WHO WE ARE
Nimbility was founded in Hong Kong in early 2018 by three partners with 45+ years of experience building markets and brands within the global beverage industry.
Our mission is to build markets for our clients around the world, with an emphasis on Asia. Our founder-led global experience and expertise, supported by a highly dedicated and knowledgeable team, positions us to provide a unique and valuable service.
We will be your market experts and your export management team in Asia, delivering proprietary insights and analysis, strategy, and execution across the region.
We are committed to building long term, sustainable partnerships that deliver tangible market results across Asia and up and down the supply chain.
Integrity is the foundation upon which we build all our relationships based on respect, honesty, equality, trust, transparency and straight talking.
We offer expertise, exceptional service, quality assurance and the utmost dedication in all we do.
We recognize and celebrate uniqueness with no ‘one size fits all’ solutions when it comes to the clients we work with. Instead we provide an entirely bespoke service based on your specific needs and goals.
Environmental, social and economical; we aim to build a profitable business that will enable us to reinvest in our employees, our stakeholders, our clients, the local community and the environment.
We embrace all forms of creativity, ambition, innovation, achievement, risk taking, trail blazing, breaking boundaries, openness, flexibility, embracing & learning from our mistakes and continuous improvement.
We take the quality of our work very seriously, but never ourselves, and we always have fun along the way.
Ian was born and raised in New York City, and attended Duke University, graduating with a BA in History and Mandarin Chinese. Ian relocated to China in 1995 to take up a career in the drinks business, with Seagram, marketing Martell Cognac, Chivas Regal Scotch, and Absolut Vodka. In 1999 Ian co-founded Summergate, a drinks importer, marketer, and distributor, with a mission to build the market in China over the coming decades. Today Summergate is a leading drinks company in China by any measure – size, reputation, quality, knowledge, and professionalism. In addition Ian founded Pudao Wines retail in 2009 in Shanghai and Beijing, an award-winning fine wine retailer and experience center.
Ian’s career has focused on successfully building a strong China market for major brands like Concha y Toro, Penfolds, Villa Maria, Lafite, and Perrier mineral water. He has presented on China at conferences in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, London, Sydney, and New York, and for over twenty years has been working closely with leading drinks brands building their markets across China.
In late 2014 Ian successfully sold the Summergate business to Woolworths of Australia, and continued to manage the business for Woolworths through 2016. He recently founded Lightkeeper Studio, a firm that partners with entrepreneurs across Asia, providing advice, guidance, funding and connections, and helps take exciting and innovative businesses to the next level.
FRANCESCA MARTIN (CHESS)
Born and raised in the UK, with a BA in English Literature and Spanish from Leeds University Francesca has always been passionate about wine. Ever since her father took her to Paris when she was 12 and gave her her very first sip of Bordeaux. That was it. She was totally hooked!
Over the past 13 years Francesca’s career has spanned three continents and multiple disciplines – from brand management to PR, from winemaking to marketing – giving her a unique degree of fluency in building markets for wine and spirits brands.
Over the years she has worked for some of the most renowned names in the global wine industry, including Jacques & Francois Lurton in Argentina, Miguel Torres in Spain, Liberty Wines in the U.K. and ASC Fine Wines in Hong Kong. In 2013, she decided to set up BEE Drinks Global, a beverage consultancy company based in Hong Kong and working across markets in Asia. In 2017 she conceptualised Nimbility.
Francesca holds the WSET Level 4 Diploma, is a certified teacher of WSET awards and is currently studying for the prestigious Master of Wine examination. She sits on the advisory board of Cellar Media Inc. in the USA. In the past she has managed premium wine brands from all over the world including Vega Sicilia, Ornellaia, Leeuwin Estate, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Maison Trimbach, Mulderbosch, Altos Las Hormigas and Laroche. Widely travelled, she has gained first-hand experience in the majority of the world’s leading wine regions giving her unique insight that carries through in all her work.
Polly grew up in Newmarket, Suffolk in the UK, the headquarters of horse racing and spent the first 20 years of her life convinced she would be a famous racing commentator. However, after receiving a BA in history from Newcastle University she was lured to London to work for an Angel Investment entrepreneur and her passion for business was born.
Over the next three years in London, Polly was involved in the launch of ‘Sumo Salad’ UK, taking it from one store to 4 including negotiating a contract at the JP Morgan headquarters, the development of latestinbeauty.com (now lib.com) and Trueskin, a skin mapping service which was rolled out into high end retail.
A personal move to Hong Kong in 2011 led to a search for a new challenge. Wine had always been a passion so the opportunity to work for a local Hong Kong Importer sealed the deal. For the next three years Polly took the time to learn the trade and educate herself in all things wine and spirits including WSET 3 and 4.
