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Setting Acquired Companies Up for Success

How an experienced business operator is helping integrate newly acquired companies into the Volaris community

In 2019, Donogh Roche faced an unexpected challenge. The CEO of WebSell, where Roche had been serving as the Chief Technology Officer, decided to leave the company. 

As the largest remaining shareholder of the company, Roche was asked by the board to step in as the CEO. With more than two decades in the software industry, Roche brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his position. But faced with quite a few shareholders looking for an opportunity to exit with a return on their investment, the top priority in his new role became finding a suitable buyer for the company. 

“We did not want to sell to just anyone and we rejected a couple of suitors before Volaris came along,” Roche recalls.

Since Roche planned to remain with the business after his company was sold, he was looking for an acquirer who would ensure the business' long-term future, support his team with fresh ideas, and act as a “partner rather than an overlord.” Initial conversations with Volaris Portfolio Manager John Bureau stood out from the tone of discussions with other prospective buyers.

“I found it easy to build rapport and have open discussions with him,” Roche said. “He came across as honest and earnest, and that followed through to my experience post-acquisition.”

A Fresh Start at Volaris

In 2021, the acquisition was finalized and WebSell became a Volaris-owned business. As part of the transition, Roche began reporting to Erna Hansen, General Manager at Windward Software—another company under the Volaris umbrella that also served customers in the retail vertical. Over the next two and a half years, Roche focused on learning all he could from his new network. He diligently implemented Volaris established procedures, best practices, and guidance to drive improvements and progress at WebSell.

His hard work paid off, with WebSell achieving a double-digit growth rate in its first year post-acquisition. After proving his ability to navigate change effectively while driving growth and delivering strong results, Roche began to wonder about the next phase of his career.

“Having spent 18 years at WebSell, it was time to bring that chapter of my professional life to a close and to try something new.” 
- Donogh Roche, Integration Manager, Volaris Group

Starting Something New

Post-acquisition, Roche was offered opportunities to jump back into startups and entrepreneurship, and another to work for an investment firm. But when he ultimately decided it was time for a change, he found himself becoming increasingly interested in the M&A side of Volaris. After a frank conversation with Bureau about his career ambitions, Roche came to realize his skills and personal experiences made him the perfect person to serve as the integration manager for new acquisitions.

“Given that I had been through the acquisition process, due diligence, and post-acquisition integration as a seller and GM, it seemed like an ideal fit,” Roche said. 

Such personal insight equips him with an understanding of the opportunities and obstacles that arise when transitioning into the Volaris ecosystem, making him a perfect first point of contact for those navigating the next stage of their company’s development. In his new role, Roche is charged with implementing integration processes for newly acquired companies. With his understanding and expertise in the software industry, he strives to streamline operations and make integration as easy and beneficial as possible. 

As an owner-operator who sold his business to Volaris, he intimately understands the intricacies of the acquisition and integration process as well as the emotional rollercoaster that comes with selling the business you’ve invested decades building. This firsthand experience enables him to establish a connection with sellers at every stage of the acquisition journey. From prospecting calls and thorough due diligence to post acquisition integration, Roche knows what it’s like to sit on the other side of the negotiating table.

“With my background, I can directly relate to the experiences and aspirations of other owner operators, which is perhaps both reassuring for them and can be helpful in helping them to address their challenges.”
-Donogh Roche, Integration Manager, Volaris Group

Leveraging Expertise in the Software Industry

Roche’s capacity for empathy towards sellers and his ability to guide them through the acquisition process is advantageous. Not only does this facilitate transitions for acquired companies but it also ensures their optimal positioning for success under new ownership. His personal experience also helps in identifying opportunities for collaboration and expansion. 

Roche worked closely with Erna Hansen to build an integration between WebSell’s enterprise resources planning (ERP) and point of sale (POS)-integrated e-commerce platform and Windward’s business management software. The collaboration produced a solution within ten weeks — a result that would usually have taken six months if each company had worked alone. “Since then, the businesses have continued to work closely together and they now have 18 mutual customers,” Roche said.

Recognizing the value of collaboration and knowledge sharing within an organization like Volaris Group, Roche works closely with his team members as well as other departments to cultivate a culture centered around learning and continuous improvement. By sharing best practices and lessons learned along the way, he aims to contribute to the overall growth trajectory of the company.

Career Advancement within Volaris Group

Volaris Group places a unique focus on talent management. And due to its rapid expansion, there is consistent demand for new leaders. Identifying and nurturing high-potential individuals and promoting them into optimal roles at the right time is an essential part of sustaining high performance across the organization.

Roche's path shares similarities with those of other leaders who have risen through the ranks at Volaris, proving that embracing change, leveraging past experiences, and stepping up to new challenges is a recipe for success. By seeking out new opportunities and continuously finding ways to learn and grow, Roche said individuals can find multiple ways to achieve their career goals within the company. With a strong focus on talent management, equal opportunities for all employees, and a wide range of roles to fill, Volaris Group provides a supportive environment for individuals to thrive and reach their potential at any level. 

For individuals seeking career advancement within Volaris Group, Roche stresses the importance of having a grasp of the company’s vision, values, and culture to align career goals with those of the organization. Maintaining a learning mindset and a willingness to embrace new challenges can also help leaders spot new opportunities to put their skills to use in interesting ways.

Furthermore, Roche encourages individuals to seek out mentors within the company who can provide guidance and support in their professional growth and development.

“I was lucky to have a mentor in John Bureau, who was also my very first point of contact at Volaris. He encouraged me to explore new opportunities and to apply for the role.” 
– Donogh Roche, Integration Manager, Volaris Group

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