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    Bata focuses on casual shoe market; expects normalcy to return faster than 2nd wave

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    Bata focuses on casual shoe market; expects normalcy to return faster than 2nd wave

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    In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Vidhya Srinivasan, CFO, Bata India, said that COVID third wave hasn’t impacted demand as much as the second wave. She believes normalcy will return a lot sooner this time around as compared to COVID second wave. She explained that owing to the ongoing pandemic and the work-from-home culture, the company is focusing on casual and activewear shoes as there's a shift in consumer preferences in this regard.

    Vidhya Srinivasan, CFO, Bata India, on Tuesday, said that COVID third wave hasn’t impacted demand as much as the second wave. She believes normalcy will return a lot sooner this time around as compared to COVID second wave. Srinivasan explained that the company’s focus at present is to get back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest.
    She said, “We are waiting to see how Omicron pans out as far as the market is concerned. We are expecting things to return back to normal as quickly as possible, much faster than the second wave. Most of our stores are open, consumers are coming in and we are taking all the necessary precautionary measures from a safety standpoint. So, we are cautiously optimistic.”
    Owing to the ongoing pandemic and the work-from-home culture, Srinivasan has seen a shift in the urban markets in terms of consumer preferences. She said that more and more consumers are leaning toward leisure and comfort when compared to formal shoes. In a bid to cater to the customers, the company has launched new products in the casual shoes and activewear segment.
    She said, “There have been switches which have taken place in product categories from formal to more casual, activewear kind of a thing and that’s reflecting in urban markets. We expanded the spectrum from normal shoes to casual shoes, activewear. So in each of these product categories, our endeavor is to look at premiumisation and we are seeing that trending in our product categories; we are seeing that strategy pan out quite well.”
    On cities, she said that tier-II and tier-III markets are working well for the company. Additionally, she explained that the company is increasing its marketing investments.
    She said, “Tier-II, tier-III markets are doing well and we expect that trend to continue in 2022. However, over the last couple of years we have been cautious in terms of investments given whatever is happening from COVID standpoint. But this year, we are focusing on investments in three buckets – digital, marketing and upgrading infrastructure.”
    For the full interview, watch the accompanying video
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