Meet the team
Founder and CEO, Kenneth Hagelskjær: “My team is the driver for EMS – I am just supporting them”
Meet our team – the team you can count on to take good care of your project, so you don’t have to worry. Follow along each week as we introduce you to a new team member or department and get to know the people who make all the difference at EMS.
Meet Kenneth Hagelskjaer, CEO of EMS
Born and raised in Esbjerg, Kenneth has always dreamed of being self-employed. After a long career in the oil and gas industry, working as both a workshop manager and project manager for big corporations such as Semco Maritime, he was finally ready to take the leap and start his own company. So in 2009, he quit his job and ventured into the land of entrepreneurship.
Esbjerg Maritime Service was founded in 2009 and started out in consulting in combination with welding and mechanic jobs. No job was too small for EMS as long as it helped the company to grow. And grow it did.
From one company to two
In 2010, an imperative opportunity occurred when Kenneth got word of pipe transportation issues, and he immediately knew it was an EMS-size hole in the market that he could solve. Many innovative ideas and prototypes later, the first TubeLock TTRS system saw the light of day in 2011.
The first TubeLock model was presented under EMS, and Mærsk Oil agreed to test the product and be his first customer. Once he got the order, he separated the product from EMS and instead founded Global Gravity, which had TubeLock as its main product.
Both EMS and Global Gravity thrived, and orders were coming in for both companies, but it wasn’t always a walk in the park. In 2014 when the oil crisis hit, Global Gravity’s activities started to drop. The business was getting slow, and as a result, Kenneth had to make some hard decisions and lay off some of his beloved employees and move to a smaller space.
However, he wasn’t beaten. One of the key factors that have always motivated Kenneth in his endeavours was his employees and the work environment he and they created. Even though some people had to be let go, his team was always there for him. Seeing them every morning is what pushed him further.
“I can thank my team for everything; I could not do this without their support. There is no doubt that I have the best team in Esbjerg – I would even dare to say the best in Denmark. My team is the driver for these companies, and I am just supporting them,” explained Kenneth Hagelskjær.
In 2017 things slowly started to change, and companies grew from 24 employees to almost 100 employees in here in 2022.
Energy is the future
Today, both EMS and Global Gravity consist of highly competent team members with many different experts and specialities. Both companies are preparing to enter new markets and supply fresh ideas and innovative solutions. Kenneth expects strong growth in the next 10-20 years as a result of the energy industry changing rapidly. EMS, in particular, is moving into the industry with a broader focus on both Power-to-X, wind, oil/gas, and solar.
Loyalty to his homestead has always been of high importance to Kenneth. Esbjerg has a plethora of untapped potential, and he strongly believes that the city deserves more recognition. The city has been through immense development through the years and is highly important to Denmark and its industries. One day, Kenneth would like to see a new University of Esbjerg as well as new cultural initiatives and sports facilities that would enable more young people to stay in Esbjerg and help the city prosper.
Three recommendations from Kenneth
If you want to know more about how to manage a team, Kenneth recommends 3 excellent books that helped him grow as a private person and businessman. Books are: