People Who Changed the World in Business

Henry Ford

Henry Ford, an American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, is best-known as both a folk hero as well as a technological genius. He is also called to be the father of the modern assembly line used in mass production whose Model T automobile modernized transportation in particular, and American industry in general. His businesses intellect permanently transformed the economic as well as as the social character of the United States. Within the five years of the inception of the Ford Motors, it produced 267,720 cars and employed 13,000 people. Within a decade; he had captured about 48 percent share of US car market with $100 million in annual sales.

“The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” ~Henry Ford


Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is one of the most influential innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders in history who changed the world through technology. He alone revolutionized three multi-billion dollar industries-personal computing, mobile phones, and the music industry. More importantly, he transformed the way people read, play and work and live. Steve Jobs’ business accomplishments and decisions have greatly impacted our lives, from the smart and attractive outlook of glass-faced smart devices to our access to songs, movies, animation and software developments. Minutest search of the business history may show his prominence, putting him beside the business legends such as Henry Ford and John Rockefeller in modernizing the whole society. His absence will be tremendously felt in coming years.

Ray Sharma, chairman of Toronto-based mobile app developer Xtreme Labs, states that “Jobs had a truly yogic way of thinking. He has uniquely upended the computer, digital movie, music, and mobile industries. He will be an inspiration for the ages and we will sorely miss his genius.”

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Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was the greatest inventor of modern world who graced the humanity with his highly evolved and sensitive; and was responsible for over a thousand inventions that laid the foundation of several modern technologies and socioeconomic development.

Some of his early inventions include vote recorder, stock quote printer, numerous telephone devices, carbon telegraph transmitter, through which he made 40,000 U.S dollars. Edison utilized his fortune by establishing a lab in 1876. He devoted his whole life conducting research on several projects that resulted into some of the greatest invention such as the phonograph in 1877, the incandescent light bulb in 1879. In 1888, he also created the device called kinetoscope to play motion pictures, and made his own battery and named it the Edison Storage Battery. Moreover, Edison was the person behind producing the first talking movie. In later years of life, he started 14 companies that included General Electric.

“Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!” Thomas Edison


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Richard Branson

Richard Branson is an adventurous British entrepreneur who founded the Virgin group that includes over 400 companies. Virgin, the globally recognized brand, has ventured across almost everything from credit cards, to airlines and music “megastores” to telecommunications and lifestyle.

Branson’s first business venture was a magazine called ‘Studentl which he successfully ran at the age 16. Today, he has been consistently seeking new business opportunities and challenging the risks ahead; his vision, setting goals and accomplishing them under strict deadline has made him one of the highest regarded businessmen of 21st century. He is also popular as the founding father of ‘Space Tourism’. In 1999, he was awarded a Knighthood for his significant contribution to entrepreneurship.

“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” Richard Branson


W. Edwards Deming

Born on October 14 1900, W. Edwards Deming was an American statistician, professor, and consultant and best known for his principles on improving design, product quality, and sales through the application of statistical methods. Deming made significant contribution to Japanese economy by producing innovative and high-quality products and strengthening its core infrastructure sectors. He left great impact upon Japanese manufacturing industry.

In order to transform various business processes, he would emphasize on being consistent towards the improvement of products and services as well as staying competitive in business marketplace by implementing standard business philosophy that offered perception of progress and responsive leadership for change.
Deming was the person behind the ‘total quality movement’ and wrote the key business principles which are taught in all major universities across the world.
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
W. Edwards Deming


Jack Welch

John Francis “Jack” Welch, Jr. is an American business executive, chemical engineer, and author. He was Chairman as well as CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001. During his tenure as CEO of General Electric for 20 years, he has been credited with the transforming the company’s market worth from $12 billion in 1981 to 280$ billion in 2001. On many occasions he was criticized for being aggressive and stubborn; yet he remained the company’s most important asset and his tremendous leadership skills made General Electric one of the most successful companies across the world. He has noted down his life experiences and challenges he faced and his approaches to business effectiveness in his book ‘Straight From the Guts’ which was published in 2001.

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Jack Welch

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Michael Dell

Michael Dell is an American entrepreneur and the founder of Dell and the longest-serving CEO in the personal computer industry. Dell was the very first computer company to use Just-In-Time manufacturing. As of 2012, Dell has offices across 34 countries with approximately 36,000 employees. Dell is best known for its stylish yet inexpensive desktops, laptops and hand-held computing devices that successfully meet the requirements of customers. He has been honored with various titles including “Entrepreneur of the Year” from Inc magazine, “Top CEO in American Business” by Worth Magazine, “Man of the Year” by PC Magazine, “CEO of the Year” by Financial World and Industry Week magazines from 1997-1999 and in 1992, he became the youngest CEO of Dell.

“It’s through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we’ve always mapped our path at Dell. There’s always an opportunity to make a difference.” Michael Dell


Andy Grove

Andrew Stephen Grove is a Hungarian-American Jewish businessman, engineer, author, and a science pioneer who changed the face of semiconductor industry. At the age of 20, he ran away from Communist-controlled Hungary to the United States. On completion of his graduation in 1960 in chemical engineering from the City College of New York, he earned his PhD from from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963. He began his career by joining Fairchild Semiconductor as a researcher and later became the third employee (joined as CEO) of Intel Corporation.

Grove has consistently made significant contributions to semiconductor devices as well as technology in 1960s and 70s. He is the person behind creating stable MOS devices, and enhancing the consistency of silicon semiconductor devices that helped emerging the MOS-based IC industry. He is widely known as a technological genius. He with his dynamic leadership in Intel Corporation, he made it one of the most successful business giants in the world. Some of his accomplishments and titles are the Heinz Family Foundation Award, the AEA Medal of Achievement, and Technology Leader of the year, Man of the Year, CEO of the Year, and Distinguished Executive of the Year by respected organizations across the world.

“So give me a turbulent world as opposed to a quiet world and I’ll take the turbulent one.”
Andy Grove


Ted Turner

Ted Turner, a Media mogul, is widely known as the founder of CNN and philanthropy. He is also the founder of WTBS that initiated the concept of “superstation” in cable television nationwide by means of satellite and the system was later dubbed TBS that is Turner Broadcasting Station and reached more than 160 million homes in approximately 40 different languages in around 200 countries across the world. He revolutionized the American news media by turning his father’s billboard business into Turner Broadcasting System and Cable News Network. Turner’s candidness, vision, determination, generosity have always made him worth noticing. He also supports environmentalism through Turner Foundation. He reportedly donated $1 billion to the United Nations for making the environment better.

“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.”
“You can never quit. Winner never quit, and quitters never win.” Ted Turner


Sam Walton

Sam Walton is the founder of the largest retailer in the world, Wal-mart, which first opened in 1962 in Bentonville, Arkansas. Throughout his career, he worked hard to bring a wide variety of products in low prices to his consumers. According to the Forbes Global 2011 list, Wal-mart is now the world’s 18th largest public corporation and the biggest private employer in the world with more than 2 million employees and 8,500 stores in 15 countries.

He earned many honors in his lifetime, some of them are: in 1998, Time magazine kept him in list of ‘100 most influential people of the 20th Century’. In 1992, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H. W. Bush for his significant contribution in retail.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”
Sam Walton