Davis & Shirtliff Celebrates its seventy fifth Anniversary

Davis & Shirtliff, the main water and power tools provider in East Africa is celebrating its 75th Anniversary, a serious milestone in its corporate history. This is a most unusual achievement for any organisation, although particularly one which has the same household shareholding and primarily the same market focus since its founding. There are few companies anyplace with this declare and D&S is therefore extraordinarily proud of the achievement with numerous events 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 rapidly as the nation recovered after the war focusing on boreholes, water provides and the espresso industry. 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 had been developed at that time.
D&S grew with the country and in the mid-1950s the bottom was moved to new bigger premises at the moment Dundori Rd location in the industrial space. An added exercise was swimming pools, both residential and industrial and many were built which are nonetheless in use today. Water Treatment was another diversification, lots of the KenGen Tana River stations having D&S designed and built tools.
In 1970 partner 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 sluggish but regular progress because the nation grappled with varied financial and political challenges, though there was a selected concentrate on building the pump enterprise for which the company is so well-known, notably via representation of the Danish producer Grundfos.
1993 was a major year for both Kenya and D&S due to financial liberalisation which was the catalyst for the company’s rapid development since. It was additionally the 12 months that Pedrollo pumps from Italy have been first introduced, now the Group’s largest provider. These two developments enabled a distribution strategy to be developed as supply constraints had been removed and the branch community 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 at 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 have been then added.
Since the Millennium growth has tremendously accelerated, revenue growing many times to KShs10 Billion today. Major initiatives have included an entire redevelopment of the Dundori Rd site with growth into adjacent plots, the opening of subsidiaries and associate corporations in Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and DRC, considerable development of the branch network, introduction of the profitable Dayliff range of own-brand merchandise and a huge expansion of the product vary with Solar being particularly profitable as the company developed its concentrate on renewable energy. More just lately a significant improvement has been establishment of a large 10,000m2 Distribution Centre at Tatu City that provides the resource for elevated stockholding and has remodeled distribution effectivity throughout the area, this facility being accomplished in 2020. Staffing has additionally grown correspondingly, the Group now employing over one thousand committed employees working from over 70 places.
It is usually stated that success is transitory and sometimes unsustainable, although D&S has managed to keep up unbroken growth for an distinctive time frame. This has been achieved by industrial focus, manageable ambition, steady physical and organisational investment and, importantly, residing the values established by the founders of Quality, Integrity and ‘Altiora Peto’, which interprets to embracing steady change. D&S is now a broadly recognised firm within the area 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 likewise by an active programme of community assist that focuses on offering water to underprivileged communities, many thousands of people having benefited.
Of course, the 75-year milestone is only a moment in a continuous journey and the Group continues to develop with numerous ongoing initiatives and great plans for the longer term. Ably led by CEO David Gatende and supported by devoted and dedicated executives and employees driving this development, the corporate is lucky that the third era of Davis’s, Edward and Henry, have joined the business so continuity is assured. diaphragm seal continues to expand in product and markets with a particular concentrate on digital business and appears forward to keep serving the area with important merchandise that certainly Improve Lives and also to reveal that an indigenous African company can compete internationally and be a world-class organisation.
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