Davis & Shirtliff appoints Edward Davis as new MD for Kenyan business

KENYAWater and energy equipment supplier, Davis & Shirtliff has appointed Edward Davis as the managing director for Kenya effective immediately.

Edward is the son of the firm’s chairman Alec Davis and takes over from Mas Waweru, who retired at the end of May.

Davis comes to this role with over 18 years of experience in business development and will be focused on further accelerating the Group’s growth and success in the Kenya business.

“Edward’s commercial experience at Davis & Shirtliff is incredibly valuable to the team in Kenya and the wider region.  I am looking forward to his leadership in the country and leading our business towards the fulfillment of Davis & Shirtliff’s long-term growth strategy,” the group chairman Alec Davis said. 

The new boss termed his appointment as a big challenge and a huge commitment towards customers and employees.

”I am looking forward to continuing the further growth of our business in Kenya by expanding the portfolio of our services and offering modern and innovative water and energy solutions with a strong emphasis on digital products,” Edward said.

Davis & Shirtliff is implementing the latest water and energy products through cutting-edge innovations thus creating a competitive advantage and improving customer service.

The Group continues to expand in product portfolio and market footprint with a particular emphasis on digital business.

The equipment company recently established a 10,000m2 distribution Centre at Tatu City in Nairobi that provides the resource for increased stockholding and has transformed distribution efficiency throughout the region.

Staffing has also grown with the firm currently employing over 1,000 staff operating from over 70 locations.

In June 2021, Davis and Shirtliff said that it is keen to expand its business in the East African region, as it marked 75 years of being operational.

”I am looking forward to continuing the further growth of our business in Kenya by expanding the portfolio of our services and offering modern and innovative water and energy solutions with a strong emphasis on digital products”

Edward Davis – Managing Director, Davis & Shirtliff

The company was founded in 1946 by ex-soldiers Eddie Davis and Dick Shirtliff after leaving the army, initially being based at Westlands, in Nairobi, their neighbor being Westlands Motors that rose to prominence with the Toyota franchise.

It grew rapidly as the country recovered after the war focusing on boreholes, water supplies, and the coffee industry.

One notable early project included the water supply for Karen Estates, the entire initial water supply infrastructure being installed by the company as well as for many other of the residential estates that were developed at that time.

D&S grew with the country and in the mid-1950s the base was moved to new larger premises at the present Dundori Rd location in the industrial area in Nairobi.  

An added activity was swimming pools, both residential and commercial and many were built that are still in use today.

Water Treatment was another diversification, many of the KenGen Tana River stations having D&S designed and built equipment.

In 1970 partner Dick Shirtliff retired and after a period with another partner, Devji Shingadia, the Davis family, then represented by Eddie’s son Alec assumed control.

The ’70s and ’80s saw slow but steady growth as the country grappled with various economic and political challenges, though there was a particular focus on building the pump business for which the company is so well known, notably through the representation of the Danish manufacturer Grundfos.

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