I am posting this piece especially for our young friends who have joined the Bata Family.I write this as I just retired from this wonderful Organisation which is rich in History across the world. I joined Bata shoe Company in Gweru Zimbabwe on 9 September 1970 and retired on the 31 March 2019. This is nearly 50 years of continuous service in the the Organisation.I know many people who also cloaked this service or even more. Many of our young people today may want to know why people spend their life time in the Bata Shoe Organisation.
I joined Bata Gweru Retail sales department straight from school and never looked back. The training immediately began as one needs to know first Bata Gweru history as a company and then the Bata Shoe Organization in general. I was really fascinated. Naturally I enjoy talking to people and I found myself at home in the Bata Organization. Bata Gweru was strictly following the Bata International guidelines on Training programs. Courses in the sales department were a combination of local and international. In the Bata Jargon we had Basalco, Adminco, Memanco and many Refcos. In the International courses we had those days Retailco, Marketco, Devco, and the most popular and exhausting course was Advanco. Please you can always ask your colleagues the full names of these abbreviations and you should quickly be familiar with them. I was really privileged to have attended all these courses. I worked in the retail Department as a sales person, store manager, district manager and my last position at Bata Gweru was Retail Sales Manager. International courses were held in Toronto Canada, and also in France at the Bata village outside Paris. I attended all these courses.The last course one had to attend was the Executive Management course which was also held in Toronto Canada. I must say I was favored in that during my life at Bata Gweru I learnt so much about Bata as an organisation and the Bata Family in particular. I was also Privileged when I was a District Manager based in Harare. I was always tasked to drive Mr TJ Bata during his visit to stores.This is when I began to understand that when we say Bata Shoe Organization, sometimes we forget that this is somebody`s name.On one visit in the store Mr Bata noticed shoes that were marked down in the dumb basket. These shoes were not clean and he called me in front of all the bosses and he asked me why I was putting such dirty shoes on promotion. I just said Mr. Bata I will mark them down further to clear. He said in an angry voice; `` THIS IS MY NAME STAMPED ON THESE DIRTY SHOES. YOU BURN THEM IMMEDIATELY``. I had to instruct the store manager to to do so right away.
From then on I understood fully that whatever we do, we must realize the Bata Family name is stamped on our shoes and we must treat all our shoes and the Bata signs on our stores with respect.
Bata Gweru will always be the best place for me. we had everything we needed there. A beautiful environment with excellent facilities and a residential area second to none with a conducive atmosphere. For me it really seemed like I was destined for this organization as my career was so satisfactory that I could never think of anything outside Bata. I learnt so much from Mr. TJ Bata as I was always around with him when he visited stores on his numerous visit to Bata Gweru. Finally I was sent to deputize as Company manager in Botswana, Malawi and then finally promoted to Company Manager in Zambia where I retired after 16 years at the helm. I was also privileged in Zambia to have been visited by Mr. TG and Mrs S Bata, and just before I retired, Thomas Archer Bata also visited me and I really felt honored. In Bata we always say you are very lucky when you are visited by any of the Bata family members.
The purpose of this brief is to inspire all our young executives and new joins who have chosen a career at Bata that you will never regret because I know what Bata can offer. Bata has a rich History in training and will give you a future you never imagined. Just stay focused in your chosen field and always seek help if you cannot understand anything. I am sure you understand that every now and then all of us come under stress when things go the way we do not expect. But that is when you must be determined to find out why and when you know the reason, ensure you do not repeat the same mistakes.Lastly I know Bata Organization has wonderful people and I am always keep in touch with many of my friends from around the word including my former bosses.
Have a wonderful career in the Bata organization; In the meantime PLEASE STAY SAFE AND FOLLOW THE LOCAL GUIDELINES IN YOUR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES with respect to Covid-19.