Company information

  • Website:
  • Sector: Business Services
  • Country: Denmark
  • Revenue: €50M to €75M

Success from failure

Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Valcon is a management consultancy with a difference. “We developed a new company with a new business model based on the failure of an old one,” explains Valcon’s CEO, Poul Skadhede. “We took the R&D branch from a major shipyard that was closing down and transformed it into a consulting organisation – designing superior vessels to ship-owners, but building them in low-cost countries like China.”

“Europe must get China to enforce IP rights”

Poul counts focus, clear value propositions and Valcon’s ability to “align offerings and fee models with a new reality” as central to the company’s success, along with a “gung-ho” culture that helps attract and retain talent. Underlying all this is a no-nonsense approach: “Reading the market right and articulating a sound, simple strategy.”

But Poul admits it hasn’t always been easy: “Our biggest challenge has been increasing profitability. We met this challenge by changing our workforce composition and moving parts of the business away from projects and towards products instead.”

Valcon is targeting further growth for next year and has representatives dotted around the world. It works across the public sector, industry, finance, private equity, media, pharma, services, telecomms, transport, retail, climate and energy, and maritime and trade.

  • 200 – The number of staff employed at Valcon professional services

Poul expects digitisation to continue having a major impact. “It can be a threat or an opportunity, depending on how you react,” he says. However, he believes that one of the biggest impacts and potential threats continues to come from China. “Europe must get China to respect and enforce intellectual property rights. Many of our challenges stem from cheap copying of IPR developed in Europe.”

Poul’s advice for a start-up? “Get the strategy right, focus and execute like hell – and put everything you have into it.”