India

In today´s India, Bata´s business started in 1926 by opening its own stores. At the end of 1931, a sister company was established, and shortly after that production of footwear began in a factory in Konnagar. Soon, Batanagar became an important center of Bata´s production in 1936. In the following years, several new factories were added. The sales network expanded from 20 stores in 1939 to 738 in 1951. Between 1985 and 1995, two modern shoe factories were opened.

  • In the spring of 1925, Tomas Bata travelled to India to find a supplier of raw materials; in October 1925 he sent five workers to Asia and to British India to build a sales organisation; At the turn of 1925-1926 the export of shoes from Zlín to India began
  • In January 1926, the Bata company ran its own shop in British India, e.g., in Mumbai and later that year in Calcutta
  • According to statistics, exports to British India rose steadily: 80,000 pairs (in 1928), 274,000 pairs (in 1931), 598,000 pairs (in 1937)
  • In July 1931, Tomas Bata sent a team of Bata employees from Zlín to India with the task of increasing sales of footwear in the territory of British India. A network consisting of 20 stores was built before the end of 1931
  • On 23rd December 1931, a sister company Bata Shoe Company Limited, Calcutta was registered
  • From December 1931 to February 1932, Tomas Bata went on a business trip by his own aircraft to Asia. He started in Otrokovice near Zlín and landed in British India (Kolkata) and Dutch India (Batavia); In Kolkata steps were taken to enhance business in India
  • At the turn of 1931/1932 a factory building (a former mineral oil refinery) was acquired in Konnagar. The building was adapted for production of rubber footwear in March 1932; in May 1933 production of rubber footwear began on machinery brought from Zlin
  • In 1932 another 74 stores were added to the existing retail network in the country. The total number of shops in British India reached 94 at end of that year
  • Construction of a new large factory and an adjoining residential area in Batanagar started in October 1934. The building was built under a garden city project created in Zlín by an architect F. L. Gahura
  • In August 1936, production in the new factory in Batanagar began
  • Next to the factory, a factory town was built on 324 acres of land – consisting of residential quarters for managers and laborers, cinema, sports ground, social clubs, hospitals; in 1937 there were 70 Czechoslovaks working in Batanagar
The number of employees in Batanagar
  • In 1939, the company had 668 stores in British India
  • In 1939, the company set up the Kottayam collection point for rubber
  • In February 1940 the construction of the Batapur factory (near Lahore, now Pakistan) began. The production of rubber footwear began on 29th February 1942 and leather footwear was produced in April of 1942; In 1946, 1,870 workers were employed in Batapur
  • In May 1942, the leather footwear factory Digha (Bataganj) was put into operation. Today the factory is located in Patna in Eastern India
  • In September 1943, a tannery was established – Mokamehghat (near Patna in East India)
  • In 1947, after the division of British India, the factories in Batanagar, Digha, Mokamehghat – were on the territory of India, while the Batapur factory was in newly formed Pakistan
  • In December 1951, a modern factory for rubber and canvas shoes in Faridabad (near Delhi) was put into operation; there were 1,500 employees
Bata Business and Production in India 1951-1956
  • In 1955, Bata produced 4,800,000 pairs of leather footwear in India (6.4% of Indian production) as well 14,040,000 pairs of rubber footwear (40% of Indian production)
  • On April 6, 1956, the company was newly registered as Bata Shoe Company Private Limited, Calcutta
  • In 1960, Bata had 779 stores in India and produced 24,000,000 pairs of shoes in 4 factories
  • In 1961, 8,655 people were working in Batanagar (265 in managerial positions); in the early 60s, around 12,000 people lived in the Batanagar factory area; there were 1,056 housing units for families and 2,400 beds in dormitories for single men
  • 1962 – Bata Shoe Company Private Limited (India) and Globe Commercial Enterprises Limited (India) were on the list of historically registered Bata companies,
  • On 18 April 1973, the company was registered under the name: Bata Shoe Company Limited; On 23 April 1973, the registration was changed to Bata India Limited
  • In the 1970s and 1980s the number of employees in Batanagar factory dropped from 12,994 (in 1970) to 11,223 (in 1980) and then to 10,133 (in 1987); the production increased gradually from 20,100,000 pairs of footwear (in 1981) to 29,600,000 pairs of shoes (in 1990)
  • The construction of a new Southcan factory (Peenya / Bengaluru) began in 1986, and production began one year later
  • In 1992, the following Bata companies operated in India:
    • Bata India Head Office, Calcutta
    • Shipping Department, Calcuta
    • Resident Representative, New Delhi
    • Sales Office, Calcutta
    • Bata India, Batanagar
    • Rubber Purchasing, Kottayam
    • Bata Batagani, Patna
    • Bata Mokamahghat, Hathidah
    • Bata India, Faridabad
    • Sandak Division, New Delhi
    • South operations, Kamataka
    • Bangalore, Kamataka
  • In June 1994, Bata-Shatak factory (southeast of Bangalore in South India) started with production

Sources:

  • Bata World News, 1994
  • Tomáš Bata, How I began, Batanagar 1942
  • Jan Baroš, Čechoslováci na březích Gangu, Batanagar 1946
  • Jan Baroš, India and Czechoslovakia, Batanagar 1943
  • Jan Baroš, The First Decade of Batanagar, Batanagar 1945
  • Markéta Březovská, Model střídá model – transformace Baťova průmyslového města Batanagar v Indii, dizertační práce, Brno 2013.
  • Alain Gatti, Chausser les hommes qui vont pieds nus, Metz 2004, ISBN 2-87692-619-9
  • Jaroslav Pagáč, Tomáš Baťa a 30 let jeho podnikatelské práce, Praha 1926
  • Jaroslav Pospíšil – Hana Pospíšilová, Rub a líc baťovských sporů, Zlín 2012, ISBN 978-80-7473-037-5
  • Moravský zemský archiv v Brně – Státní okresní archiv Zlín, Česko
  • Podnikový archiv Bata, Batanagar, India