Thomas Bata, the head of shoe empire -- 'Bata shoes', has been honoured by Canada India Business Council (CIBC) for his outstanding contributions to promoting India in Canada.
Bata, 93, who is heading his conglomerate across more than 50 countries around the globe, received a life time achievement award instituted by the CIBC for his contributions to global business and promoting India in Canada.
The award was presented to Bata on Friday by Jim Prentice, Canada's Industry Minister, at the 4th Corporate Diwali inner hosted to celebrate 25th anniversary of CIBC.
While accepting the award, Bata said that he was grateful to India as a country that had provided him an opportunity to serve its billion people by letting him put shoes in their feet. Having opened its first small factory in Konnagar (near Kolkata) in 1932, India remains his favourite country, with over 8000 employees serving customers in 932 stores.
Prentice described Bata as true Canadian business legend and said that that there were few Canadians who have led a business with the reach and success of Bata Shoes.
The Minister commended the role CIBC was playing in helping to build trade relationship between the two countries.
"Thanks to the work of the Council, more and more Canadian businesses are including India in their export plans. And our government has a strategic partner in building investment relationships that link Calgary to Kolkata and Mumbai to Montreal," Prentice added.