David, congratulations! But what were things like 10 years ago?
The first two years were tense. Sleepless nights, mostly focusing on cash flow – typical of a young business.
Are any of the ‘originals’ still with you and Trade Ocean?
Yes. Pedro, Vadim, Shaun, Gunnar, Vanessa, Auntie Marge, Uncle Peter and Paula. They are all valuable team members and share a passion for Trade Ocean. I trust them implicitly. They have been key in the growth and development of our business, each doing their part and more. I look forward to working with all of them for many years to come. Other people of course have made special contributions in a short space of time.
What has given you the most satisfaction over the years?
Trade Ocean is about our people so it has to be seeing people grow, being able to promote from within Trade Ocean and seeing how staff are genuinely passionate about service and Trade Ocean overall.
In hindsight, would you have changed much?
We’ve had our fair share of lessons learnt. Monitoring client credit worthiness is key. Also, turning away from high risk opportunities is another area we’ve learnt from. But overall, I wouldn’t change much.
David, Trade Ocean has a lot to be proud of. The company seems to have ticked most of the important blocks?
The real family spirit we find at Trade Ocean is something to be proud of. We don’t always get along and will often disagree vehemently but when the going gets tough, we’ll kill to defend each other!
Then, the fact that we’ve built a brand which stands for something in the market is special. Taking Ownership, we live our brand promise every day. Few companies our size have what it takes to build a brand but we had the vision and commitment to see it through. In the process, we’ve come to understand what makes real brands – people. Each one of us carriers a piece of the Trade Ocean brand.
Lastly, from a commercial perspective, we have managed to diversify Trade Ocean’s income streams – this is key to our long term sustainability.
When one looks at these three pillars – people, brand and business – it certainly has come together over the last ten years and it is something we can all be very proud of.