Retief studied at the Cape Technicon. After finishing a 3-year diploma in 3D-design, he continued his studies and then received a higher diploma in Industrial Design cum laude. During his final student year, he won a national competition sponsored by the National Research Foundation called Best Business Idea. Retief then went into business immediately. His first venture was his 4CYCLE project – the design, the manufacture and the whole sale process of a bicycle rack. This award-winning design (SABS design award in 1996) developed into one of the SA’s top sellers for this product type. Due to the large number of orders, Retief and his partner built a small factory to cope with the demand in the RSA and from abroad. This business and its patent rights were sold to enable Retief to tackle a wider scope of opportunities.
Then in 1999 Retief relocated his office to Techno Park in Stellenbosch and opened an industrial design consulting firm called Retief Krige Industrial Design (RKid). The main focus initially was on developing and supporting design services around electronic product development. He also invested into 1st Parametic #D Software to provide for these consulting services. To his advantage in business was his hands-on and practical approach to design and his knowledge of the supporting network of fabricators - nationally and internationally.
Application in practice
Over years his solutions and products spread over fields such as medical, agricultural and household items, mostly emerging from consultations. But then there were also products which he developed all on his own. These included a pedal car which a father and child could put together, as well as his Waterloo (water saving device in the bathroom) and Binguard (wheelie bin locking system).
Retief se siening
Ek leef om waarde uit geleenthede te ontsluit. Tye verander en so ook mense se behoeftes. Idees, nuwe tegnologie en leefstyl dryf die soeke na oplossings. Dit help jou om uitdagings beter en makliker in produkte te omskep. Met ‘n kreatiewe uitkyk sien ‘n mens dat die glas eintlik half vol is.
"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication"
Hy is in 1970 in Pretoria gebore, is leerling aan Lynnwood Laerskool en later Stellenbosch Hoërskool. Na sy twee jaar militêre diensplig as Luitenant, skryf hy in by die Kaapstadse Technikon. Na voltooiing van sy studies begin hy en sy vennoot met ‘n klein fabriek in Kraaifontein. Na goeie ondervinding in die produksie-wêreld, verkoop hy hierdie besigheid en begin sy praktyk as nywerheidsontwerper in Stellenbosch. Hy het ‘n beperkte personeel omdat hy verkies om persoonlik by sy kliënte en produkte betrokke te wees. Retief is getroud met Marenka Viljoen en hulle het drie kinders: Hilda, Odelia en Hano.