In 2014 Polly joined Pont des Arts as their Commercial Director. This involved the strategic development of the brand across Asia and beyond. The brand is distributed in 25 countries and Polly was responsible for all markets with 100% growth year on year.
In 2017 Polly Co-Founded XECO Wines Ltd, a sherry brand with the aim to breathe a little modernity into the category and capitalizing on the success of the ‘Aperitivo’ moment. XECO is currently distributed in the UK, HK and the USA with lofty ambitions.
Having her early age life spanning from the north to the south of China, Nichole was born to be an adventure seeker. Wine came to her at university while doing part time job as a subtitle translator for TV programs. It was “Oz and James’ Big Wine Adventure”, by Oz Clark and James May that planted the seed.
After graduating from university in Tianjin with a BA degree in Business and English, she decided to discover and find her space in Shanghai. In 2009, 6 months after moving to Shanghai, she started with ASC Fine Wines, and her instant love and passion for wine, decided that this would be a life long journey. Two years later, she found her path to represent Villa Maria, managing the Greater China market for them since 2011. Her 8 years with Villa Maria enabled her to develop a robust and in-depth knowledge of China’s wine market, and a deep understanding of the wine trade and Chinese wine consumers.
Nichole is a WSET diploma holder, and looks forward to the next phase of her wine journey with the Master of Wine examination. Her curiosity makes her a person with many hobbies, namely photography, including photography with drone, her newest gadget. While Thai boxing sweats her stress off, drawing helps her to breath and relax!
Micaela joins Nimbility from Maison Ferrand, where her previous role as Asia-Pacific Brand Ambassador extended across 12 countries including Singapore and Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan, and of course Greater China. Micaela was central to building markets in Asia for a portfolio of award-winning artisanal spirits including Plantation Rum, Citadelle Gin, and Cognac Ferrand.
Micaela moved to Asia after a successful career in New York City and Miami, where her cocktails were featured in Town & Country Magazine, New York Daily, InStyle.com, and Thrillist. In Miami, Micaela was in charge of staff training and menu creation at the award-winning Sweet Liberty (Tales of the Cocktail Best New American Bar Award 2016 and Tales of the Cocktail Best American High Volume Bar 2017) and previously spent time behind the bar at Saxon & Parole (Tales of the Cocktail Best American Restaurant Bar 2016).
Currently Micaela is an editor for JERRY Global - an online learning platform for F&B professionals. She also serves as an international representative for Tales of the Cocktail (2019), stemming from her work as International Co-Chair for The Spirited Awards® of Tales of the Cocktail (2018-2019). She still enjoys the occasional guest shift at some of her favourite bars across Asia!
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Janet went to college in Oklahoma in the United States. Before she joined Nimbility she was an U.S. tax consultant. After reading the never-ending U.S. tax laws for a few years, and looking for a new adventure, she started a whole new journey with Nimbility where she heads up Operations, the engine room of the entire company. If our team, our clients, our customers, have problems, Janet comes to the rescue and sorts them! Outside of work, she mostly spends time traveling to difference countries around the world as she loves exploring difference cultures – mainly their food and drink!
Born and raised in Paris, Apolline became devoted to wine from an early age, raiding her parents’ last drops under their amused supervision. After a number of very sober years preparing to enter ESSEC Business School, her childhood excitement turned into a more serious passion, and she became President of the school’s Wine Club Elyxir in France and founder of the sister club in Singapore, taking on the crusade to introduce new wines and wine regions to beginners and aficionados alike.
Graduating in 2016 Apolline quickly joined the Wine and Spirits industry starting her career in Hong Kong. With marketing and brand building experiences at Pont des Arts and Moët Hennessy Diageo, Apolline worked with wine and spirits brands of all styles, origins and scopes, collaborating with teams from all around the world. All had in common the ambition to land and grow in Asian markets, and Apolline dedicated her time to help them reach their goal. Parallel to this, she passed WSET Level 2 furthering her genuine love for anything related to wine and spirits.
Taking her job very seriously even outside the office, Apolline is often seen tasting wine, most preferably Cabernet Franc, and in her honest opinion, nothing beats starting the weekend than with a laidback foot massage topped with a bottle of wine to share with a few friends. Santé!
Candace was born and grew up in Shanghai, and attended Donghua University, graduating with hotel management. Her experience spans over 10 years working for international companies in China, mainly as an assistant to the executive management. During that time, Candace was regarded as a top team player and was instrumental in allowing the core leadership teams to excel and perform to their challenging business plans and directives. Candace joined the Nimbility to provide the vital role of Executive Assistant to our CEO. When she is not holding things together in the Shanghai office as per her day job, she enjoys cooking, traveling, playing badminton and practicing yoga.