10 Greatest Business Empires: Success Stories

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Business Empires

10 Greatest Business Empires

1. McDonald’s

The most popular fast food was founded by two brothers Mack and Dick MacDonald. McDonald’s has become a pioneer in self-catering. The first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 in California. At first, it was just an unremarkable local restaurant, but the entrepreneurial businessman Ray Kroc saw the huge potential of the company and bought the brothers the right to act as a franchising agent. When he first met the MacDonalds, Kroc was on the verge of bankruptcy. But already in 1955, having opened his first McDonald’s, he began to earn great money. In 1961, Ray Crock finally bought out the business for 2.7 million and began to expand it. In 1965, there were 700 establishments in the United States.

The first to taste the famous hamburgers outside the United States were the residents of Canada, the popular fast food opened there already in 1967. The further development of the company was rapid. Today, McDonald’s is represented in 118 countries and 70 million people visit the network daily, which has more than 35,000 points. Franchise owners are trying to adapt the menu to the traditions of a particular country, for example, in India, they serve lamb instead of beef. But, despite this, McDonald’s constantly finds himself embroiled in some scandals, connected either with poor working conditions or with poor quality food. There is a Double Serving documentary on this subject, and chef Jamie Oliver even won a lawsuit against the company, proving that meat burgers are used for burgers. However, McDonald’s popularity is not affected by such matters.

Business Empires

2. Apple

Steve Jobs, along with associates founded Apple in 1976 with the goal of making personal computers more accessible. Then he did not know how famous she would become. Today, Apple is the undisputed market leader, and its products have become a real cult. The daily profit of a business empire is 300 thousand dollars, and the annual income is many times higher than the earnings of all competitors combined. Sometimes Apple has more money in a bank account than in the U.S. Treasury. The scale of sales of the iPhone and other products is growing every year. Steve Jobs bequeathed that it is necessary to “remain insatiable”, and, it seems, his brainchild succeeds.

Business Empires

3. Microsoft

The talented programmer Bill Gates from an early age knew how to use his abilities to good use. At school, he made a schedule of lessons, which allowed each time to engage in a class with a maximum number of girls. Female attention is good, but Bill had a lot more ambition. In 1975, he decided to establish his own business. The first Windows was released in 1985. This operating system quickly became the most popular due to its simplicity and versatility, and the name of Bill Gates rattled the world. Microsoft has gone from a small company with three employees and a modest turnover of $ 16,000 to a giant multinational corporation.

Now Microsoft employs approximately 90,000 professionals and is a leader in the production of computer hardware and software. Despite the status of a business giant, the corporation willingly accepts young employees into its ranks. The competition is huge: on average 1 million 300 thousand people apply for one position. Therefore, HR managers try to approach the selection with imagination. For example, they ask the applicant to explain why the sewer hatch should be exactly round. Probably, such questions help to find among the whole stream of candidates those who think as unconventionally as possible.

Business Empires

4. Dell

The history of Dell Computer Corporation is truly inspiring. Michael Dell was not an outstanding student at all, however, at the age of twelve, he earned his first serious money – $ 2,000 from the sale of magazines. The guy sent out nice postcards to the new settlers with a proposal to issue a free subscription for 2 weeks. So Michael got acquainted with the technique of direct sales, which in the future became the main concept of his company. Dell founded his company as early as 19, investing just a thousand dollars. Dell does not work with intermediaries and does not use warehouses; they assemble computers exclusively in order and offer many bonuses to each, including constant service support. Thanks to these business tactics, Dell quickly spun up and gained recognition: in 2005, it ranked first in the list of “Companies,

Business Empires

5. Disney

Today, Disney is not only a wonderful film and cartoons for the whole family but also one of the largest entertainment empires. In addition to several Walt Disney Productions movie studios and recording studios, the Walt Disney Company owns magazines, newspapers, huge amusement parks around the world, and a television network. Branded souvenirs are sold in 535 stores. They even have their own hockey and baseball teams. Each year, the conglomerate brings owners up to $ 20 billion. For almost a hundred years of history, the company has managed to win great love of people, primarily thanks to cartoons.

Walt Disney began painting at 7 years old. The artist tried everything: comics, caricatures, took a course at the Academy of Fine Arts. The beginning of a great empire was laid in a small garage studio where the first masterpieces were painted. In 1924, Walt released the first cartoon from the series of adventures of the heroes of the world “Alice in Wonderland” based on the works of Carroll. In 1928, the legendary Mickey Mouse first appeared on the screens, voiced by Disney himself. It was the Walt Disney studio that gave us the highest-grossing cartoon in the history of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and such masterpieces as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Fantasy”, “Bambi”, “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” and others. The studio has a record number of Oscars – 29, and the number of fans is only growing.

