Topic > Cross Cultural Leadership

Shepherd Shonhiwa

Board Member on various boards

Shepherd Shonhiwa

Board Member on various boards

  • MBA, majoring in business strategy and marketing.(Univ of Zim/Halifax Canada)
  • Honours, B.Admin (Industrial Psychology). (Unisa)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration. (Unisa)
  • Diploma in HR/Training Management. (IPM SA)
  • Diploma in Social Science. (Univ of Rhodesia)

 Professional Memberships/awards:

  • Chartered Director – Institute of Directors Southern Africa
  • Fellow – Institute of Directors Southern Africa
  • Fellow – Institute of Personnel Management, Zimbabwe

 CAREER OVERVIEW: July 2016 – to date: I’m Executive Director of Reatile Group – an investment firm focusing on the Gas and petrochemical sector. It owns 100% of Egoli Gas (Pty) Ltd – a natural gas reticulator by underground pipeline network and Gastrade, a natural gas trading business, as well as substantive share-holding in Easigas, an LPG business, Vopak petrochemical storage operators, CNG mobile natural gas traders, Vitol petro-chemical trading  and Sasol Inzalo BEE scheme. April 2012 – June 2016

Was Managing Director of Egoli Gas (Pty) Ltd, the sole reticulator of piped natural gas in the greater Johannesburg metropolitan area. The business operates within the hi-tech space of the energy sector.Responsibilities at strategic level include:

  • Formulation and implementing strategy approved by the board
  • Overall efficient management of the business operations
  • Line management of five functional executives
  • Marshalling resources and gas supply to achieve set company objectives
  • Ensuring survival and growth of the business
  • Maintaining sound business governance in line with international standards
  • Scanning the environment for complementary business opportunities

April 2009 to March 2012: Business executive adviser/Senior consultant Pursued a consulting career having acquired 35% equity in Gateways Business Consultants. Core consulting focus was executive coaching, executive leadership skills development, corporate governance skills, Board effectiveness assessment, director skills training, strategy formulation and implementation as well as change management. 2003 – 31 March 2009: Managing Director, Easigas (Pty) Ltd Easigas was a subsidiary of Shell SA Marketing. Business entails sourcing, packaging, marketing and distribution of LP Gas in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. Sales turnover for 2009 approximated R750 million with 350 staff. This represents nearly two-fold growth of the business over the six years of my tenure.  The business operations comprised 10 gas filling plants and 13 commercial distributor partners. Reporting to a vice- president based in England, I had full strategic and operational executive responsibility for optimal performance and growth of the business in southern and central Africa. I elected to retire on 31 March 2009 to pursue other career professional interests.

2001 – 2003: Chief Executive officer- Tepco Petroleum (pty) ltd

Tepco Petroleum was a leading South African Black Empowerment enterprise involved in commercial marketing and retail sales of petroleum products.  Reporting to a non-executive Chairman, I had full strategic and operational executive responsibility for optimal performance of the business.  I was actively involved in negotiating the empowerment deal for Thebe Investment Corporation to acquire 25% of Shell South Africa’s downstream business.  Consequently, effective April 2002 a new entity called Shell SA Marketing (Pty) Ltd was established of which Tepco became a subsidiary. I was a member of the Shell Southern Africa executive committee.  The deal triggered complete re-engineering of the Tepco business which more than doubled the size of the company to turnover in excess of R1.4 billion.


My portfolio entailed vision design, strategic control and direction of a media group with budgeted revenue nearly R800 million and ebitda of R100m in 2000. Also responsible for strategic expansion and initiatives for investing in the African continent.

Business portfolios:Newspaper Publishing: 17 Titles comprising three mainstream weekend newspapers one investment weekly magazine, three dailies and 10 community newspapers throughout South Africa.

Newspaper launches (1999): Chaired the management committee which implemented the launching of two newspapers:-Sunday world and Sports Day. 

Magazine Publishing: Consumer magazines (8).Business magazines (23).Medical speciality journals (11).Each SBU was directly managed by a MD/GM accountable to me.

Member of the following boards:

  •  Times Media Limited (Chief Operating Officer) – 1999 to 2001.
  • Sunday Times Newspapers (Chairman) – 1999 to 2001
  • Times Media Eastern Cape (Chairman) – 1999 to 2001.
  • Dispatch Media (Chairman) – 1999 to 2001.
  • BDFM Publishers – 1998 to 2001.
  • Sunday World Publishers – 1999 to 2001.

EARLY CAREER SUMMARY: 1995 – 1998:  Corporate Management Executive, McDonald’s South Africa.1994 – 1995:  HR Development Consultant for Minerals and Energy Policy Centre.

1994:  Management Development Consultant for the Commonwealth Secretariat based in Lesotho.

