Bata and India

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Sandeep Kataria

2020: Bata India’s CEO, elevated as global CEO

December 1, 2020: The Times of India

Indian-origin CEOs on world stage
From: December 1, 2020: The Times of India

In a first, Bata picks an Indian as global CEO to ‘shoe the world’


For the first time in Bata’s 126-year history, an Indian will lead the firm to ‘shoe the world’. Sandeep Kataria, 49, who is currently Bata India’s CEO, has been elevated as global CEO of the company, as the current incumbent, Alexis Nasard, moves on.

Kataria is in distinguished company. Other Indians at the helm of global organisations 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.

Kataria takes charge as global CEO with immediate effect as Nasard, who is stepping down after five years in the role, is reportedly set to join Kantar. An engineer from IIT-Delhi and a gold medallist of the 1993 PGDBM batch at XLRI, Kataria has 24 years of work experience at Unilever, Yum Brands and Vodafone in India and Europe.

Under Kataria’s leadership, Bata India doubled profits

Kataria joined Bata India as CEO in 2017. India is the top market for the Switzerland-headquartered footwear major. Under Kataria’s leadership, Bata India doubled its profits driven by a double-digit topline growth, and ran campaigns like ‘Surprisingly Bata’, to revamp the brand’s image and project it as contemporary, targeted at younger consumers. Bata India posted a net profit of Rs 327 crore on revenues of Rs 3,053 crore in 2019-20.

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 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.”

Founded in 1894 by Tomas Bata, a Czech entrepreneur, often touted to be the Henry Ford of the footwear industry, Bata is one of the world’s leading shoemakers, designing stylish footwear at fairly affordable prices. A family-owned business, Bata sells more than 180 million pairs of shoes annually in 5,800 stores and produces locally in 22 Bataowned manufacturing facilities across five continents. Bata operates in more than 70 countries and has 35,000 employees. For Indian consumers, the brand occupies a unique place with a Bata store in every corner of the country. Probably the only footwear brand that offers products for the entire family, Bata is the largest footwear retailer, selling about 50 million pairs every year and serves 120,000-plus customers every day. Its brands like Hush Puppies, Power, Marie Claire and Scholl are household names.

Bata India is the largest footwear retailer in India, offering footwear, accessories and bags across brands such as Bata, Hush Puppies, Naturalizer, Power, Marie Claire, Weinbrenner, North Star, Scholl, Bata Comfit and Bubblegummers, to name a few. It retails in more than 1,550 Bata-owned and franchisee stores on, on e- commerce marketplaces and in thousands of multi-brand footwear dealer stores pan-India. To make its products accessible to millions of Indians, Bata has evolved its channels and recently launched new channels such as Bata Chat Shop, Bata Home Delivery and Bata Store-onwheels for neighbourhood communities.

According to an Axis report dated July this year, India is the second largest global producer of footwear after China, accounting for 10% of the annual global production of 22 billion pairs. The Indian footwear market is estimated at Rs 600 billion as of FY2020 and may reach around Rs 720 billion by FY23.

India’s consumption of footwear is the third largest after China and the US at 2.2 billion pairs, recording a healthy growth over the last decade. At present, 90% of footwear produced in the country is consumed by the domestic market. Despite being the second-largest footwear consumer globally, India’s per capita footwear consumption remains one of the lowest among peers.

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