep ocean tourism).

Read my whole New York Times Syndicate blog on how to choose new ventures at BusinessDay.


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