My Dear Shareholders
First and foremost I hope and pray that you and your family are safe. Past fifteenmonths have been very challenging times for all of us on both personal and professionalfronts. It has tested human capabilities like never before - nimbleness resilience andresponsiveness to name a few. My heart goes out to everyone who has suered the terribleloss of a loved one and I pray for a speedy recovery of those still battling the virus.
I would also like to express my immense gratitude to each one of you who stood by usand continued to support us as we grappled with one of the worst calamities in humanhistory. The ongoing pandemic has only reinforced the value of human life.
At Bata India this period has once again proved strengths that all our stakeholdersbring to us - be it employees vendors customers and of course the shareholdersincluding the sponsors. Our employees stood like true Corona warriors and came forward atthe availability of slightest window of opportunity. They showed exemplary courage anddetermination. Your Company remained steadfast in its resolve to ensure best eorts andpractices for the health and well-being of our employees. My heartfelt thanks to all thestakeholders and in particular the employees and vendors.
Our resilience built on their passionate and strong commitment was visible in thestrong recovery witnessed during the last quarter of the year 2020 as we could restart ouroperations much faster than expected. But the second wave shook the country even harder.Expectedly revenues for the year remained subdued due to marked decline in demand forformal wear but your Companys confidence on the path forward remains high.
Bata Shoe Organisation (BSO) the founder and parent entity has been guided by astrong set of beliefs right from the time it was founded in 1894. BSO has navigated andweathered the Worlds biggest crisis including Great Depression and two World Warsin its journey of 127 years.
As a Group we have always strived ahead with passion in face of disasters and emergedvictorious with our agility resilience adaptability and proactive approach. Indiaexperienced one of the strictest lockdowns towards the end of March 2020 and all ourstores factories and oces were shut for close to two months. We quickly adaptedre-oriented and re-calibrated all our resources towards devising a comprehensive strategyfor the future. New ways of working were adopted with digital applications onlinetrainings and innovative solutions to ensure business continuity.
Newer areas for growth including omni channels and Bata Store-on-Wheels remained infocus. We undertook strategic initiatives to allow customers to shop from the comfort oftheir homes via Bata ChatShop and Bata Store-on-Wheels. We invested in new technologies invarious areas like ticketing solutions contact centre partner e-commerce relatedprocesses to improve customer experience and satisfaction. Our e-commerce and Market Placepresence has significantly widened during the year with our digitally enabled channelscontributing to about 15% of our total sales.
As a responsible organisation we have always been conscientious about ourresponsibility and commitment towards the society and the Nation. As we continue to battlethe pandemic we have tried our helping hand by our participation in relief measures. Wedonated hygiene kits masks and face shields to front-line workers along with close to 2Lakh pairs of footwear under our global shoe donation drive of 1 Million pairs worldwide.
We at Bata India experienced a moment of immense pride and joy when our colleague andCEO Sandeep Kataria was elevated as the Global CEO of Bata Brands. He is the first Indianto be elevated to the post and I take this opportunity to congratulate Sandeep and theentire Bata India family on this remarkable feat.
I am also delighted to welcome Gunjan Shah to the Bata India family who is joining asthe new CEO. He is a dynamic leader with deep understanding of complexities of Indianmarkets and consumers. I am confident that he will take Bata India to greater heights.
As we continue to battle the second wave of the Covid infections we remain committedto address the challenges and are confident that we will successfully weather the stormlike a Lighthouse with the help of our dedicated sta strong leadership our inherentgrit and the unflinching support from all our stakeholders.
Heres hoping and praying for good health for everyone. Additionally as wenavigate the year with mass vaccination I am sure together we shall come out of thiscatastrophe stronger and better than before.