Eng. Rony Abdelhay
Chairman & CEO of PROMEDIC Holding
“We are specialized in the distribution of medical equipment and devices to hospitals and providing them with innovative medical and technological solutions”
PROMEDIC Holding was founded in late 2002 and has contributed to providing innovative medical solutions to the healthcare sector. Engineer Rony Abdelhay and Mr. Samir Karam were able to combine their experience and expertise in the medical field to develop a healthcare service that matches their vision of hospital systems.
Therefore, they founded PROMEDIC Holding to provide the healthcare industry with innovative and high-end medical solutions.
With its head office in Lebanon, the company expanded into a network of affiliations covering most of the MENA countries including Qatar, KSA, UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Cyprus (Europe) and Africa. But their ambitions go beyond that and they look forward to further expansions. “Hospitals” magazine visited the company’s office in Lebanon, and met with its Chairman & CEO, Eng. Rony Abdelhay, to shed light on the journey of success and excellence that began in 2002 and is still continuing with unparalleled passion and enthusiasm. Below is the full interview:
First, let’s start by introducing PROMEDIC Holding to the readers. Can you tell us about its inception and establishment? What about the obstacles you faced?
The journey of PROMEDIC Holding began in 2002 when my partner, Mr. Samir Karam, Chief Operating Officer, and I decided to join hands and make a radical change in our career path, thus decided to establish a company that fulfilled our ambitions. Since work should not only be for the sake of money, but rather to achieve self-satisfaction and accomplish our ambitions, we decided to take a leap of faith by establishing PROMEDIC Holding.
We, Mr. Samir and I worked for years at an international company specialized in the healthcare field and maintenance of hospital equipment. But after we couldn’t find a long-term purpose and missed the “why” and “how” to build a career that meets our vision, we decided to join forces and combine our expertise to build our own company to serve a purpose, our purpose of creating a hub for us and like-minded professionals and provide a state-of-the-art technology systems/device and their maintenance, thus PROMEDIC was founded.
The beginning was from Lebanon and Syria at the same time, where we worked seven days a week between the two countries. The situation continued until 2005 until we made the decision to expand further and shift our destination towards the Gulf region, so we opened a branch in Qatar and the official opening was in 2006 (QMEDIC), then Kuwait in 2007, followed by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2008, the UAE and Cyprus.
Some find that this large expansion in a short period of time is more like an adventure, but it is in fact a well-calculated adventure. Therefore, we can say that it took us 11 years to get to where we are today. We think thoroughly about a project, plan it very well and take our time at this stage, but once we proceed with the implementation, we move quickly towards achieving our goal.
Speaking of obstacles, there is no doubt that the only way to overcome these challenges is straight through them towards our goals. Learning from our mistakes or, in other words, gaps can only be done with field practice. The beginning of our launch was full of obstacles, but in my opinion, it was necessary in order to give us the strength and resilience that we have today.
Only tough times make a person stronger, while arming him with the necessary skills and expertise in addition to enriching his personality.
What are the main services and systems provided by the company?
We specialize in the distribution of medical equipment and devices to hospitals, as well as the installation of medical gas network supplies, nurse call systems, operating rooms, and other equipment and technology needed by the hospital. PROMEDIC Holding works on equipping the hospital, while EMMS (Engineering Maintenance Management Systems) is today recognized as the best partner for Healthcare Facility Management (Clinical and Electro Mechanical).
EMMS is one of the distinguished companies in the Middle East that operates in this field and provides excellent services through a specialized team. Honored to state that EMMS runs many prestigious hospitals in Lebanon and won many HMC hospital bids and half of the PHCCs (Qatar).
Tell us about the development of companies affiliated with PROMEDIC? What are the services provided?
After the launch of PROMEDIC Holding, we felt the need to establish a company specialized in hospital maintenance, so EMMS (Engineering Maintenance Management Systems) was launched in 2004 in Lebanon for hospital maintenance only. The goal of this company is to cover the hospital comprehensively, starting from the idea of inception, reviewing the maps with the engineers, developing the necessary plans, in addition to starting construction through the implementation of all medical systems within the hospital campus, including but not limited to the nursing staff specialized system, nurse call systems, gas and anesthesia devices, pediatric and neonatal care departments, as well as operating rooms.
After the huge systems are completed, we carry out our tasks within the hospital departments by providing them with the necessary medical equipment such as beds, tools, preparing the operating rooms, and ventilators, etc. In other words, we specialize in equipping hospitals from A to Z. But our work does not stop there; in fact, our services go beyond installation and equipment, as we also provide maintenance services. We are the only company in the Middle East that has the capabilities to manage, operate and maintain healthcare facilities equipment, and offer regular follow-ups of all devices. We provide these services for companies in Lebanon, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. However, for operation management, we are present in Africa and in Cyprus under the name PROMEDIC Europe.
What are the main projects that you have accomplished, whether in Lebanon or in the Gulf?
There are so many projects that we have undertaken in Lebanon and regionally that it is almost impossible to mention them all. However, we can say that the majority of hospitals in Lebanon worked with us to set up systems, maintenance and other services.
