Switzerland-based popular footwear brand Bata, which is assumed to be Indian by many, has appointed its first Indian CEO, Sandeep Kataria. Kataria has formerly been with Unilever, Yum Brands and Vodafone, and was the CEO of Bata India. In a statement, Bata said during his tenure as India CEO, Bata India doubled its profits by double digit topline growth. He “sponsored some of the most ingenious campaigns, including ‘Surprisingly Bata’, that revamped Bata’s image as a more vibrant and contemporary brand, targeted at younger consumers,” Bata said.
Ashwani Windlass, the Chairman of Bata India, 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.”
Kataria joined Bata India as CEO in 2017. He takes over from Alexis Nasard, who was in the role for almost five years.
“With 24 years of experience at Unilever, Yum Brands and Vodafone in India and Europe before joining Bata India as CEO in 2017, he has been directly involved in leading businesses and powerhouse brands that command impressive consumer following and extensive global reach. A passion for developing talent blends perfectly with Mr. Kataria’s sound understanding of markets and strategic finesse, making him a leader of exceptional merit,” Bata Brands said in a statement.
Kataria said, “I have been privileged to be part of Bata’s success in India and I look forward to building further on our proud, 120-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.”