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Davis & Shirtliff, the leading water and power tools provider in East Africa is celebrating its seventy fifth Anniversary, a major milestone in its corporate historical past. This is a most unusual achievement for any organisation, though particularly one which has the same household shareholding and primarily the identical market focus since its founding. There are few firms wherever with this declare and D&S is due to this fact extraordinarily proud of the achievement with varied occasions being held in celebration.
The firm was based in 1946 by ex-soldiers Eddie Davis and Dick Shirtliff after leaving the military, initially being primarily based at Westlands, in Nairobi, their neighbour being Westlands Motors that rose to prominence with the Toyota franchise.
It grew quickly as the country recovered after the warfare specializing in boreholes, water provides and the espresso trade. One notable early venture included the water supply for Karen Estates, the entire initial water supply infrastructure being installed by the company in addition to for so much of different of the residential estates that were developed at the moment.
D&S grew with the country and within the mid-1950s the base was moved to new bigger premises at this time Dundori Rd location within the industrial area. An added activity was swimming pools, each residential and business and many were constructed which are still in use today. Water Treatment was another diversification, many of the KenGen Tana River stations having D&S designed and built tools.
In 1970 associate Dick Shirtliff retired and after a interval with one other partner, Devji Shingadia, the Davis family, then represented by Eddie’s son Alec assumed management. The 70’s and 80’s noticed slow but steady development as the nation grappled with numerous 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 via representation of the Danish manufacturer Grundfos.
1993 was a major year for both Kenya and D&S due to financial liberalisation which was the catalyst for the company’s fast growth since. It was also the year that Pedrollo pumps from Italy had been first launched, now the Group’s largest supplier. 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 although the merger with partner Butech. The pump business grew massively with Pedrollo and the now well-established Solar and Power Generation activities were then added.
Since the Millennium growth has tremendously accelerated, revenue rising many instances to KShs10 Billion right now. diaphragm seal have included a complete redevelopment of the Dundori Rd site with enlargement into adjoining plots, the opening of subsidiaries and associate companies in Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and DRC, appreciable development of the branch network, introduction of the successful Dayliff range of own-brand merchandise and a huge growth of the product range with Solar being especially successful as the company developed its focus on renewable energy. More recently a serious improvement has been institution of a large 10,000m2 Distribution Centre at Tatu City that gives the useful resource for elevated stockholding and has remodeled distribution effectivity throughout the region, this facility being accomplished in 2020. Staffing has also grown correspondingly, the Group now employing over one thousand committed staff working from over 70 places.
It is usually said that success is transitory and sometimes unsustainable, although D&S has managed to maintain unbroken progress for an distinctive period of time. This has been achieved by business 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 widely recognised company in the area and is happy with the contribution it has made, summarised by its slogan ‘Improving Lives’ which is demonstrated each by the essential nature of its activities and in addition by an energetic programme of community support that focuses on providing water to underprivileged communities, many hundreds of individuals having benefited.
Of course, the 75-year milestone is just 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 dedicated and committed executives and employees driving this progress, the corporate is lucky that the third era of Davis’s, Edward and Henry, have joined the business so continuity is assured. The Group continues to broaden in product and markets with a particular concentrate on digital business and appears forward to keep serving the area with important products that actually Improve Lives and in addition to show that an indigenous African firm can compete internationally and be a world-class organisation.
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