Jan A. Nielsen Scan-Speak

Today Jan A. Nielsen the CEO of Scan-Speak visited Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology. Scan-Speak were for many of the participating students a well-kept secret, and when Jan asked all who knew what Scan-Speak were manufacturing to raise their hand, only two did.

Jan A. Nielsen used to be like many students are today, confused about what to do with his life, which resulted in that he became a state authorized accountant. It however clear that he had no interest in working as an accountant and instead he were hired as financial director in Vifa, which today is known as Scan-Speak.

From here Jan’s story just took off, and became much more exciting. A company that no one in the audience really knew of, turned out to have a turbulent story with economic problems and shifting ownerships. But as all good stories should end, the story of Scan-Speak also turned out to have a happy ending when Jan bought the company in 2009.

Jan A. Nielsen was full of experiences that he wanted to share with the students, and a thing he had learned from his carrier was “never to stay too long in the same company. “ If you want to develop as a person, you need to seek challenges. Some companies are really good at challenging their employees, but sadly there are also a lot of companies that do not. Too many employees develop habits in their current position, and when that happens, it is a good indicator for seeking new challenges. Jan took on his own challenge, when he decided to move him and his family to USA, for a year.

Jan mentioned Nike’s slogan “just do it” as one of his personal lessons. It was matched with his hope of everyone being passionate about what they do. Not just in their spare time but everywhere and with everything they do.  His last personal lesson was to acquire a wide range of knowledge while studying, simply because of his belief that the final specialization happens in the company. A recommendation was to find a mentor that could help you see your weaknesses, so you knew where to do better.

It was a huge pleasure to have Jan as guest at the University, and hopefully we will be able to bring him back at some other time, to tell another exciting real life story.

Next Thought-Leader Seminar is Wednesday 5th of May 2010 – at 14:45 to 16:00 in Unimerco Auditorium – Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology.

Alexander Hold with Jan A. Nielsen CEO of Scan-Speak
Alexander Hold with Jan A. Nielsen CEO of Scan-Speak

Danish Export Day – 2009

Danish Export Day 2009

November 19th 2009 I participated at the event Danish Export day supported by “Dansk Erhvervsfremme” and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was hosted by LEGO in Billund, and was opened by the Danish Secretary of State, Per Stig Moeller.

During the day there were a series of lectures concerning foreign trade and globalization. Joergen Vig Knudstorp welcomed us at LEGO and introduced us to the new reality of LEGO, “Back to Basic”.

One lecture that I especially took notice of was Peder Oestbjerg from Green Team Group telling about how they exported their impressive production of Christmas trees all across Europe.

Another interesting Lecture came from Nuance, which had totally quitted all effort at their local market, Denmark, and had instead focused 100% at foreign export markets. Today Denmark only counted for a few percentage of their total turnover.

At the event I attended a workshop about how to choose markets, presented by Carsten Krogh Hansen and Jens Peder Jensen. The workshop was really interesting and I advanced in my knowledge and general understanding about export markets in particular.

Read the documentation of the program here (in Danish)

Ivaerk & Vaekst 2009

Ivaerk 2009

I participated in Ivaerk & Vaekst 2009.

“Ivaerk and Vaekst” is a trade fair show targeting Danish entrepreneurs. During the fair there were a lot of lectures and workshops. For the first time I meet the famous Danish Entrepreneur Martin Thorborg who were speaking about how giving away for free can make you rich. I also attend a workshop with David Madié from Growth Company about How to start a business in Denmark right now.

Read more about Ivaerk & Vaekst (in danish)