Top 25 Most Customer-Centric Brands Impacting Lives in 2024

Presently, Bata proudly stands at the pinnacle with an extensive network of over 150 stores and a state-of-the-art factory situated in Limuru, Kenya - recognised as the corporation’s headquarters.

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BATA

In the ever-changing world of footwear, manufacturers strive to uphold customer centricity as a guiding principle, and few embody this ethos more profoundly than Bata.

Originating as a global footwear powerhouse, Bata Shoe Kenya, a subsidiary of this illustrious brand, has firmly established itself in the nation’s footwear landscape. Its rich history is deeply rooted in an unwavering commitment to understanding and satisfying the diverse needs of its customers, coupled with a steadfast dedication to innovation.

Bata’s journey in Kenya commenced in 1932 when Tomas Bata laid the foundation by opening the first store in the country. This marked the inception of a legacy that would significantly influence the trajectory of Kenya’s footwear industry.

Presently, Bata proudly stands at the pinnacle with an extensive network of over 150 stores and a state-of-the-art factory situated in Limuru, Kenya – recognised as the corporation’s headquarters. The brand consistently achieves impressive figures, selling upwards of 30 million pairs of shoes annually and providing gainful employment to over 2,000 individuals in the country. This impressive reach serves as testament to Bata’s unrelenting commitment to ensuring the accessibility of its products to a diverse and wide-ranging spectrum of customers.

Samuel Maina, Acting CEO of KBC, paid a courtesy call at the Bata headquarters. He was welcomed by Bata’s Managing Director Benson
Okumu, and the Chief Regional Human Resource Manager, JohnNgoru.

At the helm of Bata Shoe Kenya PLC is Benson Okumu, a visionary and transformative leader who personifies the brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction. As Managing Director (MD), Okumu steers Bata towards setting the standard for affordable, comfortable, stylish, and practical footwear. His focused leadership has cemented Bata’s reputation as a formidable, customer-centric shoe brand in Kenya.

Bata’s product portfolio has expanded beyond footwear to include socks, insoles, ladies handbags, school and travelling bags, belts, wallets, and shoe care products such as polish.

The iconic Toughees brand, in production since 1954, symbolises Bata’s commitment to quality, providing durable school shoes designed to withstand the rigours of daily wear by school-going children.

One of Bata’s most recognisable products, the Bata Bullets, made their debut in Kenya in the 1980s, swiftly becoming a sought-after choice among the youth. This low-cut canvas shoe with a rubber sole remains a symbol of Kenyan culture and fashion, attesting to Bata’s ability to resonate with the local audience.

During the transformative era of the 1990s, marked by robust industrialisation and widespread trade liberalisation following independence, Bata underwent a parallel evolution to align with the shifting landscape. Notably, as industrial activities gained prominence, Bata astutely diversified its product line to incorporate work and safety boots. In doing so, Bata solidified its position as a pioneer in the Kenyan footwear industry, navigating the currents of progress with a keen understanding of its customers.

For sports and fitness enthusiasts, Bata Power offers durability and comfort. Known for their advanced technologies providing support, stability, and cushioning, these shoes have become favourites among athletes.

Additionally, Bata Comfit, designed for comfort and style, caters to the preferences of the female demographic. With special features such as cushioned insoles, flexible soles, and breathable materials, these shoes provide a comfortable fit for everyday wear.

The Safari Boot, an indigenous creation, exemplifies Bata’s commitment to offering products tailored to local needs. Hand-stitched and designed for outdoor activities like hiking and camping, this casual shoe, rooted in durability, reflects Bata’s understanding of its customers’ diverse lifestyles.

Other brands under the Bata product portfolio include Ngoma, Pata Pata, Sandak, North Star, Bubblegummers, Weinbrenner, Hush Puppies, and Marie Claire. Each brand caters to specific preferences, ensuring that Bata has something to offer to every section of society, from children to the older generations.

Bata’s success in Kenya can also be attributed to its focus on providing affordable footwear that meets the needs of all consumers. The company’s commitment to innovation is equally evident in its continuous introduction of new technologies and materials to improve the quality and durability of its shoes. For example, the development of shoes with rubber soles in the 1960s, specifically designed for Kenyan terrain, exemplifies Bata’s responsiveness to the unique demands of its customers.

Moreover, Bata has established partnerships with local communities in Kenya to source raw materials and provide employment opportunities. Working closely with small-scale farmers to produce high-quality leather, Bata ensures that the materials used in its products meet stringent quality standards.

Bata Kenya’s rich history, underpinned by its commitment to customer satisfaction, has evolved into a contemporary success story. Through visionary leadership, an adaptive product range, and a commitment to innovation, Bata continues to shape the narrative of customer centricity in the Kenyan footwear industry.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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