Evolving agricultural practices and new methods are reshaping the farming industry and leading equipment suppliers to constantly review and update their offerings to farmers.

At the forefront of these developments is one of the country’s most diverse equipment suppliers, Smith Power Equipment, which offers a wide range of machines from Kubota tractors and implements to feeders, balers, sprayers and even powerful Polaris offroad vehicles and Linhai quads to transport farmers anywhere on their property regardless of terrain.

These vehicles add an exciting edge to the once slow-paced farming scene showing that modern farmers and their managers are more active and adventurous in their farming practices.  These possibilities as well as access to a substantial array of equipment sourced from across the globe is what keeps the company’s newly appointed Managing Director, David Kelder, awake at night strategizing new markets and machines for local farmers to produce better crops and still better financial results.

This is a job that perfectly fits David’s profile. He is known for his ability to shake things up and find opportunities even amongst the fiercest competition. His big-picture strategies are most exciting for the local market as his goal-oriented drive to make his visions realities are most likely to succeed. He has big plans and is busy putting the right processes and procedures into place to make his masterplan a reality.

While he and his experienced management team meticulously study each product in the range and identify current and future opportunities, it is abundantly clear that the range is due for a major boost and the team will lean on the ample resources of Dutch mother company Royal Reesink to source its product desires. This could mean access to far more comprehensive ranges of existing brands for every crop type and new types to cater for new farming practices and opportunities.

This will need an invigorated dealer network throughout the company’s nationwide network and possibly expanding into underserved markets where previous product offerings did not warrant representation. With a strong support backbone uplifting dealers in every corner of the country Smith Power Equipment’s staff are central to the success of the operation and form a central part of the company’s drive to become the preeminent supplier of agricultural equipment in South Africa.

With a host of new and exciting products that will soon hit our shores, the farmers will be the ultimate winners with improved access to resources and expertise.

Focussed leadership

David Kelder hails from the school of hard knocks. Growing up in challenging circumstances in Zimbabwe, he learned to fend for himself from an early age. By the time he entered the formal workplace, he was already accustomed to hard work. His boundless energy and determination quickly set him apart from his peers, gaining the attention of his supervisors and managers.

David began his career in South Africa with a prominent agricultural brand as a spares buyer. Soon after, he was given the opportunity to run the company’s small golf and turf division. This role served as his first proving ground, and his focused approach resulted in a remarkable 160-fold increase in the division’s turnover within just two years. This success propelled him into a territory manager role in the main agricultural business, where he further honed his expertise.

Over the next few years, David worked for various companies in the turf and agricultural sectors, achieving significant success. He even returned to Zimbabwe for a period, where he established a thriving branch and built a large customer base for the agricultural brand with which he had started. He remained there for seven years before moving back to South Africa.

David then worked for an International Company, where he was responsible for expansion into Africa. Within 6 years, where he was overseeing eight African countries from East Africa to West Africa. This experience has given him a keen understanding of overall business practices, not only in sales, but as well as aftersales and finance.

David plans to modernize the well-loved Smith Power Equipment business in line with current practices and to further enhance the overall customer experience.

“I am excited to join Smith Power Equipment, we have some work to do, to ensure that we are regarded as a Major player in the Market where we are represented. Focus will be on overall customer experience, and to ensure that we understand the requirements and come up with the correct solutions for our customers.”