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I May Break The Legacy Of Bata Family By Not Naming My Son 'Thomas', Says Thomas Archer Bata
In a family of people with same name, Thomas, you don't get the opportunity to stand apart from the usual expectations. With same name, you automatically fall in the same pool as your ancestors were in
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Flaunting his Nehru jacket, Thomas Archer Bata had a busy day in India. The global chief marketing officer and fourth generation of the 122- year- old shoe maker company shares his first name with his great-grandfather, Tomas Bata. The catch is Archer's grandfather is also Thomas, his father is also called Thomas. Archer is son of Thomas G Bata, chairman of Switzerland-headquartered family-owned Bata Shoes.
However, Archer may never call his son 'Thomas', which is otherwise a family legacy. "Keeping the same name in family lacks creativity and originality. I may never give the same name to my son," he confessed while bursting into a loud laugh.
"It is good to have your own personality. When no name is associated with you, you have an opportunity to stand apart from the usual expectations. Otherwise, with the same name, you automatically fall in the same pool as your ancestors were in," Archer opened up while sipping a glass of white wine. "Also, diversity is good for every family and business, be it in naming people."
I would often get confuse at home that who is calling whom. "I remember, I was 15 years old when I got a letter from US Embassy inviting me for the state dinner. I clearly knew, it was not for me," recalls Archer while sitting in an upmarket hotel in central Delhi.
Same names may have the legacy but they do have a flipside, his father Thomas G Bata felt same during his trip to India, last November. "Love letters that came for me often addressed to Thomas Bata. But they were received by my father."
Archer's 67-year-old dad has a story for naming his son, Thomas. "I was travelling when my son was born. Initially, my folks called his baby Bata, and soon enough, even before I had reached home, he was also named Thomas," Bata had said earlier.
While Archer thought, when he was born, his family probably got nervous and did not want to break the trend. He is thankful, for a different middle name, Archer.
However, same names and family heritage - has built a century-old legacy in the Bata house.
Bata, in footwear brands, is still considered synonymous with shoes in India.
His sister, Charlotte, is a style blogger who cleverly pairs luxury and fast fashion with Bata shoes on her blogs, while Archer took care of the Bata operations in Chile, one of the company's larger markets.
The company has set a target of achieving $1 billion (Rs 6,500 crore) in annual sales by 2020 in India. "We are still far away and it's going to be challenging. It all depends on the way how we execute our plans well and make the right investments. We are launching 100 stores year on year, the plan is same for this year as well," he said while clarifying that he is not taking his father's position in company anytime soon. "There is no pressure on me."