Chief Accountant C Kutik celebrates a quarter of a century of Bata Service. - 1954
A quarter of a century of service with the Bata organisation will be completed tomorrow by Chief Accountant Charles Kutik, and, on behalf of all British Bata employees, the Record extends sincere congratulations upon 25 years’ work well done.
Mr Kutik, in an interview, said he joined the Bata organisation straight from school and at that time, although only a boy, he was determined to become a chief accountant.
“I can remember the day as clearly as if it was only yesterday,” he told Bata Record. “My younger brother was just going to school for the first time and I was bound for Zlin.
My father took me to my first job, which was about 80 miles from my home, and my mother took my little brother to his first lessons.
“I knew I was going into the great Bata shoe factory to learn to make shoes but I was also determined that no matter what job I started at I would become an accountant. It all began when one day, with my school, I was taken to a factory. I was not really interested until we saw the offices and the accountant there spoke to me and seemed to be interested in me. He asked about my school results and advised me to become an accountant.
“I knew then I should never be satisfied until I did.
“At Zlin I went first into the leather factory to work on the conveyor but after four months I was taken off and went to the rubber factory office to learn book-keeping. When I had completed 12 months service I was proud to learn that I had been accepted as a pupil at the commercial academy there, in order to continue my studies in the evenings and at weekends.
“In all, my training in Zlin, both in the factory office and at the academy, occupied three years, and in 1932 I was to have been transferred to the factory in Germany but at the time I was needed in Germany I had not quite completed my college examinations so someone else had to be sent there and later, when I was finished at the commercial academy, I went to the factory in Yugoslavia.
“That was in September, 1932, and it was just at that time that many of the new Bata factories in Europe and other parts of the world were being opened up by our founder, the late Thomas Bata. There was a demand for keen, young men from Zlin and Batamen were going to all parts of the world.
“After a year in the factory at Borovo, in Yugoslavia, I was transferred to the new plant in Poland, where I was an accountant, and the youngest accountant in the Bata organisation at the age of barely 20 years.
“While in Poland I had to reorganise the whole of the book-keeping of the factory in accordance with the new methods which had been brought out in Zlin and also reorganise the administration generally.
“This changeover was successful and before long a bigger and more important task was found for me. I had to go to Konagar, India, and later to the big new factory at Batanagar, outisde Calcutta, and carry out a similar reorganisation after the transfer, from putting into operation the new system of book-keeping and the new methods of administration. It was not only in Batanagar that I had to do this but I was entrusted with the task of carrying the job right through the Bata organisation in the Far East. No easy job for a youngster in his very early twenties - but I had a lot of confidence in my own ability and I was still not satisfied that I had gone as far as an accountant could go.
fied that I had gone as far as an accountant could go.
“I left India for Singapore and travelled through the Bata organisation in Malaya, in Indo-China and the Dutch East Indies - as they were then - and the other countries out there, making Singapore my headquarters. Then in 1938, the position in Europe began to worsen and we could see the trouble which lay ahead.
“In March, 1939, the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia, and soon after that I received a cable to come to England.
“By that time I had done ten years’ service and for the last 15 years I have been with British Bata and watched the Company grow bigger and bigger with each passing year.
“They have been very happy years and I think that, in spite of all the post-war problems it has had to face and overcome, England is still one of the finest countries in the world in which to live.”
Mr Kutik in addition to his work has always taken a keen interest in the social and sporting life of the companies with which he has been associated.
From his early days he was a keen footballer, playing usually on the right wing, but an injury at practice never mended properly and several years later, while in Indo-China, developed into serious thrombosis and put an end to his playing days.
During the war years, in co-operation with Mr A R Loughton, he built up the British Bata Savings Group until it became the first large factory group in the country to have 100 per cent membership.
Among older employees, Mr Kutik will also be remembered for his work during the war days for the Czech Red Cross Society, for which he, as hon. secretary of the East Tilbury branch, organised a number of big dances and other social events.
At the present time Mr Kutik is one of the staunchest of supporters of Bata Sports football teams and rarely misses a match and often goes to see the team playing away as well as being at home games. He is also secretary of the Bata Golf Circle, at Orsett Golf Club.
He married an English girl and has three young daughters.