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Massive Equipment – a modern company driven by traditional values

Local News 01 Nov, 2023 Follow News

Celebrating 25 years: Left to Right: Michael Godfrey, David Kirkaldy and Christina Kirkaldy

Celebrating 25 years with David, Christina and the rest of the Massive family

By Christopher Tobutt

Massive Equipment Rental and Sales Ltd. is celebrating 25 years. David and Christina Kirkaldy joined with Christina’s father, Michael, to develop the business that he had supplying rental equipment to Arch & Godfrey Construction. Back then, Arch and Godfrey Equipment Rental mainly rented construction equipment to their own contractors, and a few DIY customers. Very quickly after the transition to the new company, David realized the need to support small businesses in Cayman with construction equipment on a much larger scale.

Renting a wide range of equipment – some of it very specialized – to contractors has enabled them to greatly expand the scope of projects they can support for their customers. Massive has really been the key to getting things done better, faster, and more efficiently in the Cayman Islands. That’s what they mean by their company slogan: “We make it happen.”

Today Massive rents and sells DIY equipment from ladders and pressure washers to pumps and heavy machinery that supports world-class construction projects throughout the Cayman Islands. Over the years, Massive Equipment has added more divisions and services, branching out into rental equipment for parties, events, and portable toilet rentals. Today the companies in the Massive family are Fireworks Ltd, Massive Media Ltd and Table Alchemy (curated tableware).

Massive’s values of honesty, integrity, and respect in all its relationships reflect the family values of its founders, extending into the company culture and out into the community. Massive has always been a company that believes in giving back and has consistently supported a wide range of locally based charities and good causes throughout the years.  Massive continues to reach out today, forming partnerships to help grow and strengthen Cayman’s community.  Over the years those same values have also helped each of the nearly 40 employees, so that they have always done their best to look after them as they would look after family.

Talking with David Kirkaldy, Massive’s President, it’s clear that every direction Massive has taken and every storm it passed through, whether big or small, has been navigated via those values. His inspiration to ‘reinvent’ the business 25 years ago, he says, came from the same spark that motivates other entrepreneurs: “You encounter a problem, or you find a situation is not well-addressed in the market and you try to do a little bit better,” he said.  

Of course, all businesses have their challenges, and Massive has had its share: “I think the biggest challenge we face relates to the challenge of human resources in a small market and when there have been various downturns in the industry. During the 2008 recession we ended up having to lose about half of our staff as the construction industry went into a shutdown, and that was something we were not as prepared for as we thought, and something that over the last 25 years I still have the most pain over.”

David also recalls the post hurricane Ivan time, when almost everything Massive had was wiped out and they had to start over. But Massive rebounds from challenges by using that same flexibility –the  same entrepreneurial spark – that got it started:

“A hallmark of our business has been innovation – both in equipment and in technology. We were the first rental company on the island to be computerized with rental specific software, which was a huge step forward for us. During the pandemic we were very agile in moving to online training for our staff. We were able to pivot and use that time to work with our team in every area of our business to do a host of training courses both developed in-house and also online training courses for a variety of companies that we represent equipment for.”

Flexibility is the key to resiliency: “We are always being attuned to new ideas and new concepts – we constantly attend trade shows to gain new perspectives on industry standards and the way things are changing. Keeping ahead of the trends is very important to us at Massive,” David said.

Getting that right work/recreation balance is seen as vital for everyone at Massive: “We really do try to have moments when we just checkout from work mode, which can often become part of our evenings and weekends. It is something that you do have to consciously think about ensuring that we have that balance. We work hard to ensure that our staff have the opportunity to have their time off, and that we don’t intrude in their personal time outside of typical work hours. We work hard to ensure that we create a family atmosphere and that we allow for family activities where people can bring their families in and party with us and enjoy time with us. That is very important to us as a company.”

 “My advice to entrepreneurs is always the same. You find a choke-point - a point of pain- in taking care of the business needs that you might be able to address. If you find that, that becomes an opportunity to find a better way. Some industries are harder and have a higher, more challenging point of entry, but many are fairly straightforward to get into and where service or the technology tools are not up to the current standard there becomes an opportunity to operate at a higher level.

 “I think for me the most rewarding aspect of what we’ve done over the last 25 years is the fact that there are some 40 staff members who make their livelihood from the work that we do at Massive – a livelihood of opportunity that did not exist 25 years ago. We started out with just two people 25 years ago and we’ve now expanded almost 40 staff and have created incredible opportunities for them, and expanded the economy, and I think that is the most rewarding thing, looking back on it.”

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