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Jul, 29 2015

“Franchise model fits perfectly for us”

When we talk of footwear in India, Bata comes to our mind as one of the most trusted and old brands. With changing business scenario and its zeal to reach every city’s corner, Bata is taking several new measures to stay ahead in the market.

Sandeep Rana caught up with Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, Group Managing Director, South Asia, Bata India Ltd, to know more…

What’s new happening in Bata.

Bata’s new stores are built as per the Zeus Store Concept which is the global Bata store format designed by experienced designers and architects, using the latest retail techniques and the best quality of furniture to enhance the store layout. Also, with newer marketing initiatives like the Spring Summer 2014 campaign which was a 360 degree integration of TV Commercial, Radio, PR and social media, the brand has been able to reach out and communicate about its new look to a wider and younger audience.

What is the USP of your brand?

Apart from various other factors, our USP has always been comfort, quality and durability in the shoes that we sell. We also integrate various technologies in the making of our shoes like the massagio in Scholls, Active Aloe in Bata Comfit and the upturn shoe sock feature in the Sundrops range.

What is Bata’s presence in India?

Currently, we are present in about 500 cities of India. Bata runs 1450 company-owned and 40 franchise units in the country.

What do you have to say about your brand’s franchise strategy?

With a diverse reach of more than 1400 stores across the country, it becomes essential to have a few franchise stores to reach out to places where it may be difficult for us to manage remotely. The franchise model gives us the comfort of somebody else managing and taking ownership and responsibility of the store on the brand’s behalf. And this is where the franchise model fits perfectly for us as it helps us to penetrate deeper in the market and further expand our business via store openings not only in the metros but also the tier-II or III cities.

What are your plans with the brand for the next five years?

Alongside to revamping our stores, we are also creating an omni-channel presence in the country with partnering with online retailers and building our own online website and mobile application.

Five years down the line, I would like Bata India to have the best team in South Asia at manufacturing, retail and store level. We are working towards building the best customer service team in the industry. From a product perspective, we should be achieving a product enhancement in the outdoor category alongside Ballerina, Comfort and Sportswear category. I would also like to see our stores available at every city’s corner in the next five years for providing our customers convenience at their doorstep.

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