What are your key priorities for the initial period of your new job?
First of all, I'm very excited about having been given the job to lead DNV GL. But I'm not alone in taking us forward, so I will try to visit as many of our customers and colleagues as possible to discuss how we can solve pressing challenges together. It's also important for me that we finalise the merger work so we can provide our customers with even more benefits in terms of scale, scope and expertise that the merger has already yielded.
How do you view DNV GL's future business prospects?
Before answering this, we should look at the major changes happening in the world. I believe the future will be very complex and dynamic, and that we are facing a period of slower global growth compared to the past ten years. However, the world economy is still on track to more than double in size over the next 40 years – creating not only immense challenges but also opportunities.
The global economy will depend on shipping to move goods and raw material around, but with increasing expectations to improve safety and operational efficiency, and to reduce the environmental footprint. I see a future where oil and gas still play an important role, probably in a different way than what we see today. It will be a future in which the increasing costs of extracting difficult and remote resources will create a wave towards more efficient resource utilization.
The world has just started the transition towards using cleaner energy and, in parallel the demand for energy is expected to increase by almost 50% over the next 35 years. Added to this, society expects energy to be greener, more reliable and affordable. In this ‘trilemma’, there are conflicting goals which will force us to change the way we generate, transmit, distribute and use energy. A good example is an uptake of low-carbon fuels in combination with battery hybrid solutions in the maritime industry, which offers reduced emissions to air, lower operating costs and not least improved functionality.
In this context, I know DNV GL can play a role in moving our industries forward. Most of what we do is related to the maritime and energy space, and within sectors that will change noticeably over the coming decades. There will be at least two tough years for the maritime and oil and gas industries before we see improvements, and DNV GL is adapting to this new market situation. On the other hand, we will develop new business positions within our energy and business assurance areas, and potentially new business areas. This duality of fostering growth while facing contraction in other sectors is challenging, but also a great opportunity to grow an agile and strong organization.
It is important to note that even though there is a challenging market in the maritime and the oil and gas industries, this does not mean that there are no new opportunities in these industries. There will be increased demand for services that can help improve efficiency, qualify new cost effective technologies, and standardize specifications and work processes – just to mention a few. DNV GL’s cross-disciplinary expertise comes to play here.
Another area of positive change I foresee is that businesses, authorities and other stakeholders must collaborate, contribute and innovate in new ways. This fits perfectly with DNV GL’s 151-year-long track record as a ‘standard setter’ and as an initiator, driver and facilitator of joint industry collaborations.
Other major developments we have just seen the start of, and which provide great opportunities for most of our business areas, are digitalization, connectivity and the ‘Internet of Things’. These will be crucial to ensure that the components of wider integrated energy and transportation systems work together as a whole. Digitalization is also about cyber security and using data in smarter ways to gain insight for better decisions.
So, we will use the strategy period to become a data smart company, using digital solutions to innovate and offer better services to our customers as well as to increase our own efficiency. I know we can contribute a lot to our industries in this area.
In addition, I believe trusted independent parties are increasingly needed to enable safe and responsible business performance as well as sustainable value chains. Our Business Assurance services are world-leading, and I see great prospects for further expansion here.