In the Gulf, Qatar for instance, our first business was with Sidra Hospital, where we set up a nurse call device at that time, and projects followed after that, including Hamad Medical Corporation, Aspetar Hospital, Al-Ahli Hospital, Future Medical Center, Royal Medical Center and recently, The View Hospital, and others. In fact, we took over the largest part of the Qatari market.
In Saudi Arabia, we worked with King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, Almoosa Specialist Hospital, and let’s not forget the largest project, which is equipping five National Guard Hospitals with nurse call systems, which is the largest global project in this regard in 2017, enabling us to receive an award being “Top of the World” from Rauland, USA. This project was a qualitative leap and the fruit of our continued success.
This success and excellence require a distinguished personnel as well. What can you tell us in this regard?
Certainly, any success cannot be limited to one person; it is the work result of an integrated team. In fact, we are fortunate to have employees working with unparalleled dedication, as we succeeded in choosing staff that have the best interest of the company in mind, in addition to being armed with extensive experience and competence, which are all elements that provide a healthy environment to work with great passion. I always say that we are a real family working in the company and we strive to develop it and make it successful, because business continuity and company’s success is a continuity for all of us.
The company today is more like a place that gathers distinguished talent and qualified professionals, as each employee can explore their potential and advance it in order to utilize it for the benefit of the company, not only for the sake of money and the salary they receive at the end of each month, but also for the company’s success and ensuring business continuity. The company’s 1,200 employees all work with that spirit in mind.
What about the relationship with suppliers and customers?
Trust is the key to success, and it is not possible to work with a customer who is not like us or does not speak our language. These are the foundations that we adopt with our customers in order to build strong relationships with them. Mutual trust results in speedy performance and movement; our self-confidence and our trust in those around us give us the energy needed to move forward confidently.
This kind of mutual relationship is fundamental for success, as well as for exchanging opinions and listening to others’ opinions, in order to eventually agree on one opinion that serves the interest of all.
In the end, the customer has placed his trust in us, and in return we study his needs, meet with him, get to know what he wants, and then start offering the available products and services that we have. The relationship with our suppliers and the trust they granted us stem from the good service they receive. Our work does not end after equipping a hospital or installing a system. The equipment requires good installation experience with regular maintenance. They are all complementary to the devices we install.
What about the future and the projects you aspire to accomplish?
In fact, we aspire to expand further by establishing branches in several countries such as Ghana in Africa, in addition to expanding in the countries in which we operate, with the possibility of establishing a company in America to provide us directly with state-of-the-art medical systems and devices.
Perhaps the most important thing we are doing for the future is the new building in Dbayeh – Lebanon – which is still under construction to be the company’s headquarters. Although we had the option to establish the headquarters in Cyprus, we are determined to stay and expand in Lebanon, as we believe in our country and its potential, despite the difficult circumstances we live in today. The new building, spanning over 7,000 square meters, is like an architectural masterpiece in a privileged location; it needs about a year and a half to be ready. Through this building, we will manage all our operations abroad, and a specific space will be allocated for each company to serve as a hub for experienced professionals and a space for training and communications. It is a great investment that was welcomed by everyone because from this future headquarters, we will be managing all the company branches abroad.
Despite the presence of an integrated work system in each company branch, our business structure requires constant communications with the headquarters to obtain approvals and follow up on business, which strengthened the relationship between all branches.
Simply because it is about the people, we cannot do anything without thinking about the people in the first place, especially when working in hospitals. When it comes to the patient, error is not allowed. The quality of services, maintenance methods, regular and routine follow-ups are a basic service and not an option.
Since day one, our goal was not to establish a company for a person or a family; the goal is greater than that. Therefore, we have implemented “Corporate Governance” to include mechanisms that regulate the relationship between all parties by establishing special procedures that facilitate decision making and ensure transparency and credibility. We took this step in 2013 to maintain continuity and avoid family tensions.
In the end, we would like to thank “Hospitals” magazine for this kind gesture towards PROMEDIC.
“Work environment is very friendly and warm. We have the respect and ethics in the company towards our clients, suppliers, banks and staff and there is the security of the job. In PROMEDIC, I feel safe.” Antoine Choueiry – Vice President / Administration
“PROMEDIC was my first career station 20 years ago, and hopefully it will be my only one. Because when you work with the best team you make no compromise.” Georgina Massaad – Procurement Manager
“I started university while working at the company. I enjoyed the strong family bond that exists here and nobody leaves their family.” Mariam Khoueiry – Accountant
“What I like the most about PROMEDIC is the empowerment of people. Everyone in the company enjoys being part of its decision and participates in setting the goals and targets. Simply meeting those gives you a sense of satisfaction on a personal level and pushes you to give more and I believe this is a key element for our success because a business is built by its people.” Eng. Edmond Abou Nader – Chief Operating Officer of PROMEDIC KSA
“PROMEDIC is the place for those who seek challenges, have ambition and aim for career development. In PROMEDIC, simply the sky would be the limit! You will have umbel opportunities to grow and endless possibilities to learn. With PROMEDIC, wherever there is a will, there is a way.” Eng. Nicolas Chamma – Chief Operating Officer of QMEDIC
“This was my first job. PROMEDIC developed at a record speed and I developed with it too. PROMEDIC is a challenge by itself, we are daily planning, innovating and developing systems. For all that, I’m still part of the company.” Eng. Pascal Habchy – Chief Operating Officer of EMMS