Twenty-nine-year old Thomas Archer Bata is carrying on the legacy of the famed name and wants to quickly bring the brick and mortar stores company into the digital world. The global Chief Marketing Officer says he aims to ensure that a Bata shoe would be available to anyone, anywhere in the country -- and eventually the world.
Bata said, "It's a big shift towards retail and digital. We believe firmly that distribution and the future will be heavily digitally-oriented. So, even if you are not going to the store to buy your shoe, you are going to be perhaps buying it online. The way the people are shopping, the brand needs to change."
But it won't be all digital, like e-commerce sites. Bata stores will still be around.
He said, "There is a conflict that exists in footwear that if a shoe looks good, it has to be uncomfortable and vice versa... We are trying to bridge that gap. We have big product development teams trying to figure that out everyday -- 'What is it about this shoe that makes it uncomfortable?' so that we don't have to compromise on either perceptions."
He further added, "I'm aware of that problem. It is not actually terribly that simple to resolve. The solution that we are looking at is having those kind of collections online. I am a size 46, which is a eleven and half (UK size). I have very big feet, so it's also quite difficult for me to buy shoes.
The solution we are looking at is to have some articles in small sizes in stores and have a wider selection available online. Unfortunately, because of capacity in the stores, it is not feasible to have every article in every size. If you don't like it or have issues with the shoe you buy online, you can return it."
Archer Bata, has thrown a challenge at the Indian company -- of trying to reach a turnover of $1 billion (Rs 6,500 crore) by 2020 in annual sales -- from Rs 2,450 crore in March 2016.