Niels Christiansen, CEO of HemoCue, built his career with Siemens, working there for 23 years across various sectors. He spent 18 years in Siemens medical devices and five years in power generation. “Of the 23 years I spent with Siemens, I was always employed by headquarters in Germany, but I spent only about seven years there. The rest of the time was spent on postings in different countries.

“I spent three years in the Middle East, residing in Egypt, more than five years in the United States, five years in the UK, and finally four years in Stockholm, Sweden, which was another parameter in me ending up back in Sweden with a Swedish company, as I am not Swedish myself.”

Having been CEO of HemoCue for six years, Niels has witnessed dwindling numbers in medical investment through various key markets, which has been a challenge and vital opportunity for the team at HemoCue. “There’s been a lot of pressure on medical spend in what we call the advanced markets—the United States and Europe—which represent about 85 per cent of our global market, so it is clear that we have focused a lot on the growth opportunities in what we call high-growth markets, or emerging markets, such as China, India, Brazil, and other parts of Latin America, and Africa.

“Before we saw these trends in Europe and the United States, we started investing a lot in terms of getting more people on the street into high-growth markets. For instance, when I started in the company in 2008, I think we had one employee outside of Europe and the United States; three or four years later we had about 75 people in these countries in order to increase revenue. Fortunately, that helped compensate at least the last part of the drop we’d seen in the markets in the US and Europe in the recent year and a half.”