In a first, an Indian has become the global chief executive officer in Bata's 126-year history. Sandeep Kataria, who is currently the CEO of Bata India, has now been elevated to the global role at the footwear major.
He takes over from Alexis Nasard, who is stepping down after almost five years in the role.
On getting the new appointment, 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, 125-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".
The 49-year-old Kataria is an alumunus of IIT-Delhi and XLRI-Jamshedpur. He was 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. He joined Bata India as CEO in 2017.
Speaking about Kataria's appointment, Ashwani Windlass, Chairman - Bata India Ltd, said, "I would like to congratulate Sandeep on his well-deserved promotion. 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 greatly from Sandeep's extensive experience."
Founded in 1894, Bata is one of the world's leading shoemakers, designing and producing comfortable and stylish footwear at surprisingly affordable prices. Bata is a family-owned business selling more than 180 million pairs of shoes annually. It operates 5,800 of its own retail stores and produces footwear locally in 22 Bata-owned manufacturing facilities across five continents. Bata operates in more than 70 countries.
India is the 2nd largest producer and consumer of footwear in the world, generating employment for over 2 million people. The current market size of the footwear industry was estimated to be $10.6 billion in 2019, which could grow to $15.5 billion by 2024, according to investindia.gov.in. India exported 262 million pairs in 2018, making it the sixth-largest exporter of footwear, having a world share of 1.8 per cent.