Bata India in Talks for Potential Partnership with Adidas

Bata India in Talks for Potential Partnership with Adidas
Bata India in Talks for Potential Partnership with Adidas

by Tanushree Jaiswal Last Updated: Aug 18, 2023 - 04:59 pm 994 Views

Indian footwear giants Bata India and Adidas India are reportedly considering a strategic partnership to bolster their market presence. While Bata offers a strong retail network, Adidas aims to tap into it for an enhanced market foothold. The talks led to a minor dip in Bata India's stock after a previous gain, yet experts foresee potential benefits such as co-branding and athlete endorsements, despite Bata India's Q1FY24 profit decline and expense increase. If successful, this collaboration could create new growth avenues in India's footwear market.

Bata India and Adidas India: Crafting a New Chapter in Indian Footwear Industry

Notable discussions are underway within the Indian footwear sector as Bata India and Adidas India consider a potential strategic collaboration, sources have revealed to CNBC-TV18. Bata India, known for its successful long-term alliances with various brands, is exploring avenues for a strategic alliance in the market. While comments from Adidas India are awaited, the move is seen as a bid by Adidas to leverage Bata's robust retail network for a stronger foothold in the Indian market.

Bata India's share price experienced a marginal dip of about 1% at the opening on August 18. This followed reports of the company's talks with Adidas for a strategic partnership, which came after 6% gain the previous day. Nirmal Bang CEO Rahul Arora expressed structural positivity towards the stock, emphasizing the potential benefits for both companies. Arora highlighted the prospect of co-branding with Adidas or enlisting top global athletes for endorsements, which could open new avenues for growth.

Managing Director and CEO of Bata India, Gunjan Shah, noted the company's strategic approach towards re-entering premium price points. Bata plans to introduce fresh portfolios and increase investments in advertising and promotions to engage with digitally savvy young consumers. The company's focus on offline sales growth is evident, with plans to expand under the franchise model by adding 125 new stores in FY24 and bolstering its presence at multi-brand outlets (MBOs).

Despite its strategic pursuits, Bata India faced a 10 percent decline in net profit during Q1FY24, reporting a net profit of Rs 119.3 crore as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. However, revenue from operations witnessed a growth of 2% over Q1FY23, amounting to ₹958.1 crore. The increase in expenses during the quarter under review, which amounted to ₹826.9 crore compared to ₹792.6 crore, contributed to the overall financial picture.

Market experts anticipate that a potential collaboration between Bata India and Adidas India could yield significant advantages. The possibility of tapping into Bata's extensive distribution network, co-branding opportunities, and endorsements by global athletes could potentially propel both companies to new heights in the Indian footwear market. As the discussions progress, further developments are eagerly anticipated, with potential benefits for consumers and stakeholders alike.

Bata's Footwear Tale: A Simple Look Back

In the heart of India, a brand has etched itself into the memories of countless individuals, becoming synonymous with quality footwear and timeless style. This is the story of Bata, a brand with European roots that found its Indian home and captured the hearts of generations.

A European Origin, an Indian Identity

For many Indians, Bata has transcended its European origin to become an integral part of their lives. Originally established in the Czech Republic in 1894 by Tomáš Baťa and his siblings, Bata Corporation pioneered mass production, affordability, and global expansion under the leadership of Jan Antonín Baťa. The Bata System, emphasizing efficiency and quality, propelled the brand into factories and stores across the world, weathering challenges like the Great Depression and World War II.

The Indian Connection: A Vision of Quality Footwear

Bata's journey in India commenced in 1931 when it stepped onto Indian soil in Kolkata. The visionary founder's great-grandfather, inspired by the sight of barefoot and poorly-shod people, saw an opportunity to provide durable and affordable footwear. This vision led to the establishment of a production unit in 1932 in Konnar, near Kolkata, signaling a transformative moment for the Indian shoe market. Demand surged rapidly, necessitating the expansion of both the production facility and the birth of a township, Batanagar.

Catering to Indian Needs: A Localized Approach

What set Bata apart in India was its commitment to understanding local needs. The brand's localized design philosophy, catering to diverse climate conditions and the unique shape of Indian feet, became the cornerstone of its success. By 1939, Bata was selling 3,500 pairs of shoes weekly, a testament to its popularity. This legacy of understanding and adapting to Indian requirements laid the foundation for Bata's enduring appeal.

Evolution and Transformation

Bata India's journey has been one of evolution and adaptation. In recent years, the brand expanded its product portfolio beyond comfort wear, embracing modern and glamorous styles in line with global trends. This transformation was fueled by Sandeep Kataria's leadership, a seasoned expert in consumer-centric strategies.

A Tapestry of Brand Ambassadors

In 2018, Bata India strategically enlisted actors Kriti Sanon and Sushant Singh Rajput as brand ambassadors, representing their women's and men's lines. Cricketer Smriti Mandhana joined as the face of the sports brand, Power. These personalities breathed life into the brand, deepening its connection with consumers across various segments.

A Global Footprint, an Enduring Bond

Today, Bata operates in over 90 countries, with a network of 5,000 stores globally. From India's bylanes to Milan's prestigious Bata Fashion Weekend, the brand has woven itself into the fabric of lives worldwide. Yet, it's the emotional bond with Indian consumers that remains its most cherished achievement.

Continuing the Legacy

As Bata continues to evolve and adapt, its commitment to quality, affordability, and understanding local needs remains unwavering. From childhood school days to stepping into new professional roles, Bata has stood as a reliable companion. This legacy, born from a vision in the 1920s, continues to propel Bata forward, anchoring it in the hearts of Indians for generations to come.

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About the Author

Tanushree is a seasoned professional with 6 years of experience in the Fintech and Edtech industry.


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