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Work experience

Sep 2010Present

Director - European Markets

Pabst Brewing Company

Responsible for forging new branded business for one of the USA's largest brewery companys.

Reporting directly to the main board and owners I am able to spearhead a new focus on key business opportunities in the major European markets.

This is very much a pioneering position as the Company have not had a cohesive European export strategy for many years.

Identifying market entry points and pursuing strategic alliances.

Organising new production requirements and advising the business on regulatory and statutory matters.

Feb 2006Jan 2009

Business Development Director

Global Brands

It is rare that one single person can ever truly have responsibilty for anything in a large Company however Global gave me a unique freedom that took advantage of my versatility and energy to allow me to make a real and lasting contribution to their business.

Once the Company had decided that they wanted to develop a portfolio of factored brands alongside their own products - they allowed me to form and head that division.

I was responsible for the exclusive importation, sales and distribution of Tsingtao Beer, Carib, and Viru.

In 2007 the company asked me to head up and form an exclusive spirits division. This involved managing the relationships and contractual obligations with some of the largest Spirits companies in the world and these included Diageo, Belvedere and Ypioca.

I personally took responsibility for the marketing launches of Ypioca, Goldschlager, Myer's Rum and Sobieski Vodka and drove their sales through the sales team and other routes to market.

Once the Spirits division had been established and stabalised it was time for it to be merged into the Global Brand business as a whole.

This division has gone from strength to strength and Global are now seen as one of the leading brand builders available to International spirits companies wishing to enter or develop the UK markets.

Although I left the business to pursue other interests in January 2009 we still retain a strong relationship and I still help out from time to time.

Jan 2000Jan 2005

Founder & CEO


After selling our remaining shares in our multimedia business it gave me time to reflect on what I wanted to do next.

I had heard that China was opening up to export business and I decided that I wanted to go there and see what was happening.

I was excited about the possibilities for doing business in China and the fact that everything that was simple in Europe and yet seemed so difficult in China appealed to my pioneering instinct and sense of adventure.

 I established a global procurement business in then emerging China. Headquartered in the JinMao Tower, Shanghai.  Mainly servicing consumer goods companies but also expanded into engineering components.

This evolved into the most difficult and challenging role that anyone could wish for. Rapid expansion on shaky foundations was made more difficult by constant supply chain issues.

The business was Franchised in 2003. It was sold to private investors in January 2006 which allowed me to gain a graceful exit and recover from the most hectic and dramatic period of my life.

Jan 1996Dec 2000

Managing Director


Formed MultiMedia Company focussed initially on (then) emerging technologies such as Shockwave, Flash Animation and CD ROM Production.

The business was formed in order to principly develop multi-media presentations in order to help me sell Stroh beverage products to key buyers.

The business was quite pioneering and our open studio in the City centre became a magnet for many fledgling multimedia specialists as well as the curious minded. A momentum built up and the business grew. Some of our projects included work for Hilton Hotels, Early Learning Centre, B.A.T and many others.

Two of our Flash movies received International awards and recognition including the prestigious Laguna Beach Film Festival audience award.

The more tedious yet serious side of the business developed the now ubiquitous Flexeprint print software application. Received co-branded status with Adobe and developed through and with their subsidiary Datalogics, Chicago. This software was an innovative variable data print engine that was designed to take advantage of the new style of digital printers that were appearing on the market at that time.

Nowadays variable data printing is the norm in any kind of direct mailing but at that time it was an embryonic technology.

Brought the application to proof of concept and then attracted strategic investors who we eventually sold the remaining shares to.


General Manager-UK & Ireland

Stroh Brewery Company

Built and developed the European markets for Detroit based, Stroh Brewery Co. (turnover in excess of $1 Billion) Main brands included that what made Milwaukee Famous; Schlitz, Red Bull, Henry Weinhardts from Oregon, Woodchuck from Vermont, Old Milwaukee, Mickey's Big Mouth and Stroh's. Woodchuck sold to Bulmers. Henry Weinhardts and Mickey's sold to SAB Miller, Stroh's & Schlitz sold to Pabst.

By the time the business was sold to S&P at the begiining of 2000 - I had positioned most of the brands into the Premium sectors and had moved our average gross profit up by an additional 12%.

I had also developed a flourishing own label (Tesco's) and exclusive label business (Spar/Landmark) which helped me to establish myself as one of the leading and most versatile salesmen in the business.

