As Medserv Egypt approaches its fifth year, Chief Special Projects, Godfrey Attard reflects on the logistics supply chain setup, the growth ahead and life in The Land of the Pyramids.

In 2015, Egypt was already an attractive investment proposition that had been under consideration for several years, MedservRegis Chief Special Projects, Godfrey Attard, explains. “Egypt is a mature and established oil and gas producing country, with hydrocarbon production being, by far, the largest single industrial activity in that country. Having more than 50 International Energy companies (IECs) operating there, it was not a question of “if” but “when” Medserv should step in. Post the Arab Spring, and the Group’s growth strategy of increasing our geographical footprint, our focus was to actively seek to enter new growth territories. This happened with the now famous ‘Zohr’ gas discovery offshore Egypt around August 2015 creating the opportunity we had been waiting for.”


Mr Attard reveals that the Group consistently adopts a long-term view when it comes to investment in new markets and regards it as a process based on a gradual and progressive build-up. However, in the case of Egypt, the energy market was already well established and necessitated seeking a reliable and strategically aligned partner with whom the Group could build its business. Any new venture, involves a significant element of risk, however Mr Attard believes that by adopting a balance between commitment to a country and proportionate investment these risks are mitigated.

He adds that it’s all about reputation and Medserv’s excellent client relationships that have enabled the company to rapidly establish itself as a leading logistics provider in Egypt. The first major contract was signed in December 2017; the two-year timeframe coming as no surprise, as Medserv had understood that breaking into the Egyptian market was not going to be easy. “When a market is mature there is the advantage of considerable existing business in the offing but there is also a downside – too much competition. Our approach had to take a different angle from that of just competitive pricing. We needed to identify clients that Medserv is able to unlock value within their supply chain. It was a challenging task because networking did not just involve the potential clients themselves but a few other main stakeholders, however our resilience finally paid off when we landed our first contract with a major IEC.”


As is so often the case in new countries, this first project presented many more challenges than were initially expected. “The major challenge we faced was the resistance to change in accepting improved work practices and certain quality driven measures by stakeholders but through perseverance and client support the management team overcame these challenges and was able to deliver value.”

 “This proved to be a steep learning curve that required intensive sessions of internal strategy discussions, negotiating and compromising with several parties,” says Mr Attard.

However, Medserv slowly consolidated its position and grew from strength to strength. “In 2019 we carried out a migration of facilities from Port Said and Alexandria to Damietta, consolidating all facilities in one place. This was a project in its own right and required over 300 truck trips, numerous lifts, and took three months to accomplish; an exercise that was completed without clients sustaining any operational downtime or Health and Safety incidents. At the same time, we were also on the look-out for new business.”  


“In 2019 we were invited to  bid for a contract with another major IEC. Again, the focus was on the elements that made Medserv stand out from the rest. As a result, Medserv was successful and landed its second (three-year) contract in Egypt. This was in early 2021, following which a third contract was awarded to us, again for another three years, and effective from June 2021, consisting of the management of a facility supporting a gas processing plant on the north coast of the country. This was the largest contract in terms of value for Medserv Egypt.”

In retrospect, Mr Attard considers Egypt as a great learning experience for all concerned and a great example of team effort. “From one side we had the corporate team in Malta supporting on the separate facets of the business, without whom it would not have been possible to maintain the standards expected from our company. On the other, we had the local partners, with whom I kept in close contact for advice and guidance. Dealings with the local authorities would have been extremely difficult without them. Finally, the success boils down to our employees themselves. They have shown an incredible level of competency and loyalty to the company.”

Asked if Egypt is a particularly difficult country within which to operate, he is upbeat. “Before going to Egypt, I was personally involved in new start-ups for Medserv in Libya, Cyprus, Greece and Portugal. Not one of these countries was an easy ride, as every jurisdiction presents its own challenges. Egypt is not a particularly difficult country to work in. On the contrary, I would say that the local people made us feel very welcome and thanks to them, the challenges we faced were easier to overcome.”

Having lived there for three years he retains a fondness for the country and maintains that it is a good place to live. “Egypt is actually a good place for an expat. The people are very friendly and supportive, one can find very good accommodation at reasonable prices, the cost of living is very low, and the food is excellent! Don’t forget to order your Koshary if you should happen to visit!”

Looking to the future, he recounts that it seems just like yesterday that the project started, however Medserv will soon be moving into its fifth year of operation in Egypt. After overcoming the initial difficulties, the company looks forward to continued improvements in performance and business development in what, Mr Attard fondly refers to as, “The Land of the Pyramids.” Medserv Egypt remains poised for further growth. Egypt has several offshore and onshore energy projects both of a conventional nature and that coined ‘New Energy’ which MedservRegis Group is well positioned to participate in and continue delivering value. 

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Written By

Andrea Christians

Andrea Christians is convinced she was given a pen instead of a rattle as a baby. Imbued with a love of language and an enquiring mind, when not writing about business and what makes the world go round, Andrea loves nothing more than to weave words into stories. She is set to have her first novel published in America in January 2022.