Cambli Group: Armoured Succession

Veronique Tougas’ Story

Thursday, June 30, 2016

At the helm of a family company specializing in the transport of valuables ​​and the manufacturing of tactical vans and armoured trucks, Veronique Tougas is one passionate entrepreneur. When Cambli Group was shaken by a crisis in 2012, Véronique found the resources to revive the company she leads today with a long-term vision.

Veronique Tougas’ father and founder of the company placed high value on his daughter’s education. As a result, she completed her accounting degree before definitively joining Cambli Group.

A prepared family successor

Véronique began her career as the company’s bookkeeper and climbed up the ranks to become Vice President of Finance. In 2010, the company’s sales figures doubled prompting Veronique’s father to consider passing on the torch to his clearly capable successor. At 50, he felt that he was running out of the energy required to manage the company.

While her father was still the official owner of the company, Veronique Tougas acquired 51% of the company’s voting shares in 2012. Her father retained the remaining equity shares. Even though she did not own the company yet, Veronique was the one calling all the shots. By the end of 2016, she purchased 100% of her father's voting shares. She retained 85% and sold 15% to her business partner.

"Our process of handing over the business was not exactly typical. The successor plays a pivotal role in the transferring of a business. Emotions are running high, and it’s so important to keep a cool head,” she explains

An entrepreneur’s face off with a crisis

Veronique Tougas’ initiation to her new role was far from a smooth transition. Her inauguration happened to coincide with the company’s worst crisis to date.

"An entrepreneur is someone who can see the light beyond the fog."

As Veronique was becoming a majority shareholder in the family business, Cambli Group was in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis. While the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, Veronique Tougas asserted herself as an entrepreneur. "The time came to enact my vision. It was at this point that I really stepped up and became the leader of my business. With the help of a turnaround expert, we were able to guide Cambli back onto the path towards growth," she says.

Diversification strategies

In order to expand their product range, in 2013, the Group purchased Cambli Hesse, a company that produces vehicles specialized for transporting beverages. This new positioning allowed the company to enter the distribution and catering market.

Known for its security products, Cambli Group is also exploring new markets in the Middle East, especially Qatar. "I've hired a commercial agent and we are present at all the events organized by the industry in the area."

When asked about the future of the company, the Quebecois president says she values and prioritizes the production of specialized vehicles. She plans on it being the company’s main activity within 5 years.

Cambli Group in Numbers

  • 130: Employees
  • 25: million Canadian dollars in profit. 75-100000000 is projected within 5 years.
  • 20%: growth of Cambli Group in 2015

Want to learn more?

Visit Cambli Group’s website