The Success Story Of Bata – History, Founders, & Business Model


Fashion is a vibrant expression of individuality that extends beyond clothing, encompassing footwear and accessories that elevate one’s style. It reflects one’s attitude and outlook on life, making it a captivating aspect of existence. The fashion world, including apparel and footwear, thrives as a prominent and captivating industry, offering an expansive array of styles and trends to explore. Among the notable players in this realm is Bata, a globally renowned brand with a legacy spanning over a century. Established by Antonín Baťa, Tomáš Baťa, and Anna Baťová, Bata Corporation has evolved into a leading provider of footwear, apparel, and fashion accessories, contributing to its remarkable success story.

With its rich foundation story and unwavering commitment to quality, Bata has navigated the ever-evolving fashion landscape to secure a prominent position in the industry. The brand’s diverse range of products has catered to the dynamic demands of fashion-conscious individuals worldwide. Bata’s enduring success can be attributed to its well-crafted business and revenue model, enabling the brand to flourish amidst challenges and fierce competition. As the fashion industry thrives, Bata remains an iconic name, synonymous with style, quality, and innovation.

Bata – Company Highlights

HeadquartersLausanne, Switzerland
SectorRetail, Footwear, leather, and apparel manufacturing
Area servedWorldwide
FounderAntonín Baťa, Tomáš Baťa, Anna Baťová
RevenueRs 17 billion (2021) – Bata India Ltd.
Parent OrganisationBata Family /

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History Of Bata

Founded on August 24, 1894, by Antonín Baťa, Tomáš Baťa, and Anna Baťová, the company traces its origins to Moravia, Czech Republic.

As a family-operated business, the Bata Group has excelled in delivering superior shoes at competitive prices, accompanied by unparalleled customer service for over 120 years. Today, it is one of the leading global manufacturers and retailers of premium footwear. With a vast presence across over 70 countries, Bata boasts over 32,000 employees, 21 production facilities, and a network of over 5,300 stores. Committed to enhancing the quality of life in every community it serves, Bata fosters personal and professional growth opportunities and extends support to customers, colleagues, and the larger community.

The success story of Bata

In 1894, Tomáš Bata, along with his brother Antonín and sister Anna, established the T. & A. Baťa Shoe Company in the town of Zlin, Austria-Hungary (now in the Czech Republic). Hailing from a family with a long history of cobbling, the trio embarked on their entrepreneurial journey. Facing financial challenges in the summer of 1895, Tomáš devised a solution by shifting from leather to canvas shoes. This strategic move proved successful, leading to the employment of 50 individuals.

In 1899, Bata introduced steam-driven machinery, marking the beginning of a phase of rapid modernisation. Tomáš’s pursuit of advanced production techniques led him and three employees to visit Lynn, a shoemaking community near Boston, to study American mass production methods. Inspired by what they learned, Bata launched their first mass-produced item, the “Baťovky,” a practical, stylish, lightweight, and affordable shoe made of leather and textiles. Its resounding success fueled the company’s growth.

Following the passing of Antonín in 1908, Tomáš welcomed his younger brothers, Jan and Bohu, into the company. Renowned for its exceptional quality and diverse range of styles, Bata footwear became highly sought after. By 1912, the company employed over 600 full-time workers and several hundred individuals working from nearby settlements.

Bata in the Present Times

In response to the economic shifts of the 1990s, Bata Corporation made strategic decisions to close several plants in developed nations and shifted its focus towards expanding its retail operations. As a result, Bata gradually phased out its presence in Canada.

Presently, Bata boasts a vast global presence, with over 32,000 employees, more than 5,300 stores, and 21 production facilities across over 70 countries spanning five continents. The brand estimates that it serves over 1 million customers daily. Notably, Bata has established a strong foothold in India, where it has been operating since 1931. Bata India comprises four factories, including the largest shoe manufacturer in Asia, in Kolkata’s Batanagar Industrial Township, established in 1930.

The Bata Group is organised into five geographical regions: Africa, with a regional office in Limuru, Kenya; Asia-Pacific, with a regional office in Singapore; Latin America, with a regional office in Santiago, Chile; India, with a regional office in New Delhi; and Europe, with a regional office based in Padua, Italy. This geographical segmentation allows Bata to manage its operations and cater to diverse global markets effectively.

Bata – Business and Revenue Model

The core focus of Bata Corporation revolves around the manufacturing of shoes and other fashion-related accessories. The company’s business is organised into three branches: Bata, Bata Industrials (specialising in safety shoes), and AW Lab (with a focus on sports style).

One notable aspect of Bata’s business strategy is its emphasis on adaptation to local audiences. To cater to each region’s unique tastes and preferences, Bata maintains dedicated websites for different geographical markets. This approach allows the company to engage with and attract its local customer base effectively.

Bata India Ltd is a major success story within the Bata brand. By offering affordable footwear options in India, Bata has garnered immense popularity and has become the preferred shoe brand for many Indians. Bata is often perceived as a local brand due to its widespread acceptance and recognition in the Indian market. This exemplifies Bata’s adaptation strategy’s strength and ability to resonate with diverse consumer segments.

Bata operates numerous factories globally, with a significant presence in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and other regions. This widespread manufacturing network enables the company to efficiently meet the demand for its products globally, while also supporting local economies and communities.