1992 – 1993:   General Manager, Ford Motors Swaziland based in Mbabane, Swaziland.1990 – 1992:  Deputy MD & Marketing Director of Amalgamated Motor Corporation, Zimbabwe 1986 – 1990:   Group HR Director – TA Holdings Limited, Zimbabwe.1977 – 1985    Held senior HR Development and Corporate Services management positions based in Zimbabwe:

  • Mobil Oil Central Africa (Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mocambique, Zambia and Tanzania).
  • Triangle-Hullets Sugar Ltd.
  • 3M Zimbabwe Ltd.

Directorships: South Africa

  1. Reatile Group (Pty) Ltd – Executive Director
  2. Egoli gas (Pty) Ltd – April 2012 – Non-executive
  3. Lidwala Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd – Non-executive Chairman
  4. Reatile-Redigas (Pty) Ltd – Non-executive

ZIMBABWE Reatile (Private) Limited Zimbabwe  – Non- executive Chairman

  1. Reatile Gaz (Pty) Ltd. – April 2009 – 2012
  2. Sirdar South Africa Group (Pty) Ltd – October 2011 – 2014
  3. Met BEE Investments Holdings – 2005 to date (Chairman: 2008 – 2013)
  4. Baobab Capital Pty Ltd – 2009- 2013 (Chairman)
  5. Total Product Solutions (Pty) Ltd – chairman – 2011 – 3/2012
  6. Metcash Trading Africa (Pty) Ltd – 2005 to 6/2010 – chair of Remun & Nomination Comm
  7. MetAf Investments Holdings – 2005 to 30/06/2010
  8. Institute of Directors Southern Africa – 1999 to date (chairman 2003- 5 & 2007 – 8)
  9. Easigas Southern Africa (RSA, Bots, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Namibia) – (MD):   2003 to 31 March 2009.
  10. Adcorp Holdings – (Deputy Chairman) 2000 to Feb 2007. / chairman of Remuneration & Nomination committee
  11. Metro Cash & Carry Limited – 2001 to 2004. / chairman of Remuneration & Nomination committee
  12. Tepco Petroleum – (CEO) – 2001 to 2003
  13. Thaba Bosiu Communications Consultants – 1997 to 1999.
  14. Red Rocket Advertising (Pty) Ltd. – Chairman: 2006 – 2008


  1. Jaggers Wholesalers (Pvt) Ltd: 2006 to 2010; chairman of Remuneration &committee
  2. CIMAS Medical Aid Society (1985 – 1992).
  3. TA Management Services (1988 – 1992).
  4. TA Motors Limited (1990 – 1992).
  5. Delswa Textiles (1985 – 1991).

Business & Community Leadership Positions: South Africa:

  1. Institute of Directors Southern Africa: Deputy Chairman 2002-3
  2. Field Band Foundation, SA- 2008 to date
  3. SA Petroleum Industry Association – Deputy Chairman – 2002.
  4. Print Media South Africa – board member – 1998 to 2001.
  5. Newspaper Association of SA – Deputy Chairman 1999 to 2001.
  6. Nieman Fellowship Foundation – Trustee – 1999 to 2001.
  7. Marketing Industry Trust SA – board member – 1999 to 2001.
  8. Advertising Standards Authority – board member – 1999 to 2001.
  9. Freedom of Commercial Speech Trust – Board member – 1999 to 2001.


  1. President of Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe – 1990 – 1992.
  2. President of Zimbabwe Commercial Employers Association – 1985 – 1987.
  3. Chairman, National Manpower Development Committee, Zimbabwe – 1988 – 1990.
  4. President,  Zimbabwe – America Society – 1990 – 1991.

Achievements/Career Highlights:

  1. Business growth strategies resulting in substantive expansion of Easigas Southern Africa Revenue, sales and assets
  2. Turnaround of Tepco Petroleum Limited through implementing effective management systems, operating strategies and results – oriented performance culture (2001/2).
  3. Business rationalisation of Mobil operations in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and(1983 – 85).
  4. Rationalisation of Times Media group and established a Management Services Division with Service Level Agreements within group operations. (1998 – 2000).
  5. Turnaround of Times Media Eastern Cape division trading(2000 – 01).
  6. Establishing McDonald’s South Africa from zero base including recruitment and training of the first 65 restaurant managers, 8 franchisees and opening the first 37 restaurants including employing 3000(1995 – 97).
  7. Launching Sunday World (first newspaper launch in SA for 14 years) and building a common culture with competent staff. (1999).
  8. Launching of Sports day, the first sports daily newspaper in SA and its subsequent closure for non-(1999).
  9. Introducing formal strategic and succession planning in the Times Media group in 1998.
  10. Pioneering, planning and executing offshore investment projects for Times Media in Uganda, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Ghana.
  11. Authored first book published in 2001, “Signposts to Service Excellence – The African Paradigm”.
  12. Authored second book published in 2006, “The effective Cross-cultural manager”

Pastime Activities: Golf, writing books, reading, travelling and meeting people of different cultures.

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