There are a multitude of success stories that demonstrate not only the innovative technologies and entrepreneurial spirit that drive Canadian manufacturing, but also the positive contributions that so many immigrants make to our economy and society. As Canadians, we are privileged to enjoy a standard of living that far exceeds global norms; the struggles that many refugees and immigrants face are often unimaginable to most of us. Yet adversity can act as a powerful motivator, driving one’s ambition for a better life; this is certainly the case for Peng Sang Cau, president and chief executive officer of Transformix Engineering (Transformix).
Cau was born in Cambodia during the country’s darkest period, the reign of the Khmer Rouge, during which her family lost a child to the horrors of the ‘killing fields’. After Vietnam invaded the country in 1978, the surviving family members gained refugee status and were eventually able to immigrate to Canada, albeit with only the clothes on their backs.
During the years that followed, education and hard work were the focus of the family’s new life in Saskatchewan. This dedication paid off for Cau when she graduated with a degree in commerce from Queen’s University. However, her propensity for hard work would continue to guide Cau, and in 1995, she and three engineering graduates founded Transformix, initially operating out of her basement.