Davis & Shirtliff Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Davis & Shirtliff, the main water and power gear supplier in East Africa is celebrating its seventy fifth Anniversary, a serious milestone in its corporate history. This is a most unusual achievement for any organisation, though especially one which has the identical family shareholding and essentially the same market focus since its founding. There are few corporations anyplace with this declare and D&S is therefore extraordinarily happy with the achievement with numerous occasions being held in celebration.
The company was founded in 1946 by ex-soldiers Eddie Davis and Dick Shirtliff after leaving the military, initially being based at Westlands, in Nairobi, their neighbour being Westlands Motors that rose to prominence with the Toyota franchise.
It grew quickly as the nation recovered after the warfare specializing in boreholes, water supplies and the coffee business. One notable early project included the water provide for Karen Estates, the entire initial water supply infrastructure being put in by the company as well as for many other of the residential estates that were developed at the moment.
D&S grew with the nation and within the mid-1950s the base was moved to new larger premises at the present Dundori Rd location within the industrial space. An added exercise was swimming pools, both residential and industrial and heaps of were built which are nonetheless in use today. Water Treatment was one other diversification, many of the KenGen Tana River stations having D&S designed and constructed equipment.
In 1970 companion Dick Shirtliff retired and after a interval with one other companion, Devji Shingadia, the Davis household, then represented by Eddie’s son Alec assumed control. The 70’s and 80’s noticed gradual however regular growth as the nation grappled with varied economic and political challenges, although there was a selected give consideration to constructing the pump enterprise for which the corporate is so well-known, notably by way of representation of the Danish producer Grundfos.
1993 was a significant yr for both Kenya and D&S due to economic liberalisation which was the catalyst for the company’s speedy growth since. On demand was additionally the year that Pedrollo pumps from Italy had been first introduced, now the Group’s largest provider. These two developments enabled a distribution strategy to be developed as provide constraints had been eliminated and the branch network was then established, initially with Kenya branches being opened in Westlands, Eldoret and Kisumu and subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania soon adopted by establishing actions on the Coast though the merger with associate Butech. Behind the scenes grew vastly with Pedrollo and the now well-established Solar and Power Generation actions have been then added.
Since the Millennium progress has significantly accelerated, revenue growing many times to KShs10 Billion at present. Major initiatives have included an entire redevelopment of the Dundori Rd site with expansion into adjacent plots, the opening of subsidiaries and associate companies in Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and DRC, appreciable growth of the branch community, introduction of the profitable Dayliff range of own-brand merchandise and an enormous growth of the product range with Solar being particularly successful as the company developed its give attention to renewable energy. More just lately a serious improvement has been establishment of a large 10,000m2 Distribution Centre at Tatu City that provides the resource for elevated stockholding and has transformed distribution effectivity all through the region, this facility being accomplished in 2020. Staffing has also grown correspondingly, the Group now employing over 1000 committed workers working from over 70 places.
It is commonly stated that success is transitory and generally unsustainable, though D&S has managed to maintain unbroken progress for an distinctive time frame. This has been achieved by industrial focus, manageable ambition, continuous bodily and organisational investment and, importantly, dwelling the values established by the founders of Quality, Integrity and ‘Altiora Peto’, which interprets to embracing steady change. D&S is now a widely recognised firm in the area and is happy with the contribution it has made, summarised by its slogan ‘Improving Lives’ which is demonstrated both by the necessary nature of its activities and also by an energetic programme of neighborhood support that focuses on offering water to underprivileged communities, many thousands of individuals having benefited.
Of course, the 75-year milestone is only a moment in a steady journey and the Group continues to develop with a number of ongoing initiatives and nice plans for the lengthy run. Ably led by CEO David Gatende and supported by dedicated and committed executives and employees driving this growth, the corporate is lucky that the third generation of Davis’s, Edward and Henry, have joined the business so continuity is assured. The Group continues to expand in product and markets with a particular concentrate on digital business and looks forward to keep serving the region with important products that certainly Improve Lives and also to reveal that an indigenous African firm can compete internationally and be a world-class organisation.
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