Richard Bell, “Business Development – Innovation Manager for Confectionery and Hygiene divisions of Schur Flexibles
1/ If you didn’t work in Confectionery where would you be?
When I was starting my career I remember three stand out jobs. The first was for developing fireworks, the second was as a trainee master brewer at a large UK brewery, but this was a 7 year apprenticeship and third was for working as an Chemical Engineer in the Flexible packaging sector of the largest chemical company in the UK. I chose the largest chemical company in the UK and that set me on the path into supporting the confectionery industry. Oh what could have been if I chose one of these other different paths. ”
2/ What do you love about the industry?
The challenges of developing new products, balancing the desires of marketing to develop products that are new, novel and standout, whilst remembering the historical branding of the product, and that given today’s economics, packaging efficiencies must be as high as possible. In recent years it has been fantastic to see all confectionery companies embracing the environmental challenges and pushing the packaging producers to develop the most recyclable products possible. At Schur flexibles this means continual development and working in innovation, this makes it a great time to be in the industry.
3/ Describe a funny thing that happened to you recently?
I recently turned 50 and I took some of my friends to play golf at the world famous and home of golf St. Andrews. On the 18th tee I sliced my tee shot straight into the windscreen of a parked car. As I collected my embedded ball from the shattered windscreen which was by now surrounded with people including the car owner who took the incident very well once he realised that it would be paid for with the golf insurance. I turned around to see my friends doubled up with laughter, I am still reminded about this incident by them every time we play golf.
4/ Who inspires you?
I have been very fortunate to have worked with some great people over the years and these people have and still inspire me. I would urge all people to look to the positive people that you work with, listen to them, learn from them, experience is a great asset.
5/ How would you define yourself in three words?
Tenacious, Progressive, Courteous
6/ Name something you cannot live without?
Golf, I have played golf from the age of 13 and I’m not sure if I could go for more than 1 week without playing. I have lifelong friends from the game and it’s a great game to teach you humility, and that you need to put in the highest levels of commitment and dedication to progress or even sometimes just to stand still.
Read the full article in our January edition.