Davis & Shirtliff Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Davis & Shirtliff, the main water and power equipment supplier in East Africa is celebrating its seventy fifth Anniversary, a significant milestone in its corporate history. This is a most unusual achievement for any organisation, although particularly one that has the same family shareholding and primarily the same market focus since its founding. There are few companies wherever with this claim and D&S is therefore extremely proud of the achievement with varied 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 rapidly as the country recovered after the struggle specializing in boreholes, water provides and the coffee business. One notable early challenge included the water provide for Karen Estates, the whole initial water provide infrastructure being put in by the corporate as well as for many other of the residential estates that had been developed at the moment.
D&S grew with the nation and in the mid-1950s the base was moved to new larger premises at the moment Dundori Rd location in the industrial area. An added activity was swimming pools, both residential and industrial and many had been constructed which might be still in use right now. Water Treatment was another diversification, many of the KenGen Tana River stations having D&S designed and built tools.
In 1970 companion Dick Shirtliff retired and after a period with one other partner, Devji Shingadia, the Davis family, then represented by Eddie’s son Alec assumed control. The 70’s and 80’s saw slow however steady growth as the country grappled with various economic and political challenges, though there was a particular concentrate on constructing the pump business for which the corporate is so well-known, notably through illustration of the Danish manufacturer Grundfos.
1993 was a major 12 months for both Kenya and D&S because of economic liberalisation which was the catalyst for the company’s rapid growth since. It was also the yr that Pedrollo pumps from Italy were first launched, now the Group’s largest provider. These two developments enabled a distribution strategy to be developed as supply constraints had been removed and the department 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 on the Coast though the merger with associate Butech. The pump business grew vastly with Pedrollo and the now well-established Solar and Power Generation activities had been then added.
Since the Millennium development has tremendously accelerated, income growing many occasions to KShs10 Billion right now. Painless have included an entire redevelopment of the Dundori Rd website with growth into adjacent plots, the opening of subsidiaries and associate corporations in Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and DRC, considerable progress of the branch community, introduction of the profitable Dayliff range of own-brand merchandise and a huge expansion of the product vary with Solar being especially profitable as the corporate developed its give consideration to renewable power. More lately a major growth has been institution of a large 10,000m2 Distribution Centre at Tatu City that provides the useful resource for elevated stockholding and has remodeled distribution efficiency all through the area, this facility being accomplished in 2020. Staffing has additionally grown correspondingly, the Group now employing over a thousand dedicated workers working from over 70 places.
It is often stated that success is transitory and sometimes unsustainable, though D&S has managed to keep up unbroken growth for an exceptional time period. This has been achieved by industrial focus, manageable ambition, continuous bodily and organisational funding 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 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 essential nature of its actions and in addition by an lively programme of community support that focuses on providing 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 grow with a number of ongoing initiatives and great plans for the future. Ably led by CEO David Gatende and supported by dedicated and dedicated executives and staff driving this development, the corporate is lucky that the third technology of Davis’s, Edward and Henry, have joined the business so continuity is assured. The Group continues to increase in product and markets with a specific focus on digital enterprise and looks forward to maintain serving the region with essential merchandise that certainly Improve Lives and in addition to demonstrate that an indigenous African firm can compete internationally and be a world-class organisation.
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