It all started with a dream!
To build a world famous brand!
25th February 2021
of the easy family of brands,
Welcome to the second edition of easyHistory! Think of this booklet as the photo album of the easy family of brands – telling our story since 1994 when I embarked on my dream to build a world famous brand. At the tender age of 27, I started building a family of brands centered on the word “easy” which I was determined to make a household name.
Progress over the last 27 years has been far from uneventful as one would expect from such an entrepreneurial adventure. Those of you who have read the first edition of easyHistory, will know that it was signed off on the 6th February, 2020 when almost none of us had even heard of the term Covid-19. What a difference a year can make! Nevertheless, we decided to press on with publishing the second edition because many of our friends enjoyed the first one. We have spent the last year filling in the gaps and adding a lot more detail that demonstrates my vision from day one was to make the brand “easy” a household name in as many business sectors and in as many countries as possible.
I came across the business model of the low cost airline in America at a time when Europe was opening up its skies to competition and then realised that an airline is a great way to build a brand. The brand was “easy” from day one even if, as expected, the airline easyJet became much more famous than the other members of the easy family of brands. You could say that my best business idea in my life was to create a pioneering low cost airline but that the second best idea was to keep the ownership of all the easy brands including easyJet in my own private company called easyGroup thus giving me more stable recurring income from royalties.
It is in unprecedented times like these that I am glad that the easy family of brands has diversified into other sectors which are more resilient to the Covid pandemic: from financial services, to IT and from storage to household cleaning products to name a few.
However, as we now know global travel has ground to a halt for a second time in the last 12 months. Many of the easy family members are suffering losses and corporate survival is now down to having enough cash in reserve to weather the storm. The business model of running an easy family of brands with a range of diversified licensees each of which has its own shareholders, instead of a single corporate entity, means that we in easyGroup, have suffered less than if we had been retaining all the business risk ourselves.
At easyGroup we have well diversified sources of income to see this crisis through to the end. The royalty business model means we have income for as long as there are revenues – even without profits. And (luckily) the stock markets have remained much more buoyant than I thought they would at the start of the pandemic. And as we go to press with the 2nd edition of easyHistory easyJet PLC still has a market capitalisation of about £4.5 billion with about 28% of the shares still in the Haji-Ioannou family’s ownership. My expectation is that the same investors who buy the shares now keeping the share price higher will be willing to provide additional equity capital allowing easyJet PLC to survive and thrive again in the future when normality returns.
So enjoy the read. easyHistory is organised more or less chronologically since 1994 and then by geography and by business sector right up to the present day and the Covid crisis. Please stay safe and healthy and hope to see you soon somewhere in person when circumstances permit.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou
creator and owner of the
easy family of brands