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YBOD the year in reflection for Kristen Peters

Kristen Peters is 15-years-old and is in Grade 10 at Christ Church College in Midrand, Johannesburg. She reflects back on the year that she served on Africa's youngest board, Bata's Youth Board of Directors (YBOD). A position that she served with pride and youthful enthusiasm, exchanging her fashionista insight and innovatory thinking, for a real business experience from global footwear giant, Bata, and entrepreneurial know-how from Young Entrepreneurs (YE).

The first meeting stands out for Kristen as an exceptional time when she got to meet some amazing directors who, like her, were so nervous and excited to make a difference in the shoe industry and make their voice heard for the shoes they wear. It is an opportunity she is truly grateful for.

When asked how she would change the world, if she could, Kristen answered “I would revolutionize the education system. I believe that education is such a great foundation to create diligent, truthful and honest citizens. I also believe that education bridges the gap of the extreme inequality between the poor and the rich.”

Making a TikTok - ‘a social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short music videos’- targeted at youth, will be the weirdest thing she will do.

During YBOD, Kristen’s most valuable lesson learnt was “skills on marketing and how to sell a product, as I am able to use this expertise when I need to market myself to future employers or universities”.

“It isn’t in every project that you not only realise the outcomes you set out to achieve, but you exceed your own wild expectations. YBOD was one incredible journey, thanks to Kristen and the other YBOD members. We set out to hear the voice of the youth, to improve our position as the hippest shoe company in the world and we have certainly heard what they have to say!” comments Swastika Juggernath, Marketing Manager Bata South Africa.

Kristen ends with “YBOD has taught me different skills to those taught in school and it has helped me work with those who do not have the same opinions as me. The experience has shown me what brands want if they work with you.”

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Bata Bata customers are individuals with unique lifestyle and also specific taste in shoes and are comfortable with who they are. Bata has a worldwide reach, with operations across 5 continents managed by four Regional Meaningful Business Units.