Companies

Bata to revamp manufacturing units

Jayanta Mallick Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018

Uday Khanna, Chairman, Bata India   -  Business Line

Bata India has planned to invest more than ₹100 crore to increase productivity at its three manufacturing units and expand its retail networks this year. In 2013, Bata had spent ₹ 77.46 crore on retail infrastructure expansion and on installing new machinery and moulds at plants.

“Now we are in the process of refurbishing all the three plants – one near Kolkata, and two others in Patna and Bangalore,” Bata MD R Gopalakrishnan said after its AGM.

This revamp would be complete within 18 months at a cost of around ₹50 crore, he said.

Gopalakrishnan also confirmed that the tannery at Mokama in Bihar was shut down last year. The company is yet to decide on a 33-acre land of the tannery that still remains with the company.

The company, which opened 95 large format retail stores last calendar year, has decided to open 130-140 such stores in urban centres, according to Gopalakrishnan. It has also planned to take the franchise route in tier-III and IV cities. “Some 20 such small format (100 sq m) stores have already been established. Our plan is to set up a total of 100 small format franchised retail outlets by the end of this calendar year,” Gopalakrishnan said.

Affordable footwear

In addition, Bata is making its first move to penetrate into rural areas in two states — Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan — through its distribution network.

It is also expanding its new retail brand Footin to compete with unorganised sector in urban areas with “affordable and trendy footwear”, Bata Chairman Uday Khanna said at the company’s AGM here.

Bata is also setting up a “manufacturing school” for training employees. “The school, which would impart short duration courses in footwear pattern, mould making and designing to begin with, is being set up in collaboration with Ars Sutoria of Italy. We may extend it to staff of sourcing agency later,” he added.

The company outsources about 55 per cent of footwear and accessories. It currently manufactures 22 million pairs of footwear at its plants. Accessories are entirely outsourced.

Bata is also coming up with four retail business training centres at Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata to improve quality of its services. It has hired consultancy firm Accenture to guide its dedicated 30-member team on quality improvement, particularly in the manufacturing processes.

Published on May 21, 2014

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