Strategic fit of the Virgin group

With so much focus on the strategies of many global organizations around the world, large and small, it seems that the answer to all problems is to reinvent themselves or re-strategize. This is most certainly true when it comes to The Virgin Group who has their hand in almost every type of business you can think of. The global business market has made all aspects extremely competitive that many companies have seen the need to consolidate as their only means to stay afloat and remain profitable.

This is the complete opposite of how The Virgin Group operates.

Developing, expanding and marketing new businesses is one of their most extreme business strategies but it seems to work for them. Developing new businesses with the capital from others is the primary goal of Virgin, whereas many of their competitors are downsizing. Although many believe that each of Virgin’s companies are run separately, as with their structures, managements and finances, that is not always the case. Although they are all independent of each other they need to work together to sustain operations.

The ways in which they are intertwined are “Sir Richard Branson’s Personality, Group Brand Name (Virgin), Organizational Structure, Management Style, and Financial Structure.” (Global Social Media Marketing). The Virgin Group is privately owned by Richard Branson, and family trusts. “This financial and legal structure reflects Branson’s wariness of the financial community and his unconventional ideas about business.”

(Grant p. 10). This allows more freedom when it comes to making any decisions regarding the company. When stockholders are involved there is less wiggle room in making large decisions about the company.

Sir Richard Branson’s thoughts and ideas are the foundation of Virgin and is still to this day the main focus of any new business ventures. “Branson’s approach to management reflected his values and personality. Informality and disrespect for convention were central to Branson’s way of business. His dislike of office buildings and the usual symbols of corporate success was reflected in the absence of a corporate head office and his willingness to do business from his family homes, whether a houseboat in Maida Vale or Necker Island Caribbean retreat.”

(Grant p. 10). The Virgin name is also one of its best strategies, people know the name and know that there are many products and services that are available to them. This strengthens the company by having such wide spread recognition around the world.

The organizational structure of Virgin shows that although separate all the companies operate together. There are over 200 companies and organizations that are operating under direct control of Virgin Group Investments Ltd. Regardless of how unorganized people believe Virgin is they are all balanced be this one investment company. Management style is unlike any other as well. Each of Virgin’s companies are set up to be individually managed.

The employees are able to make decisions in which they believe would benefit the company. There are no boards of directors or shareholders to please other than Sir Richard Branson himself and few executives.

Most of the leadership and management styles are thought to be Branson’s own personal values and leadership styles. When it comes to financial strategies of Virgin, there are many skeptics that believe that Branson is not a good businessman and that many of his companies are failing or underperforming. It is hard to speculate on this because it is not a public company and there are many things that financial analysts are not able to see or understand. Equity and cash flow are hardto track  and maintain and many projects are funded by Branson’s friends and family.

For Virgin to be able to stay on top of its game and that it survives after Richard Branson and his thoughts and beliefs are gone, there must be willing to consolidate investments.

Virgin will not be able to maintain its current path of operation. There is talk of maybe selling and franchising some of its products to maintain brand recognition. There also needs to be a central management strategy that would encapsulate every company under the Virgin name. After Branson’s passing there might be catastrophic disaster if there is not a systematic way in which things should be done. Using its core competencies Virgin should be able to have a competitive advantage over its rivals and competitors far into the future. Their competitive advantage is their name and I believe that will be the case into the future.

References

"Business Analysis of Virgin Group." Retrieved from: http://www.123helpme.com/business-analysis-of-virgin-group-view.asp?id=168050. October 30, 2014. Global Social Media Marketing. Retrieved from: http://globalsocialmediamarketing.com/marketing-portfolio/virgin-international-strategy-analysis/. October 30, 2014. Grant, R. M., & Jordan, J. (2012). Foundations of strategy. West Sussex, UK: Wiley &Sons. Grant,  R. M. (2012). The Virgin Group in 2012. West Sussux, UK: Wiley & Sons. POWERED BY TCPDF (WWW.TCPDF.ORG)