Names: Tom and Melba Correia (husband and wife team).
Nationalities: South African.
Ages: Tom, not known. Melba, 63 yrs.
'Foolish' Idea: Long-haul holiday trips for affluent professionals.
Start-up Capital: 50,000.
How Idea was Launched: In 1972, Tom and Melba Correia bought the tour operation, 'Hayes and Jarvis', for 50,000. It was an upmarket Knightsbridge-based company, but Melba and Tom purposefully set about arranging long-haul trips to exotic locations, targeting the affluent professionals.
The decision to take Hayes and Jarvis in this direction was the result of previous experiences.
During the early 70's Melba took clients around Ugandan game parks in a fleet of Volkswagen buses. Sadly, it all collapsed when Idi Amin's regime expelled Tom, Melba and their family from Uganda in 1972. So, Melba endeavored to set up a safari business, escorting travelers around Kenya.
It failed to take off within the year, which made her look at the more lucrative potential of escorting British tourists. So, the family moved to England and using 50,000 they'd managed to spirit away from Uganda, Tom and Melba Correia bought Hayes and Jarvis.
In 1998, they sold the company, returned to Kenya and are using the proceeds from the sale to build a hotel empire in Kenya and the Caribbean.
Sales: Trips to Egypt became their best seller.
Earnings: Sold Hayes and Jarvis in 1998, for 48 million.