Founder's Day: Celebrating Unity with a Global Workforce
At Bata, we believe in the transformative power of unity. Our diverse employees, scattered across the globe, come together for a shared goal: to make a positive impact in the world. This collective drive and sense of purpose have become defining attributes of Bata’s company ethos. As we celebrate Founder's Day on 21 September each year, we take a moment to honour our rich heritage, the values that have shaped us into a renowned brand, and the achievements we've made as a global family.
Celebrating Bata's Heritage and Shared Values
Founder's Day marks the anniversary of our company's foundation. The Bata Shoe Company was founded by Tomáš Baťa in 1894 in Zlín, Czechoslovakia. A truly original thinker, Tomáš Baťa revolutionised the local shoe industry by using canvas instead of leather to make quality shoes more accessible. He also improved working conditions through innovative production — such as introducing steam-driven machine manufacturing, inspired by American assembly line systems.
During World War I, Bata became a major military supplier and expanded rapidly. In the post-war economic crisis, Tomáš Baťa cared for his Zlín workers by providing food and clothing in exchange for a temporary pay cut and implemented profit-sharing and performance-based incentives. By the early 1920s, Bata was known worldwide for its innovations in production, global supply chains, and pricing. Today, Bata continues to embrace its heritage of pioneering achievements and remains dedicated to innovation and making a positive impact in the footwear industry.
So, on this meaningful occasion, we gather to remember the journey and the hard work of so many that has led us to where we are today. It has also become an opportunity to take pride in our diverse workforce, with its array of talents, backgrounds, and experiences. And on this day, we remember that through it all, we have remained united by our common desire to make a difference and contribute to a brighter future.
Celebrating Employees for Driving Positive Change
One aspect of how we bring this to life in our company is by providing ample opportunities for our employees to discover the power of volunteerism as a catalyst for change. As such, Founder's Day is not just a day of celebration; it is a chance for our employees to roll up their sleeves and actively engage in volunteer activities that address crucial social needs.
As September unfolds, Bata's global workforce comes together in a collective mission—to make a meaningful difference in the communities where we operate. As a company with a far-reaching influence, we recognise our responsibility to give back and contribute to society. From organising community events to participating in local initiatives, our employees dedicate their time and skills to impact the world positively.
Bata Children's Program: Empowering Children to Reach Their Potential
Central to this goal, and to realising the mission of Founder's Day, is the Bata Children's Program (BCP), our flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. In partnership with local people and institutions, the BCP focuses on empowering children to reach their full potential.
Since its inception in 2011, the program has helped over 400,000 children in the communities where Bata operates. Having this built-in framework gives our employee volunteers a direct means of engaging with the future generation. Activities covered under BCP include supporting infrastructure upgrades in schools, promoting health and well-being through sports, empowering girls through specialised programs, and contributing to environmental sustainability through tree plantation drives.
Partnering for a Brighter Future: SOS Children's Villages
Building on this foundation of helping young people, we are also excited to announce a new global partnership with SOS Children's Villages. SOS Children’s Villages is the world’s largest organisation focused on ensuring that children and young people without parental care or at risk of losing it grow up with the care, relationships, and support they need to become their strongest selves. The organisation provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children in need and protects their interests and rights around the world.
Through this collaboration, we are able to amplify our efforts to support and empower young people worldwide. Hand in hand with SOS Children's Villages, we aspire to support the youth of tomorrow and create opportunities for a brighter future.
Celebrating Dedication and Striving for Further Impact in the Years Ahead
Founder’s Day is also the time of year when we make a point to recognise and appreciate our employees' unwavering dedication and commitment. Through the Long Service Awards, we acknowledge the valuable contributions of team members who have been with Bata for significant periods.
Most importantly, though, as we celebrate Founder's Day, we are reminded of the power of unity and the collective potential of our global family. Together, we uplift lives, empower communities, and nurture a sustainable future for all. That said, our pride in our achievements and initiatives is matched by an understanding that it is through humility and a willingness to evolve that lasting impact can be sustained every step of the way. So going forward, our aims as a team remain the same — to be a community dedicated to lifting each other up and making the world a better place.