Business Empires


All lovers of luxury know the LVMH conglomerate, which combines dozens of premium brands of alcohol, jewelry, clothing, and cosmetics. The concern includes giants such as Don Peregnon, Louis Vuitton, Hennesy, Marc Jacobs, and many others. It all started with the fact that two major manufacturers of luxury goods – Moët Hennessy and Louis Vuitton – in 1987 decided to merge. The resulting concern, led by Frenchman Bernard Arnault, subsequently absorbed many more brands. The annual turnover of the LVMH empire is a couple of tens of billions of euros. In addition to producing goods, they publish magazines, conduct auctions, and engage in charity work, including the patronage of cultural monuments. The main concept of LMHV is perfectionism in everything. This is what managers expect from young talented creators and entrepreneurs.

Business Empires

7. L’Oreal 

Under this name, more than 500 brands of cosmetics from the mass market to the premium class are combined. Vichy, Lancôme, Garnier, Elsève, Maybelline New York, and others – at least once in their life each acquired one of this. More than 65 thousand people work in 5 research centers, 25 cosmetology companies, and 47 plants of the concern. And it all started with a small production of hair dye. In 1909, the French chemist Eugene Schuller invented synthetic paint and established sales. A profitable business developed, in 1934 the company also produced hair washing and perfumery products.

In 1957, Schuller’s daughter led L’Oreal after the death of her father. With her, the concern reached an incredible scale and began to acquire other brands. Today, L’Oreal can afford to spend record amounts on advertising, namely 30% of all profits. The slogan of the L’Oreal Paris brand “I deserve it” is heard by almost everyone. The most famous models and actresses pronounced this phrase in an advertisement for the legendary cosmetics. However, other brands are also developing well in the conglomerate. The high competition encourages manufacturers to constantly improve the quality and design of products, so sales are only growing.

Business Empires

8. Inditex

The huge conglomerate Inditex includes almost all the well-known mass-market clothing brands. This is Bershka, and Pull and Bear, and Zara, and many others. In the seventies of the last century, the Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega opened an inexpensive clothing store called Zara. It was profitable, so the owner decided to open several more outlets. In 1985, they grew into Inditex Corporation. Subsequently, it expanded: new brands appeared, aimed at different audiences. And not only clothes but also shoes, accessories, household goods. Today, Inditex is one of the largest companies offering consumers affordable trendy clothing: it has more than 5,000 stores worldwide and their number is constantly growing.

Business Empires

9. Virgin Group

A huge international conglomerate includes dozens of companies that produce everything from books to racing cars. The company owns air and rail carriers, telecom operators, radio stations, and produces alcoholic beverages. There is even a Virgin Galactic space tour operator among the enterprises, which in the near future plans to organize space flights. Could the founder of the empire, Richard Branson, imagine such a future when he graduated from high school, being on the list of worst students? Perhaps he could because the director told him: “Either you, Richard, will go to jail, or you will become a millionaire.”

The second happened – today Brenson is a famous and very shocking rich man who owns a campaign that brings in $ 24 billion a year. And he started by selling records, publishing a magazine, selling jewelry and organizing balloon flights, and then formed a record label. Richard Branson was engaged in absolutely everything that brought profit, this explains the diversity of brands in the conglomerate. According to rumors, he himself is not sure how many there are. In any case, this approach turned out to be true and the Virgin Group became a multi-brand empire with a shocking reputation. Largely due to the founder’s antics, which denies any formalities and subordination, he welcomes drinking beer at work and refuses to take off his favorite sweater even at a reception with members of the royal family.

Business Empires

10. Hilton 

Conrad Hilton wanted to become a banker and became a millionaire when, at 31, he decided to go into the hotel business. The first hotel of the world-famous chain, Dallas Hilton, opened in 1925 in Texas. The owner set out to make him the best in the state, as a result, he created one of the best hotel chains in the world. The twenties in the USA were marked by the Great Depression and many businesses closed, but not the Hilton. Conrad pledged the business to creditors, but 5 years later bought it back. And in 1954, the largest hotel deal took place: Conrad Hilton acquired a rival company, Statler Hotels, for 111 million. Already at the end of that decade, 40 hotels were opened in America and abroad.

The success of the network was in innovation, which is now considered an integral attribute of this business. It was Hilton who came up with determining the class of a hotel by the number of stars, combining hotels with a casino, and opening hotels at airports. All this undoubtedly increased the flow of customers, but such a huge success would not have been possible without the highest quality of service at Hilton hotels. Today there are already 3800 of them. You can settle in a hotel network in 88 countries. The empire is still ruled by members of the Hilton family. After Conrad’s death, she was temporarily taken over by the Hilton Foundation, but the founder’s son returned the business to the family through the court.

Business Empires

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