Apr 1992Nov 1995

Sales Director

Global Beer Company

At that time the job of Sales Director at Global Beer Co had to be the best job in the UK drinks industry. Importing and distributing beverages from all over the world with a team of buzzin' hornets punching way above their weight. Global were a breath of fresh air to the UK Drinks industry at that time and were pioneers in developing the consumer switch from draft to packaged drinkers.

Supplying packaged brands to all major routes to market including direct deliveries to retail businesses.

Developed own label and exclusive label branded business to balance reducing margins on our wholesale business.

Feb 1984Apr 1992

Business Development Manager

Scottish & Newcastle plc

Joined Scottish and Newcastle at it's then furthest outpost in Southampton as an Area Sales Manager.

Established myself as a leading salesman and innovator with a flair for doing bigger deals.

Managed and built  the South Coast territories from Bournmouth in the West through to Brighton in the East.

The Company spotted my ability for opening new business and promoted me and subsequently relocated me to Nottingham as part of the team that acquired the Home Brewery business.

I left the business to join the Global Beer Company shortly after turning down another relocation to London.




Digital Media Production
Social Media Marketing


Jovan Jovanovski

“Ian is a talented marketer and excellent to work with. He has a deep understanding of the wholesale and retail trades and a knack for creating interesting consumer promotions. Ian is clever, witty and a good listener, all valuable skills in the sales and marketing field, which he put to good use in generating significant new business for Stroh International.” August 27, 2007

Mario Gibbins

“Ian is a brilliant facilitator, always positive and is happy and willing to share his knowledge and experience with you.” June 23, 2010

Glyn Partridge

“Ian was a colleague at The Stroh Brewery Company and more recently provided marketing consultancy for my business in India, UK and The Gulf markets. Ian is capable of achieving results working within tight budgets and always displays a can do attitude. He is a natural mentor and connects easily with teams from widely diverse cultures and backgrounds. I look forward to working with Ian in the future.” December 2, 2008



Engaging Relationships


Hello there! I am a versatile Drinks professional who has acquired the luck, and good fortune to be able to lead, work with and learn from some fantastic people. This has in turn given me the experience and understanding of almost every aspect of producing, selling and marketing drinks in extremely competitive environments and in all of the major channels too. I have been engaged in market entry strategy and executions mainly for new products but also have had success in adding magical sparkle to previously tired and even semi retired International brands. I have particular expertise in international FMCG markets including but not limited to India, China, USA, UK and Germany. I might now be approaching an era of near enlightenment! Now is the time when I am absolutely at my most effective. I am the founder and envoy of InDrinks - the Drinks Industry Executives Network - ( InDrinks has been the natural culmination of my experience in the Drinks business and Digital media as well as my fondness for bringing people together and for making things happen. InDrinks is positively changing the way Drinks businesses interact with each other and is already responsible for forging new business for many companies around the world as well as being able to be a happy hunting ground for those developing their careers and for HR managers looking for talent. It is the dynamic platform for Drinks business in the Web 2.0 economy. Out of work my part time passions are mainly centred around film and media production which allows me to develop and work with creative and free thinking teams. I do offer business development services for a small number of Clients and I am easily approachable. If I can't help you - I usually know someone who can. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information, advice or even just to say hello. Cheers!


Essentially I am a salesman who understands the value of  relationships.

I usually find creative and effective solutions for difficult projects. Extensive experience in Beverages from concept right through to production, sales and marketing. Creating and building trade and consumer demand. An almost perfect interim troubleshooter who has the credibility and ability to make things happen and get the job sorted!

Me - A Brief Glance

Thank you for your interest in discovering more about me - Ian Cunningham.

I am a professional salesman with over 26 years experience in and around the beverage industry. There is probably no part of the drinks business that I have not been exposed to. I believe that this experience combined with my get up and go attitude projects an understated assuredness that gives me a head start when forging new business relationships and alliances.

I like to achieve things. Not in a silly competitive testosterone fueled way. It's much more personal than that.

I have embraced new media - not only as a way of helping me sell my products or services off line but as an effective tool for widening my reach throughout the Industry.

I am versatile and independent but I can also work well as part of a team.

I think people do see me as a leader and then expect and encourage me to act as one. I never like to push myself forward or seek to lead it just happens naturally.

I speak fluent German and can understand a little French, Spanish and Mandarin. I connect easily with people from diverse cultures and have had experience of working in most of the major consumer markets including India and China.