Monday , April 19 2021

Bata, a visionary who does not fascinate: he sells 270 million pairs of shoes every year

Just as Henry Ford inspired many of the world's entrepreneurs with their methods of managing and organizing production, Tomáš Baťa has become a model for many Czech industrialists. Maybe your system of separate economic units in business is still alive.

Bata was a prototype of a visionary. Three years after the cobbler's foundation, he and his two brothers came up with the idea of ​​producing cloth shoes with a leather tip. Unlike the usual leather shoes, the costumes were cheaper and their production was faster. Ten years after the start of business, the company produced 2200 pairs of shoes per day.

In 1904 and 1913, Bata went to the United States to study the experiences of Henry Ford and Frederick Taylor. It was produced mainly by the production of bands, which it introduced in its factories in 1927. It managed to increase its production by 58%, with a 35% increase in the number of employees.

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During World War I, Bata managed to turn to produce heavy leather boots and became the main contractor of the Austrian army. One year before the end of the war, the company blew up about two million pairs of shoes a year. In the early years after the war and the independence of the republic, deflationary economic policy reduced domestic demand and the revaluation of the currency again disproportionately increased Czechoslovak assets in foreign markets.

The biggest problems arose in 1922. At that time, Bata decided to take a risky step. He cut the price of his shoes in half and started the campaign Bata crushes the drachma. To achieve this, he persuaded workers to agree to reduce wages by 40%. Instead, they gave them food, clothing, and other necessities at a half-price store in the company store. Baťa's business was flooded with customers and production rose 60% soon.

Bata knew that production should be simplified to keep pricing policies low. Since 1923, he established a system of separate economic units, where individual parts of the company were autonomous and responsible for economic outcomes. His job was to make a profit. Each of the employees has become, to some extent, an entrepreneur.

In Zlín he built a school, a hospital and the typical brick houses of Baťa. The same model of employee care was repeated in the Czech Republic. The first foreign factories were built by the company in Möhlin, Switzerland, and in Calcutta, India. The companies had a company in France, Austria, Romania, Sweden, Egypt, Indonesia or Singapore.

Tomáš Baťa died in a plane crash in 1932 when he flew to open the factory in Möhlin. The company was taken over by his half-brother Jan Antonín Baťa. The family business has expanded to produce tires, sports aircraft or gas masks. He also thought about the development of pre-war Czechoslovakia. He got the idea of ​​the first freeway from west to east or the interconnection of the Danube, Odra and Elba by a water channel. In 1939, Bata operates 63 companies, employs 42,000 people and sells more than 60 million pairs of boots in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Half a year after World War II, the Czech races of Baťa were nationalized. The same fate affected businesses in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where the communist parties were able to appropriate. The son of the founder, Tomáš Jan Baťa, moved to Canada and created a Bata Shoe Company of companies that had a company in non-Communist countries. The property was judged by Jan Antonín Bata, who fled to Brazil during the war. Long disputes resolved to peace in 1962, when J. A. Bata gave up his rights for three million dollars.

After 1989, Tomáš Baťa returned to Czechoslovakia at the invitation of President Vaclav Havel. His company opens new stores based in Zlín. In the Dolní Němčí area of ​​Southern Moravia, Baťa took over the Svit factory. At its factory in the Czech Republic, Baťa employs 140 people who produce 300,000 pairs of shoes per year. Around the world, Bata sells 270 million pairs of shoes a year, on average.

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