Bata India, one of India’s leading footwear brand, is all set to revive, revitalize and thrive amidst the new normal. After declaring positive results for the last quarter of FY20.
The company, known for its innate resilience of navigating through world wars and the financial crises, has been prompt to respond to the serious business disruption. The footwear major has curated new collections relevant for consumers in these times – the Work from Home collection, Easy Wash footwear and Fitness at Home collection, all starting at surprisingly affordable prices.
With a strong manufacturing legacy rooted in India since 1931, Bata India has stood strong in its commitment to manufacture for India across its four key manufacturing units, all of which have today grown significantly over time. With consumer-centricity deeply embedded in its DNA, the company has been cognizant of recent consumer sentiments, including apprehensions to step out, cautious spending patterns and an increasing emphasis on e-commerce. In tandem with these market trends, Bata India is ensuring home delivery of shoes from 900 plus stores, besides bolstering its presence across online marketplaces.
The brand also remains unflinching in its commitment to ensure the highest standards of safety and health of all its employees and customers. With about half of its stores operational for limited hours and a few days in a week, the brand is adhering to stringent norms of social distancing across its stores, besides implementing frequent sanitization measures and hygiene checks coupled with contactless payments in the collective interest of its customers, employees and the society at large.
With a thoughtful spirit of giving and enabling communities, Bata has been active in pledging a commitment of donating one million pairs of shoes globally, out of which two lakh shoes would be donated in India to health care workers and their families combating COVID-19 with sheer courage and perseverance every day.
Additionally, Bata India employees through its ‘Bata Heroes’ initiative, have been relentlessly working with Government officials and other organizations to respond to the crisis fuelled by COVID-19 with donations in areas of PPE equipment such as masks, face shields & food packets. The company has been instrumental in manufacturing and distributing face masks and face shields to employees, local communities, hospitals and local police.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashwani Windlass, Chairman, Bata India Limited said, “We have always banked on our resilience to navigate through trying times and emerge stronger. As an organization, we remain empathetic towards all our stakeholders and strongly hold on to our inherent values of putting people first, something that has always helped us make a strong comeback amidst unprecedented situations and this time too, it is no different. After grappling with severe business disruptions, we are back with safety and hygiene as our top priority. We are also recalibrating business operations with a strengthened product portfolio, a steady focus on cash conservation in the company and better online presence and services to ensure seamless shopping experiences for our consumers.”
Alberto Toni, Chief Financial Officer, Bata Group added, “At Bata, family values matter more than anything else and our endeavor to donate one million shoes across the world, with two hundred thousand being donated in India alone reflects our strong humanitarian focus and ethos. As a brand that has long been manufactured in India for decades, we realize our responsibility towards supporting employees and our communities and it is something we have always stood for. We value the trust India as a country has always placed on us and we are delighted to be able to continue making a difference towards all around us as we pace ahead to strengthen and expand our business footprints.”
Sandeep Kataria, Chief Executive Officer, Bata India Ltd. said, “It is gratifying that despite the closure of our retail outlets due to the lockdown, we were able to close the year with turnover & profit growth. We are slowly recovering with a concerted effort aimed at ensuring the highest standards of hygiene and safety for all our customers and employees. On a daily basis, we are ensuring a 20 point safety checklist is followed by all our store associates. Our added emphasis on contactless payments, e-invoices and contactless delivery mechanisms further reiterate our strong adherence to safety protocols. As we roll out our new, relevant collections and scale up our digital presence, we have launched new and innovative channels like WhatsApp shopping that allows customers to remotely interact & shop from their neighborhood store managers, thereby delivering the best of shopping experiences. From a business perspective, we are continuously evaluating ways to scale up cost efficiencies as we continue to track and study demand patterns on a week-on-week basis. While the pandemic will have an impact on consumer behavior and demand, we believe brands such as Bata that are strong trust marks will come out stronger, although the road to recovery will be a slow and long one.”