Richard Downes

Richard was born in Durban and is the eldest of three brothers. He was schooled at Clifton Preparatory High School and Durban High School, from which he matriculated in 2005, and where he was a prefect, and was awarded honours for swimming and water polo.

Richard swam competitively for many years, representing KZN, and was often ranked near the fastest in the country in his age group. He captained the KZN water polo teams in his U14; U16 and U18 age groups, and has played for the KZN men’s team since 2003, an uninterrupted period of 17 years.

He continues to captain this team. He represented South Africa in the U15 and U21 age groups while at school, and the SA University team at the World University Games in 2007. He played over 50 times for the South African men’s water polo team from 2004 until he retired in 2011. He was fortunate to have visited many countries during his polo career, including Argentina, Montenegro, New Zealand, South Korea and Scotland. Richard read for a Bachelor of Commerce degree in business management and for a BComm Honours degree in strategic management, both from UNISA. In 2014 & 2015, he completed a grueling Master of Business Administration degree on a modular part-time basis at the University of Cape Town.

Whilst studying, Richard held a number of part-time positions, including as a water polo and swimming coach, and he enjoyed a 3 month stint working in the small business and property development fields in San Diego, USA in 2011.

In 2011, Dave King, then S&G Packaging CEO approached Richard to manage the implementation of a new ERP information system. In 2014, he was promoted to the position of commercial manager, responsible for estimating; internal sales support; raw material procurement and allocation; job costing and efficiency analysis.

When Dave King retired on 31 May 2020, Richard assumed the position of CEO of Shave & Gibson Packaging (Pty) Ltd, a role for which he has been groomed since 2011. He has been a committee member of the Printing Institute of SA – KZN Region since 2016, and was recently appointed as a director of Packaging SA. Richard also serves as a director of Counterpoint (Pty) Ltd, S&G Group’s paper bag and sanitizing wipes manufacturing subsidiary.