Davis & Shirtliff Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Davis & Shirtliff, the main water and power tools supplier in East Africa is celebrating its 75th Anniversary, a significant milestone in its corporate history. This is a most unusual achievement for any organisation, though especially one which has the same family shareholding and essentially the same market focus since its founding. There are few companies anyplace with this claim and D&S is therefore extraordinarily proud of the achievement with varied events being held in celebration.
The firm was based in 1946 by ex-soldiers Eddie Davis and Dick Shirtliff after leaving the military, initially being based mostly at Westlands, in Nairobi, their neighbour being Westlands Motors that rose to prominence with the Toyota franchise.
It grew quickly because the nation recovered after the warfare specializing in boreholes, water supplies and the espresso trade. One notable early challenge included the water supply for Karen Estates, the complete initial water provide infrastructure being installed by the company in addition to for many different of the residential estates that have been developed at that time.
D&S grew with the country and within the mid-1950s the base was moved to new larger premises at this time Dundori Rd location in the industrial space. An added exercise was swimming swimming pools, both residential and business and lots of have been constructed which are nonetheless in use right now. pressure gauge octa was another 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 management. The 70’s and 80’s saw sluggish however steady development as the nation grappled with various financial and political challenges, though there was a selected give attention to building the pump business for which the corporate is so well-known, notably by way of representation of the Danish producer Grundfos.
1993 was a big yr for each Kenya and D&S due to financial liberalisation which was the catalyst for the company’s rapid progress since. It was additionally the 12 months that Pedrollo pumps from Italy were first introduced, now the Group’s largest supplier. These two developments enabled a distribution technique to be developed as supply constraints were removed and the department network was then established, initially with Kenya branches being opened in Westlands, Eldoret and Kisumu and subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania soon followed by establishing actions on the Coast though the merger with associate Butech. The pump business grew hugely with Pedrollo and the now well-established Solar and Power Generation activities were then added.
Since the Millennium growth has greatly accelerated, revenue growing many times to KShs10 Billion today. Major initiatives have included a complete redevelopment of the Dundori Rd site with enlargement into adjacent plots, the opening of subsidiaries and affiliate corporations in Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and DRC, considerable development of the branch community, introduction of the successful Dayliff range of own-brand products and a huge growth of the product range with Solar being especially successful as the corporate developed its give attention to renewable power. More lately a serious improvement has been establishment of an enormous 10,000m2 Distribution Centre at Tatu City that gives the useful resource for increased stockholding and has reworked distribution effectivity all through the area, this facility being accomplished in 2020. Staffing has also grown correspondingly, the Group now using over one thousand committed employees working from over 70 places.
It is commonly mentioned that success is transitory and sometimes unsustainable, although D&S has managed to maintain unbroken progress for an exceptional period of time. This has been achieved by commercial focus, manageable ambition, continuous physical and organisational funding and, importantly, living the values established by the founders of Quality, Integrity and ‘Altiora Peto’, which translates to embracing continuous change. D&S is now a broadly recognised company within the region and is pleased with the contribution it has made, summarised by its slogan ‘Improving Lives’ which is demonstrated each by the necessary nature of its activities and also by an energetic programme of group support that focuses on providing water to underprivileged communities, many 1000’s of people having benefited.
Of course, the 75-year milestone is only a moment in a continuous journey and the Group continues to grow with a selection of ongoing initiatives and great plans for the longer term. Ably led by CEO David Gatende and supported by dedicated and committed executives and staff driving this progress, the corporate is lucky that the third era of Davis’s, Edward and Henry, have joined the enterprise so continuity is assured. The Group continues to broaden in product and markets with a selected concentrate on digital enterprise and appears forward to keep serving the area with important products that definitely Improve Lives and also to reveal that an indigenous African firm can compete internationally and be a world-class organisation.

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