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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

For the first time in 126 years, Bata appoints an Indian as global CEO

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Bata, one of the most popular footwear companies, recently elevated its Indian Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sandeep Kataria to the position of Chief Executive Officer of all global Bata Brands. At a meeting earlier this week, the board of directors of Bata India has informed that the same shall be implemented in a filing to the stock exchanges. With this, Mr Sandeep Kataria became the first Indian ever to head Bata on a global level, being the successor of Alexis Nasard. He is stepping down after giving his previous five years to the company in this role.

Bata, a family-owned business, was founded in the year 1894. It sells more than 180 million pairs of shoes in a year, reaching its customer base from 5,800 stores and producing locally in 22 Bata-owned manufacturing facilities spread across five continents. Operating in as many as 70 countries, the company employees nearly 35,000 people. While, in India, it sells nearly 50 million pairs of shoes annually catering to over 120,000 customers every single day.

It was in 2017 when he joined Bata India as its CEO after having worked with global firms such as Yum Brands, Unilever, and Vodafone in India and Europe. He has been involved directly in leading businesses and powerhouse brands that required impressive consumer handling and management along with extensive global reach.

Katria has proven to be a gem for the company every single year and is the latest addition to the list of Indian origin CEOs leading globally expanding brands as many companies across the globe and across several sectors, from fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) to information technology and food and beverages, are now being led by Indian CEOs on the global stage.

The company said that Kataria has worked exceptionally well as the CEO of Bata India Ltd, driving its “consistent growth and profitability”. Indian segment of Bata under his leadership had nearly doubled its profits, witnessed double-digit topline growth, and sponsored some of the best running and trending campaigns. Ingenious campaigning ideas such as ‘Surprisingly Bata’ had targeted young customers by revamping Bata’s image as a more vibrant and contemporary brand.

Mr Sandeep Kataria expressed his gratitude and overwhelming emotions by saying that he is honoured to accept this new appointment and is excited by the journey lying ahead; Bata being an affordable footwear brand with an enviable reputation for high quality, holds an immense reputation in the markets and that he has been privileged to be part of its success in India.

“I look forward to building further on the company’s proud 120-year history as shoemakers to the world and even as 2020 has presented unique challenges, the statement of Bata footwear and the passion of our people has provided every reason for confidence regarding our prospects in the years ahead,” he says.

Ashwani Windlass, Chairman – Bata India, congratulated Kataria on his promotion and 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.”

Apart from Kataria, there are several other CEOs who trace their origin back to India and keep adding more and more accolades to Indian pride with every passing year. Some of them are states below.

  1. Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft Corporation) : Working with Microsoft since 2014, Nadella has taken over the reins from Steve Ballmer. Before becoming the CEO of the software giant’s cloud and enterprise groups, he held the position of the executive vice president.
  2. Shantanu Narayen (CEO, chairman and president of Adobe) : Apart from his duties as the CEO of Adobe, he is also currently leading offering services like Illustrator and Photoshop.
  3. Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) : Holding this reputed position since the year 2015, Pichai has subsequently joined the board of directors of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. He is one of the most cherished Indians worldwide with several young Indians looking up to him as a role model. He has been active in the latest technologies and global outreach programs launched by the company globally.
  4. Arvind Krishna (CEO of IBM): He succeeded Ginni Rometty recently, in the month of April, to lead the global technology and consulting company IBM. He began his career at IBM‘s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in the early 1990s. Soon in 2015, he was promoted to serve the company as a senior vice president in 2015.
  5. Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo) : Leading one of the largest food and beverage companies for a long period of time until 2018, Indra has established her name globally and is definitely among the top names when we talk about global CEOs. She has worked with the company for as long as 24 years.
  6. George Kurian (the CEO and president of NetApp) : NetApp is a storage and data management company led by George Kurian since June 2015. Before being promoted to this position he had worked in several other executive positions inside the company.
  7. Sanjay Mehrotra (CEO of Micron Technology Inc) : The company appointed Sanjay Mehrotra as their CEO in May 2017. He is also a member of their board of directors.
  8. Ivan Menezes (CEO of Diageo) : Leading Diageo, one of the world’s largest spirit makers, he is one of the most honoured business executives of Indian-American origin and has been the chief executive officer of Diageo succeeding Paul S. Walsh. Diageo is an FTSE 100 British multinational alcoholic beverages company.
  9. Laxman Narasimhan (CEO of Reckitt Benckiser) : He is an Indian-American business executive leading the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) major Reckitt Benckiser. He has also previously worked as a chief commercial officer at PepsiCo.
  10. Ajaypal Singh Banga (CEO of Mastercard) : Mastercard is a global payment processing network, led by another Indian holding its executive and presidential positions.
  11. Vasant Narasimhan (CEO of Pharmaceutical major Novartis) : Holding the stage as the M.D and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novartis since 2018, Dr Narasimhanhas pioneered a cultural transformation transforming it into a globally leading medicines company powered by data science and advanced therapy platforms.
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