(Image source from: livemint.com)
In a 126-year history, for the first time, an Indian will lead the firm to ‘shoe the world’.
Sandeep Kataria, 49, who is currently Bata India’s CEO, has been glorified as global CEO of the company after the current incumbent, Alexis Nasard, moves ahead.
Like Kataria, the other Indians holding a good position in global organizations include Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, Ajay Banga of Mastercard, Arvind Krishna of IBM, Laxman Narasimhan of Reckitt Benckiser, Ivan Menezes of Diageo and Vasant Narasimhan of Novartis.
Nasard is stepping down after 5 years and is set to join Kantar. After him, Kataria takes charge as global CEO.
In total, he has 24 years of work experience at Unilever, Yum Brands and Vodafone in India and Europe. He joined Bata India as a CEO in 2017.
He was an engineer from IIT-Delhi and a gold medallist of the 1993 PGDBM batch at XLRI.
Kataria has been a significant contributor to Bata. Under his leadership, India doubled its profits by a double-digit topline growth, and ran campaigns like ‘Surprisingly Bata’, to innovate the brand’s image and project it as contemporary, targeted at younger consumers.
In 2019-20, Bata India earned a net profit of Rs 327 crore on revenues of Rs 3,053 crore.
Bata India chairman Ashwani Windlass, said: “Over the past few years, the India team has delivered exceptional growth in footwear volumes, revenues and profits, and has strengthened Bata’s customer measures in a highly competitive footwear market. The Bata Group and Bata India both stand to benefit greatly from Sandeep’s extensive experience.”
In a statement, Kataria, said: “I am honoured to accept this new appointment and excited by the journey ahead of us. Bata is a brand with an enviable reputation for high quality, affordable footwear. I have been privileged to be part of Bata’s success in India and I look forward to building further on our proud, 120-year history as shoemakers to the world. While 2020 has presented unique challenges, the appeal of our brands and the passion of our people provide every reason for confidence regarding our prospects in the years ahead.”
Bata has its operations spread across 70 countries and has 35,000 employees. For Indian consumers, this brand occupies a unique place with a Bata store in every corner of the country.
Bata is the largest footwear retailer, selling about 50 million pairs every year and serves 120,000-plus customers every day.
This company offers footwear, accessories and bags across brands such as Bata, Hush Puppies, Naturalizer, Power, Marie Claire, Weinbrenner, North Star, Scholl, Bata Comfit and Bubblegummers.
This company has 1,550 Bata-owned and franchisee stores on bata.in and it is present in thousands of multi-brand footwear dealer stores pan-India.
Bata has grown into several other channels such as Bata Chat Shop, Bata Home Delivery and Bata Store-on-wheels for neighbourhood communities.
According to an Axis report dated July this year, India produced 22 billion pairs of footwear. In FY2020, the Indian footwear market is estimated at Rs 600 billion and it is expected to reach around Rs 720 billion by FY23.
After China and the US, India has the highest footwear consumption. Due to the pandemic, Bata converted its Batanagar factory in India to make face masks and it distributed more than 12,000 masks.
By Neha Makhija