Harry & George Hastings and Daniel & David Ox - Founders, Ocean Holidays
Founded by two pairs of brothers in 2003, Ocean Holidays is made up of Ocean Florida, which specialises in selling holidays in Florida directly to consumers, Ocean Beds which provides vacation homes to the travel trade, and Winged Boots, a high-end travel concierge service. Harry and George Hastings and Daniel and David Ox all co-own the business, which grew 20pc last year to hit £65m in revenue. The secret to Ocean’s success is their bond, according to Daniel Ox, as they all have complementary skills. “We are two sets of brothers, four equal partners. We have been through the fire together with this business and now we have a powerful bond, and nothing can stop us.”
What’s your USP?
Daniel: We have built all our technology in-house; we employ 25 developers in the business. Where other companies invest in the front end, we invest in the back end. It means our agents can handle 250 enquiries at any one time. We contact customers within one minute of posting an enquiry and we’ll know what they want and when they want it. No one has been able to challenge us in this niche. Ocean Florida will carry 27,000 passengers this year, and Winged Boots will carry 6,000 and we’re growing 25pc a year.
For you, what is ambition?
Harry: We’re already the largest privately-owned specialist – the only companies bigger than us have their own airline. We want to keep growing both our brands and we are aiming to hit £100m in revenue by 2021. But we are also excited by innovation and technology. We find it very satisfying when we do things that other people can’t. We are really moving the dial in this industry.
How important have your business partners been in achieving your success?
Harry: We are four equal partners: two sets of brothers. This is a family business. We all bring different strengths and skillsets to the business and we all complement each other. We have worked together for 16 years and we have been through the fire together. That has created an important bond. No matter how difficult the decision, we always come together to make it happen.
“We are two sets of brothers, four equal partners. We have been through the fire together with this business and now we have a powerful bond, and nothing can stop us.”
Daniel Ox, Co-Founder, Ocean Holidays