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Ricco Larsen, Senior Vice President, NNIT Life Sciences Europe
Ricco Larsen, Senior Vice President, NNIT Life Sciences Europe

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Digital Transformation is key to Growth in a Challenged European Life Sciences Market

The life sciences market in Europe is idling – even hesitant – following the macro-economic and geo-political hits of war, energy crisis, inflation, increasing interest rates and increasing EU regulation. But Ricco Larsen, Senior Vice President of Life Sciences Europe at NNIT, remains positive based on a firm belief in the resilience of the industry and the potential of digital transformation to position companies for further growth.

Since the emergence of the modern pharmaceutical industry in the late 1800s, primarily along the Rhine region in Germany, Europe has been known as an innovation center and stronghold for the development and production of drugs. A position that in recent decades has been increasingly challenged by globalization, geo-politics, and regulation. These conditions, including expiration of long-standing patents, make it difficult to get new products to market and make a profit – despite the ever-present demand for treatments of human and animal decease and ailments.

Our Experience in the Life Sciences Industry sets us Apart

While pharmaceutical companies seem to be ‘on hold,’ waiting for better times, Ricco Larsen and teams are hard at work as consultants, advising on new, innovative ways to optimize development and production – using the latest digital technologies, including, but by no means limited to, artificial intelligence.

“Having emerged from the life sciences industry and being digital experts, we approach our customers with deep domain and business understanding as well as expertise on digital transformation in most parts of their value chain. And we believe that the key to continued success in an ever-changing and uncertain world is the ability to adapt, using recent technologies. The life sciences companies in Europe are facing a lot of challenges, but they also face great possibilities if they can leverage the latest digital tools to harness business-critical data. This represents a welcome challenge for us as well as a lot of business potential,” says Ricco Larsen and continues:

“When our markets are impacted by macro-economics and geo-politics, we get impacted too, but we see ourselves as enablers, as catalysts, eager to help our customers to find the right way through the maze. Honestly, that is what gets us out of bed every morning. We want to make a mark with our customers, and we know that we can add great value to their business, because we have the ability to understand their pains and the power to innovate.”

Proximity combined with Global Knowledge and Solutions

In addition to being Head of NNIT’s Region Europe, Ricco Larsen is Head of the Global Solution Development unit, which he sees as the perfect combination – not least from a corporate strategy point of view.

“When we introduced the new NNIT, in May 2023, as a pure-play IT consultancy focused on Life Sciences internationally, I was thrilled, because our focus is our strength. That is what allows us to be experts. At the same time, our combined global and regional structures allow us to be close to our customers in the markets where they operate as well as benefit from our global solutions and knowledge centers. And by the way, Europe is not one entity. We are very aware of that, which is why we have many locations with local consultants in Denmark and across Central and Southern Europe.”

The conversation keeps returning to the power of being focused and passionate:

“Over time, and with our increased focus, we have been able to form close partnerships with our customers. We are right there with them come rain or shine. And we keep to our areas of expertise because we want to bring it. We know our niches, and we believe we are the best at what we do.”

Steady Wins the Race

While Region Europe is facing some headwinds in the market, the focus and resolve to push back is constant, and Ricco Larsen emphasizes NNIT’s staying power and continued potential for growth.

“When NNIT was first established as an independent company, born out of Novo Nordisk’s IT department, the odds were perhaps not the best for lasting success, but we have been here for 25 years now, and I believe that the move from IT provider to IT consultancy, and now into business consultants with strong IT capabilities, was absolutely the right one. Now, we need to stay the course and focus on guiding our customers through the fog. The potential to improve people’s quality of life is enormous, and we can make a difference towards that goal.”

The plan for NNIT in Europe, same as for NNIT on a global scale, is to capitalize on growth opportunities, including M&A if the right match presents itself. Immediately ahead is the integration of Group companies Excellis Health Solutions and SL Controls in Europe; as always with a view to becoming even stronger and add to existing NNIT domain powerhouses within R&D, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Drug Safety, Quality & Compliance, and including the Data and AI agenda across the value chain.

“It is a team effort regionally and globally, and we come together to provide advisory and development services of the highest quality to grow with our customers. That is our long game.”


About Ricco Larsen

Ricco Larsen joined NNIT in 1999, soon after the establishment of NNIT as an independent company. Celebrating his 25th anniversary with NNIT this year, he is the most senior member of the Management Team. Over the years, he has held many positions in NNIT: In recent years, from 2011-2014, he was General Manager of operations in China, responsible for establishing offshore development and support centers, while also establishing local sales, consulting, and delivery capabilities. From 2014, he was responsible for building the global operation service function and was promoted to Corporate Vice President in May 2015, assuming global responsibility for IT operations and support on all global outsourcing customers across global delivery units and entities. In 2023, having held the position as Senior Vice President for the Life Sciences business unit for a number of years, he became Senior Vice President of Region Europe (Life Sciences) and Global Solution Development (all regions).

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The NNIT Group provides a wide range of IT consulting services internationally. In Denmark, where the Group HQ is based, we are one of the leading IT consultancies, servicing both private and public sector customers across all industries. In the rest of Europe, Asia and USA, we are solely focused on companies within life sciences.

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