The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shareholders force poll at Bata annual meet

Calcutta, June 27: The shareholders of Bata India today forced a poll on all resolutions at its annual general meeting here. The poll on the resolutions adopted by the board would take place on Saturday.

For the year ended December 31, 2002, the company has suffered a loss of Rs 7.4 crore on a turnover of Rs 704 crore.

Addressing shareholders, chairman A. L. Mudaliar said the company has to rationalise its overhead costs to make its products competitive.

Salary, wages and other fixed costs account for nearly 26 per cent of total expenditure, which is the highest in the industry, he said.

The company has also geared up to increase productivity. Executives who have not been able to achieve the benchmark in terms of performance have left the organisation.

Bata has already embarked on a major restructuring exercise to improve distribution logistics, reduce costs, strengthen merchandising and marketing along with the launch of more products. Purchasing functions have been centralised by the company

Mudaliar said the company was forced to change the management team after it suffered heavy losses.

Bata has decided to ramp up its operations and has put in place a closer co-ordination between the merchandising, product development, planning, manufacturing and distribution functions.

The company is also in the process of replacing cash drain stores by new large-format stores. “We are also closing down non-viable stores,” Mudaliar said.

Shop managers and employees will be motivated by attractive reward schemes linked to growth in business.

The chairman informed the shareholders that the company has appointed brand managers who would be responsible for promoting its brand of footwear.

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