Having long established itself in India, Bata has become synonymous with shoes. Every Indian household has grown up with Bata products in their homes. Surprisingly, many among today’s generation are not even aware of the fact that Bata isn’t an Indian brand.
On the occasion of 123 years of its existence, Thomas Archer Bata, the company’s Global Chief Marketing Officer and the great grandson of founder, Thomas Bata, attended a fashion event in Delhi.
Exceprts from a conversation:
On Bata’s long association with India
Even though it has a European origin, it definitely has the heart of India. Till date, whenever I arrive in India my passport is double checked because they can’t believe that I am not Indian! It always comes as an utter shock to them. People still get surprised when they get to know that Bata isn’t an Indian brand. I love the fact that we have made our way into the heart of every Indian home. The brand in many ways is Indian as it has been here since 1931 and the original team in Calcutta made what Bata is today. The Bata in India is undoubtedly different from the Bata anywhere else.
On the legacy
We have had this business in our family for four generations which is not something that is very common. I believe that my family has been very lucky that it shared a common love for shoes which has tied us together. A brand can't remain stagnant as that can cause it to become obsolete. A lot of elements made us successful and we try to take those elements, introduce new dimensions and modernise them. We want to keep the fundamentals values of our business intact—our ethics, drive to innovate, the way the business is run.
On the new campaign’s focus on women’s wear
This time we are focusing on enhancing our image. As a business, it is our responsibility to empower women and give them opportunities. Personally, I feel we were more focused on men but there should be a fair balance between both men and women. In this campaign we are playing a little bit of catch-up by focusing on our women to attain that balance.
Bata is not just a brand that grandparents wore. It is something that is equally great for parents as well youngsters.We are bringing more trendier styles in this collection because there is an image associated with our brand that it is not for the youngsters. We want to change that image and make people realize that it is in fact for everyone!