Bata Ltd. is a privately owned global shoe manufacturer and retailer headquartered in Ontario, Canada. The company is led by a third generation of the Bata family. With operations in 68 countries, Bata is organized into four business units. Bata Canada, based in Toronto, serves the Canadian market with 250 stores. Based in Paris, Bata Europe serves the European market with 500 stores. With supervision located in Singapore, Bata International boasts 3,000 stores to serve markets in Africa, the Pacific, and Asia, Finally, Bata Latin America, operating out of Mexico City, sells footwear throughout Latin America. All told, Bata owns more than 4,700 retail stores and 46 production facilities. Total employment for the company exceeds 50,000.
Company Founded in 1894
The Bata family's ties to shoemaking span more than two dozen generations and purportedly date as far back as 1580 to the small Czech village of Zlin. However, it was not until 1894 that the family began to make the transition from cobblers to industrialists. In that year, Tomas G. Bata, Sr., along with his brother Antonin and sister Anna, took 800 florins, some $350, inherited from their mother and launched a shoemaking business. They rented a pair of rooms, acquired two sewing machines on an installment plan, and paid for their leather and other materials with promissory notes. They produced stitched, coarse-woolen footwear. Within a year, the business was successful enough to enable the Batas to employ ten people in their factory, such as it was, as well as another forty who worked out of their own homes. In the same year, 1895, Antonin was drafted into the military and Anna quit the business to get married, forcing Tomas to assume complete control of the venture. He was just 19 years old.
In 1900, Bata moved the operation to a new building located close to Zlin's railway station and took the first major step in industrialization, installing steam-driven machines. The company enjoyed