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Sandeep Kataria, the first Indian to head the 120-year-old retailer, replaces Alexis Nasard.
Sandeep Kataria, the first Indian to head the 120-year-old retailer, replaces Alexis Nasard.

Bata promotes India CEO Kataria as global head

  • Ashwani Windlass will continue to be the chairman of Bata India Ltd, while Rajeev Gopala Krishnan remains the managing director

The Bata Shoe Organization on Monday named its India chief executive officer (CEO), Sandeep Kataria, as its global CEO.

Kataria, the first Indian to head the 120-year-old retailer, replaces Alexis Nasard, who is stepping down after about five years.

For the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Bata, India is the largest market by revenue among the 70 markets where it sells footwear.

Ashwani Windlass will continue to be the chairman of Bata India Ltd, while Rajeev Gopala Krishnan remains the managing director. The company did not name a successor to Kataria.

Kataria joined Bata in August 2017 as its CEO after serving as the chief commercial officer of Vodafone India Ltd. In his nearly 25-year career, Kataria has worked across large consumer-facing businesses, including Unilever where he spent nearly two decades.

He also worked with Yum! Brands, which runs the popular KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants.

Kataria joined Bata when the company was renovating its stores and adding new designs in India to appeal to younger shoe shoppers, a task he has taken forward.

As the CEO of Bata India, Kataria helped double its profits, the company said in a statement.

In India, Bata was set up in 1931 as Bata Shoe Co. Pvt. Ltd and has since become synonymous with middle-class consumption.

As of March this year, the retailer has 1,558 retail stores across India, including franchise partners.

In fiscal year 2020, the company sold 49.4 million pairs of footwear in the country.

“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 volume, revenue and profit, 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," Windlass said.

The company 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. It has 35,000 employees worldwide.

Kataria joins the growing league of Indians who have risen to take on global executive roles, including Google’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, IBM’s Arvind Krishna, Reckitt Benckiser’s Laxman Narasimhan and Mastercard’s Ajay Banga.


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