The Bata Shoe Organization was founded in 1894 by Czech businessman Tomas Bata in the city of Zlin, what was then Czechoslovakia. Coming from a family of shoemakers with a long heritage of eight generations and over three hundred years, Tomas Bata capitalized on knowledge, expertise and skills to propel his newly founded company forward. The introduction of factory automation, long distance retailing and modernized shoe making ensured the profitability of the company from the very beginning. It is now the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of footwear operating across the globe.
Today the Bata Shoe Organization is a sprawling geo-centric company encompassing operations in more than 70 countries around the world and is managed by 4 regional commercial business units (CBUs) across five continents. It serves 1 million customers per day, employs more than 50,000 people, operates 5,000 retail outlets, manages a retail presence in over 70 countries and runs 27 production facilities across 20 countries.
In Bangladesh, Bata started its operation in 1962. The company is one of the largest tax–paying corporate bodies contributing Tk. 1.2 billion (year 2009) which represents approximately 70% of tax paid by the entire footwear sector of Bangladesh. Currently Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Limited operates two manufacturing facilities – one in Tongi and the other in Dhamrai. With a production capacity of 110,000 pairs of shoes daily, the company also has a modern tannery facility with an output of 5 million square feet of leather annually. Annual shoe sales currently stands at slightly more than 30 million pairs with a turnover for the year 2009 of Tk 5 billion.
Tongi Factory Dhamrai Factory
Bata is playing a pivotal role in developing the leather industry of the country. Bata has a firm commitment to eco-friendly business and a state of the art Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) has been set up to provide a pollution free environment for both workers and the locality.
Fashion would never be complete without a well designed pair of shoes. This marketing insight has prompted Bata to introduce a number of designers’ collections for men, women and children. Internationally renowned brands such as Bata Comfit, Marie Claire, Hush Puppies, Scholl, Nike, Bubblegummers, Sandak, Weinbrenner and B’first are a few names that testify to the momentous change towards branded shoe marketing in Bangladesh. Specialized shoe categories such as athletic shoes have been targeted through development of the Power brand. Uncompromising quality with striking designs have put Bata shoes in a key position to appeal to different segments of consumers.
Another major change in the Bata business policy is the segmentation of retail outlets according to profiles of different market segments and the introduction of novel concepts such as Bata City Stores. These selective outlets, in conjunction with other types of outlets such as Bata Bazar and Bata Family Stores, are adding a new level of consumer satisfaction. The City Stores incorporate spacious floor space allowing a comfortable shopping experience, modern interior décor enriched with novel shelving systems, fittings, fixtures and lighting that can be found in the large retail shops in the Far East and Europe. Bata has a network of 242 retail outlets located strategically in different parts of the country. These retail outlets are an integral part of our brand marketing. This extensive retail network is supplemented by an equally extensive network of depots and dealers. Bata has 13 Wholesale depots covering Bangladesh. Under these depots 390 RWD (Registered Wholesale Dealers) and 553 DSP (Dealer Support Program) stores are operating. Bata Bangladesh has already developed its vision up to 2013 showing significant business growth as well as increased market share.
One of the critical areas associated with external shareholders and the community at large is the Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the company. From supporting nationwide sports sponsorships and disabled persons to addressing environmental concerns, scholarship programs, charity contributions etc – Bata has always supported individuals and communities in need. Partnerships with other voluntary and charitable organizations is another prominent feature of Bata’s corporate social responsibility. Bata, in partnership with CARE, extends assistance to over two thousand rural women in order to become independent entrepreneurs in the Rajshahi, Comilla and Chittagong division selling shoes from door to door under its Rural Sales Programme.
Since its inception, Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd. has strived towards one goal – customer satisfaction. With the vision of building a worldwide family of satisfied customers and dedicated workers the legacy of Tomas Bata continues strong and unabated to this day – the tradition is safe.