Mr. Jan Antonin Bata is interviewed in Singapore on his round-the-world business trip on February 10th, 1937. Mr. Bata discussed Czechoslovakia as the best-shod country in the world, discussed world production of shoes, which was only enough to supply 15% of world population. Further stated that the only two places in the world that Bata does not sell shoes are Russia and Japan (Russia because they are prohibited, Japan because of prohibitive duties). â€œMr. [Jan] Bata has just started one in Klang, which will be producing rubber shoes for a start.â€?
The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser,10 February 1937. "SHOEMAKER" FOR THE WORLD Mr. Jan Bata To Address Rotary Club Today The head of one of the biggest shoe-manufacturing companies in the world arrived in Singapore yesterday in his private Lockheed Electra plane and registered himself at Raffles Hotel as a "shoemaker." Mr. Jan A. Bata, whose shoes are worn all over the world, is proud of that title. His father and grandfather and great-grandfather great-great-grandfather before him were all shoemakers. In fact, he is descended from a family who, as far as he can trace, have been shoemakers in Europe for the last 300 years. Today Mr. Bata operates some 20 factories, spread over Europe and Asia, which make an annual output of 40 to 50 million pairs. Of this about 300,000 pairs come to Malaya; the rest are distributed over 155 centres in both continents. While these figures may sound impressive, Mr. Bata pointed our in an interview with the Free Press yesterday that the combined efforts of all the shoe-makers in the world produce less than 300,000,000 pairs for a potential world market of 2,000,000,000 people. In other words, if everyone in the world wore shoes the supply would only enable each to go about with one foot shod! BEST SHOD COUNTRY Czechoslovakia, Mr. Bata asserted, is today the best-shod country in the world. Its shoe consumption continues to increase where other countries, including the United States show a decrease. This in spite of the fact that not so very long ago father in Czechoslovakia bequeathed their shoes to their sons!
There are only two countries in the world where Bata shoes are not sold: Russia and Japan. They are prohibited in Russia. In Japan the duty prohibitive. "Japan is one of the countries which says to the world: 'You all should buy from me, but I wouldn't buy anything from you'." Bata factories are situated in France, England, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Jugoslavia, Egypt, Syria, Bagdad, Calcutta and the United States. In Czechoslovakia there are four. Mr. Bata has started one in Klang, which will be producing rubber shoes for a start. "Actually we are buying three times as much in rubber from Malaya as we are exporting in shoes to this country," Mr. Bata said. SPEAKS SEVEN LANGUAGES A modest, cheerful and sociable man, standing six feet in his socks, the outspoken head of the Bata Shoe Co. is a fine conversationalist capable of handling a wide range of subjects. He speaks seven different languages and laughingly recalls one occasion when he delivered a speech in Hindustani. It went over great, but he had put in a week's hard work to master it! Although his visit is really on business. Mr. Bata flippantly referred to it as his desire "to see some of our boys in Malaya" to find out how they were getting along. "I find pleasure in business," he said, "Just as some people find their hobby in seeing the world and knowing how people are shod.â€? He has at his finger tips a fund of figures concerning the duty on the Bata shoes in various countries. Possibly the worst shod country in the world, he believes is Rumania, where the duty is 300 percent. As a result the number of pairs used per head works our to .3. TO ADDRESS ROTORY CLUB Mr. Bata is accompanied by his secretary. Mr. F. Pokorny, Dr. W. Recht and V. Rojt, Director of Bata's Far Eastern organization, His plane is flown by Chief Pilot Serhant and a crew of three. He will spend two days in Singapore before leaving by air for Batavia, Sourabaya, back to Singapore, Bangkok, Siagon, Hanoi, Canton, Shanghai and Honolulu. From there he will sail to Los Angeles, Mexico, Maimi, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Washington and Le Havre. The round trip is expected to last three months, by which time he expects to be home in Czechoslovakia again. Mr. Bata was entertained by Mr. P. Stransky, Czechoslovakian Consul at Singapore, at his house yesterday. today Mr. Bata and party will be the guests of the Singapore Rotary Club at their weekly luncheon at the Adelphi Hotel. He will give a short address.
Jan Antonin Bata a világ cipőgyártója