The Success Story of Bata: India’s no. 1 Footwear Manufacturer Company

Update: I’ve updated this article on Feb 2022 with some pictures and clarification to make this article more easier to understand.

(Note: This article is based on my internet research, some parts of it may not be 100% accurate.)

If you are facing various problems on the way to fulfilling your dreams and have decided not to move forward then this story could be very helpful for you.

Today I will share with you a shoe brand story that will make you realize that “no one in the world can beat you if you don’t give up on yourself“.

We, our parents and grandparents have adopted this shoe brand so much that many of us still believe that this shoe brand is an Indian company, but it is not true!

Friends, in this article I am talking about Bata, the largest footwear company in India whose founder is Tomas Bata and the headquarters of Bata Company is present in Lausanne, Switzerland today.

Tomas Bata

Today, Bata is known as the most trusted footwear company in India, also Bata Company has more than 5,300 stores in more than 70 countries and manufacturing facilities in 18 countries. But the journey of this company (which took place in our minds from our feet) was not an easy one.

Let’s get to know the inspiring story of Bata Company made by Tomas Bata in a very simple way.

Quick Introduction:

Tomas Bata was born on April 3, 1876, in Prague, Czech. He had one brother and one sister, his brother’s name was Antonin Bata and their sister’s name was Anna Bata. Their family has been in the shoe business for a long time.

Bata Brothers and Sister

Tomas soon learned to work with shoes, as the family ran the shoemaker’s business. You might be surprised to hear that Thomas started manufacturing shoes to show off his skills at just 15 years old But for some reason, it soon failed.

Because of this, he had to hear all sorts of things from everyone such as it was not his job, it would not be by him.

But instead of feeling bad about hearing those words, he decided that one day he would change his small family business into a big one.

How The Bata Company Started?

The story of the Bata company began in 1894, when Tomas, along with his brother Antonin and sister Anna, rented a small shop in the Zlin town of Czechoslovakian for a shoe-making workshop.

They had only 320 in the capital at the time and used this capital to buy a double sewing machine in instalments and started their first shoes company called T and A Bata.

They had no difficulty in starting this business as their family had been in the shoemaking business for a long time.

However, some dreams do not come true quickly and bring many problems with them, the same thing happened in the case of Tomas.

In 1895, Tomas’ brother Antonin joined the army and his sister Anna got married. As a result, Tomas was left alone and the entire responsibility and bedt, of the company, fell on 19-year-old Thomas.

A year after the company started, Thomas had to deal with financial problems and the debt-ridden Tomas decided to make shoes out of canvas instead of leather.

In 1897, Thomas created a shoe called “Batovka”, and it became popular for its simple style, lightweight, and price, the popularity of this shoe helped spread the company’s name.

Credit: Bata

At the same time, the number of employees of the company increased immediately, at first 10 people and after a while, it increased to 50 people and as a result, the company’s growth grew day by day and Thomas gradually became debt-free.

Bata v/s Western Shoe Companies:

Another big challenge for the Bata Company was that the shoes of the Bata company began to lose out to the machine-powered shoes of the western countries.

And to solve this problem, in 1904, Tomas moved to the United States with three of his loyal and skilled workers and there he joined a famous machine-operated shoe factory.

After 6 months he came back to his country with new skills.

After using machines to make shoes in his own company, the quality and production of his shoes began to grow rapidly, and Tomas became the first machine-made shoemaker in Europe.

Tomas Bata’s only motto from the beginning was “our customer is our master“.

Constant new inventions on shoes matched customer needs, which led to an increase in the company’s production as well as the number of employees. In 1905 the number of employees of the company reached 250 who started making 2200 pairs of shoes every day.

World War I:

When World War I broke out in 1914, the Bata Company, known for its comfort and great quality, received large orders of making shoes for soldiers.

By 1918 the Bata Company had to increase its employees’ number ten times to deliver orders on time in the First World War, and in many cities,s Bata opened its stores.

So far, Thomas’s life has been going very well, but after the end of the First World War, when the country’s economic system collapsed, the Bata Company faced many other problems.

But this time too Tomas solved all the problems and made a risky step for the company which became the life and death question of the Bata company.

The risky step:

In 1920, Thomas decided that he would reduce the price of Bata’s shoes by 50% and this caused him to be ridiculed by many, but the Bata Company continued production with their dedicated workers without admitting to anyone’s ridicule.

Very soon Thomas’s risky steps and the results of the company’s teamwork began to pay off surprisingly. At a time when the rest of the shoe companies were deciding to close their businesses due to financial constraints, orders for half price of Bata shoes started coming from all over the place which caused the popularity of Bata company to skyrocket at that time.

From here the Bata Company never had to look back and gradually the Bata Company expanded its business to 27 countries and at that time Bata entered to the then Indian subcontinent.


On July 12, 1932, Tamas Bata (at the age of 56) died in a plane crash in the Otrokovice city of Czechoslovakia but he has left a variety of lessons for us.

And I hope that after understanding this story, you must have given up your intention to leave your journey in the middle.

Someone told the truth that,

The Bottom Line:

This is the motivational story of Bata, how it started from a small room and became India’s largest footwear manufacturer company.

In this article, you’ve learned, how a boy from a shoemaker family established a most loveable shoe company through his mindset. Also, I have bolded the lines which are very important to understand the story of Bata.

Which part of this story inspired you most? Let me know in the comment section.

Now it’s your turn to tell the inspiring story of Bata to others.

If you found this story informational, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.

Thanks for visiting. Ta Da!

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