Ho Chi Minh City, September 13th 2015: Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it is still commonly known, saw birth of Summit’s first conference in Vietnam by adding to it’s impressive line-up of speakers – one of the most famous international business icons – Sir Richard Branson.
Over 7,000 entrepreneurs gave a fanatical reception to the English business magnate and Founder of Virgin Group – which controls more than 400 companies, employing over 71,000 people in 35 countries, and arguably one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands with businesses in mobile telephony, travel and transportation, financial services, leisure and entertainment, and health and wellness.
Coincidentally, Richard’s first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine named ‘Student’. Launched in 1968, the magazine aims to protest against the Vietnam War and provided youths a platform to highlight the issues they cared about.
Credit: Virgin.com – 16-year-old Richard Branson seen protesting in the streets of London
Forty seven years later, the billionaire entrepreneur flew into a country buzzing with capitalism to help inspire Vietnamese entrepreneurs at the much-anticipated conference organized by Summit.
Known for his preference of casual clothing both at home and at the workplace, Richard arrives at the conference, spotting his signature black leather jacket and blue jeans.
On his dislike of ties, he says, “I have been carrying out a lifelong campaign to say bye to the tie. I remain convinced that ties only exist because managers, after spending years being forced to wear ties by their bosses, decide to force the next generation to do the same. I often carry a pair of scissors with me, ready to cut off the tie of any unsuspecting wearer.”
CEO Summit, Terence Yao, receiving Richard at the conference with Managing Director, John Chong
At the conference, Richard discussed on everything from the importance of failure to the value of mentorship, creating great culture, having fun pursuing innovation to the excitement of space travel. He describes Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, as “the greatest adventure of all.”
Among the topics he covered, he urged the country’s business leaders and influencers to remember their social responsibility and contribute to humanitarian work.
The philanthropic entrepreneur is also involved in many causes, including entrepreneurship, exploitation of children, wildlife poaching and trafficking, education and Internet access for the poor – plus working with a small group of leaders to solve difficult global conflicts.
Richard Branson posts on social media to share his experience during his speech in Vietnam
At the end, invited guests took turns to capture moments with Richard on camera before he jumped into the car, waving high fives out of the window to hundreds of people who lined the streets on foot and on scooters.