He places his Wall Avenue dream on maintain to maintain Congebec in Quebec

Nicholas Pedneault would inform you he was born in a deep freeze. And since he began working at Congebec, the corporate based by his father, at a really younger age, that’s nearly true.

As an adolescent, it was clear to him: spending his life in -20 levels was out of the query!

“I received my diploma in finance. I dreamed of changing into an funding banker on Wall Avenue or on the Caisse de Depot. “In my teenage eyes, Congebec was a pleasant little native enterprise that I noticed no prospect of progress,” says the entrepreneur.

If he had been informed that in 2023 he can be heading a pan-Canadian chilly storage community with gross sales of greater than $100 million, by which $2 billion price of meals can be transported every year, he would have choked on his saliva.

After his college research, Nicholas helped his father in Congebec who needed to develop past his Quebec area. As he ready monetary forecasts and started negotiating with traders, he noticed actual progress potential. So the momentary work dragged on over time.

“Every time there was an issue in IT or HR, they referred me. I stayed within the job and two or three children later I noticed my profession was going to happen within the firm I by no means considered! he remembers.

salvation in excessive instances

In 2015, following an acquisition in western Canada, his father ready to promote his actual property belongings to let his son Nicholas run the Congebec working firm, a hyperlink between meals manufacturing and grocery shops. After which got here an unsolicited takeover bid from a Canadian participant who needed to take it throughout.

For Nicholas it may have been the top of the entrepreneurial episode.

It needed to be daring and activate its community to say its potential and retain possession of Congebec in Quebec. Desjardins Enterprise Capital was one of many shareholders and went into bailout mode to permit Nicholas to hitch the shareholder base for a really small proportion. The corporate had misplaced numerous worth and wanted help to have the ability to purchase it again.

Nicholas skilled exhilarating growing-up years, additionally constructing confidence whereas studying the tough position of being a president who pays the value for making robust choices.

He nearly fully remodeled the strategic group to develop the enterprise.

“We wanted different forms of expertise to maintain going. I needed to thank individuals who have been older than me and who I had recognized since I used to be just a little man. It’s the toughest factor I’ve ever needed to do,” he admits.

Nicholas Pednault

The Congebec strategic group: Richard Patenaude, Man Clairmont, Jean-François Vallée, France Pomerleau and Nicholas Pedneault, President. Pierre-Paul Poulin / Le Journal de Montreal / QMI Company

The pandemic may have taken every thing away

In 2020, Nicholas and his companions purchased out the funding companions’ shares simply earlier than the pandemic turned every thing the other way up.

No person knew what would comply with: customers spent their cash as meals processing crops closed. Congebec’s freezers have been emptied and concern grew. There was no time to decelerate when the companions had simply fallen into the debt lure.

The president succeeded in doing this with a particular group made up of employees from all around the nation.

Three years later, Congebec has come again robust. The corporate simply invested $70 million in a brand new chilly storage facility in Mascouche, which it hopes will assist develop meals processing in Quebec.

The imaginative and prescient of the longer term? The refrigeration market is dominated by two huge American gamers and Congebec needs to develop partnerships with different unbiased corporations in the US.

“We now have the know-how to deliver folks collectively and serve prospects effectively. Proximity is vital to us. Can we work with others to realize a North American outreach? asks the entrepreneur.

Profile of Nicholas Pedneault

President of Congebec

Age: 47 years outdated

Variety of staff: 600

Headquarters: Quebec

Training: Bachelor’s diploma in Finance, Beauce College of Entrepreneurship