How we beat the odds: Gandys Flip Flop founders Paul and Rob Forkan

Paul and Rob Forkan, founders of Gandys Flip Flops, were orphaned by the 2004 tsunami and have started their own flip-flop business.

by Elizabeth Anderson


Our parents were both entrepreneurial. They had a fashion business but got fed up with the rat race and, when we were teenagers, we all moved to India and lived like hippies for four years, travelling around the subcontinent.

Ten years ago, we had popped over to Sri Lanka for a holiday when the Boxing Day tsunami hit. It took both our parents. We survived by climbing a tree and our younger brother and little sister clung onto our hotel roof. We all hitched a lift back to the embassy in Colombo with no passports or money and were flown back to the UK in just a few clothes and no shoes, where we lived with our elder sister, who had stayed in the UK.

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