Bata India is looking to put in place a strategy for ramping up exports both for the domestic unit as well as part of the company’s global supply chain leveraging upon the core competencies of India.

According to Gunjan Shah, MD and CEO, Bata India, exports currently account for a “negligible” part of the company’s sales at around one-to-two per cent. However, the company is working towards a strategy which can enable it to be a part of the global supply chain as a step towards diversifying from markets other than China, leveraging the core competencies and strengths of India. The strategy is likely to fructify in the next six-to-nine months.

“There are two large trends that we carry–one is that obviously we got a very large sourcing and manufacturing base in India and the second piece is that there are certain materials and material related footwear where India has a distinct competitiveness. There is a lot of work happening around this along with our global counterparts in Bata worldwide and that should fructify in the next two-to-three quarters,” Shah said in an exclusive interaction with BusinessLine post the annual general meeting which was held virtually on Friday.

As a part of the strategy, India could cater to some of the global markets that Bata worldwide is catering to at present, he indicated. Globally, Bata has a large base in Europe and equally large business in rest of Asia as well as Africa and Latin America.

“There is enough opportunity across various consumer usage segments as well as price points. Once we are able to put together the match between the capability and the market requirements we should be able to talk about some numbers. We will wait for this strategy to play out in the next six-to-nine months,” he said.

5E strategy

Bata India has identified a ‘5E’ strategy which includes evolving product mix, exploring digital channel, expanding distribution network, efficiency and exports, for growth during the current fiscal, company’s chairman, Ashwani Windlass said.

Staying relevant to youth

On the product front, the company is looking to focus on the sneaker category and roll out products which offer greater margins to shore up its profitability. Since last year, the company has been increasingly focussing on growing the sneakers category and casual wear which it feels is more preferred among younger population.

According to Windlass, it has not only led to higher footfall in the stores but also helped the company stay relevant with the preferences of the youth. The company is also betting big on driving sales through the digital channel even as it expands footprint into newer towns and cities.

Digital sales, which currently accounts for around ten per cent of its total sales, have made significant progress and during the last quarter has been the fastest growing business unit of the company.  It expects that in the next three-to-five years the channel would grow significantly ahead of its other business and the contribution to sales to increase.