Makoto Nagae has a big job on his hands as the newly appointed CEO of ASC Fine Wines, one of China’s oldest wine importers, and arguably the biggest. The appointment of Nagae, a long-time veteran with ASC’s parent company Suntory Group, will be essential to steer the 25-year-old company through the post-pandemic market recovery in China.
Nagae, 53 years old, has been with Suntory since 1990 and has years of experiences in China’s drinks industry. A student of Chinese language at university, he rose through ranks amassing experiences in Guangzhou’s drinks business, Shanghai’s on-trade sector for beer and Managing Director of Beam Suntory Taiwan before taking on the role in June this year.
In running the company, a bellwether of Chinese wine market’s direction and trends, Nagae assumed one of the most exciting but challenging jobs in all of China’s wine business.
The market is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, which has caused a downturn in its overall consumption last year, brought closures to many restaurants and bars across the country that are traditionally the main driver of wine sales. The emergence of more infectious Delta variant this month also threatens a nascent recovery that has been gathering steam in first half of the year.
In an exclusive interview with Vino Joy News, the newly appointed CEO shares his growth plan for the company, the invaluable lessons he has learned from the pandemic, and his outlook for Chinese wine market.
Scroll to next page below.