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Message from CEO Shaun Bartlett

Message from the CEO


The 2nd of December 2017 marks my 15 year anniversary at MDS and I take this opportunity to look back on what can only be described as a roller coaster ride of note.
I have only ever had two “bosses” in my life (not counting my wife) and both taught me invaluable lessons, both in my personal life and in my professional life.
Working for my first boss I learnt how to work hard for little reward. Being my first real job ever I did the only thing I knew how to do – I worked.
My 2nd boss, taught me not only to work harder but to work smarter – there is a system for almost every problem.

I often tell the story of my interview with Hugh (boss # 2) 15 years ago for the position of Pretoria Branch Manager. Much of the almost 2 hour interview was spent getting to know me and my family, and whether or not I was a beer man. Years later I realised that this was Hugh’s Eastern Cape farmer way of getting to know you and ascertaining your fit for the job position and vision for his company.

I also realised that much of what we did at MDS was “farming with bakkies” – from making our own office furniture to painting his new office walls Avocado Green because this is the colour all the leftover tins of paint created when mixed together.

Many lessons have been learnt over the last 15 years and thanks to those lessons MDS continues to grow from strength to strength.
Thanks to a wonderful team of managers and staff we will continue to take advantage of our uniqueness in both the visa acquisition and courier industry for years to come.
Our ability to develop a system around our customers’ needs is something that will always give us the edge we need in order to remain competitive in a highly price sensitive industry.

Our business is our system and our system is our business – something we talk about on a daily basis but our success is our people.

From the driver who has to catch that early morning train to get to work to deliver our “pakkie” to the single mother of 3 who keeps smiling while on the phone regardless of what the circumstances are at home. Without each of our almost 300 staff members MDS would never have continued on the growth path we find ourselves on.

2017 has brought some exciting opportunities and 2018 promises to bring even more.

Even though the uncertainty in the country is frightening for everyone I still believe South Africans are “tougher-er” than any other nation on the planet. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges because I know that at MDS, we can handle anything that comes our way.
After 26 years behind the wheel on the great ship MDS, Hugh has decided to take up his retirement package and return to his Eastern Cape roots. Knowing him as well as I do, this was probably the hardest decision he faced since starting up MDS all those years ago but I think one that he could make with relative peace of mind knowing that he taught all of us that in MDS a person’s word is their honour and that principles are worth defending, no matter the cost.
Thanks Boss for building such and incredible and solid foundation into the company, and for the business structure and work ethics you taught all of us at MDS.

I would also like to thank each and every one of our many customers in MDS for their continued support and loyalty.

Each one of you are important to us, whether you are the granny sending a tin of cookies to her favourite grandson at UCT, a huge multinational sending 1000’s of “pakkies” around the country or a husband planning the perfect honeymoon for his wife doing their visas with us.

We all at MDS wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and holiday period and look forward to seeing you all in 2018.