Geneviève Babin is a woman of strong convictions, who jumped into entrepreneurship feet first in 2011 by teaming up with a partner to acquire the Renaud Group, a company specializing in health and wellness programs in the workplace. An accomplished entrepreneur and a happy, fulfilled mother, she has since renamed the company ProHealth Group and has infused the company with the same energy it had in its early days.
While managing development and customer relations at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Quebec, Geneviève Babin was working on the resale of a company that offered health and wellness services. Little did she know this was only the beginning of a new adventure!
The Renaud Group had already been in business for 15 years, it had a successful business model and the company enjoyed an excellent reputation. When Geneviève Babin presented the company for repurchase to Steve Griffin, a potential buyer and friend, he picked was struck by her enthusiasm, by the sheer passion and appreciation she had for the company, its business model, positioning and development prospects.
"He convinced me to take over the business with him. Initially it was not easy because the company was a client of the firm I was working for"
Geneviève Babin gathered all her savings and set forth to tackle the legal steps.
Negotiations with PwC moved forward and the transaction was signed on April 1, 2011.
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"Starting the following Monday, we met with the employees one by one. We then went to see all the customers to reassure them and to immerse ourselves in the context and the market."
Being an entrepreneur and balancing work and family life
Geneviève Babin found out that she was pregnant the day after she took over the company.
"I felt guilty. I felt like I had no solution, and I felt very alone. After ten weeks, I finally broke the news to my partner."
Steve Griffin took the news with ease. Geneviève Babin gave birth December 2. And believe it or not, that very morning, she was still at her desk.
Over time, the new entrepreneur was able to achieve a balance between her work schedule and her new role as a mother.
The entrepreneurial takeover: developing a company
Before leading the company alone, the two new buyers worked closely with the former owners for four months.
After the transition period, it was time to make some changes. Geneviève Babin and her partner were quick to implement their business plan and adopt their own vision.
They reworked the brand image and improved internal processes. When buying a second company in 2015, they decided to change the name to stand out. ProHealth Group respected the DNA of the Renaud Group while improving the synergy and range of services they offered. Notably, they began offering psychological counselling services to the employees of their client companies.
The changes were smooth and gradual; the two buyers were hoping for an evolution, not a revolution.
Today, customers tell Geneviève that they would not have been able to implement some of the Canada-wide programs had it not been for the recent improvements.
In the face of competition, the ProHealth Group has retained its flexibility and its smooth operations.
"In our market, we are a speed boat facing ship liners. We must grow up without becoming too complex," says the entrepreneur.
ProHealth Group in figures
- 20: the number of employees
- 600: the number of customers in Canada
- 200%: growth since the acquisition of the Renaud Group in 2011
Want to learn more?
Visit the ProHealth Group website