The Bata Shoe Organization, Swiss-domiciled multinational footwear and fashion accessory on Monday named its India chief executive officer (CEO), Sandeep Kataria, as its global CEO and the first Indian to head the 120-year-old retailer, replaces Alexis Nasard, who is stepping down after about five years.

Kataria, who joined Bata India as CEO in 2017 had earlier worked with leading global firms such as Unilever, Yum Brands, and Vodafone in India and Europe. Kataria thus becomes the first Indian to be elevated to the global role of the footwear major, Bata said in a statement.

 

The 49-year-old Kataria is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi and XLRI-Jamshedpur. He was a gold medallist of the 1993 PGDBM batch at XLRI.

On getting the new appointment, Kataria said, “I am honored 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”.

Commenting on the appointment, Bata India Ltd, Chairman Ashwini Windlass said, ‘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.”

As of March, the retailer has 1,558 retail stores across India, including franchise partners. In FY20, the company sold 49.4 million pairs of footwear in the country.

Bata was founded in Czechoslovakia in 1894 and is currently based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Bata remains a family-owned business selling more than 180 million pairs of shoes annually in 5,800 stores with 22 Bata-owned manufacturing facilities. Bata operates in more than 70 countries and has 35,000 employees.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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