Lenskart: Providing the gift of eyesight to India

India is considered to be the blind capital of the world 1/3rd of the population needs glasses but only some of them manage to get access to them. Whereas around 600 million individuals use spectacles to improve their vision, only approximately 170 million to 180 million actually wear them.

This was the only motivation behind Peyush Bansal’s decision to establish “VALYOO technologies.”

Folks who have been diagnosed with visual impairments are referred to as “will need” spectacles, yet only around a quarter of them actually wear them. When the number of people who opt to wear glasses as a fashion accessory is summed, the results are astounding. 

Customers in this category want to have numerous pairs of eyeglasses for their needs and want Every day, about 1.5 million (15 lacs) spectacles are sold in India. 

The industry is extremely fragmented but Since 2010, when Lenskart was founded, the eyewear industry has taken a new direction.

Overview:

Lenskart is a well-known e-commerce company that operates an online optical store stocked with both traditional and fashionable eyeglasses, lenses, and other accessories at reasonable costs. Customers can easily order these glasses online and have them delivered with a variety of discounts that come and go.

Lenskart, unlike many others, has both an online and physical distribution platform. Customers can purchase lenses online at www.lenskart.com or in person at their specially designed offline store. 

Lenskart is transforming the eyewear market with the first-of-its-kind ‘Home eye checkup.’ Lenskart uses specialized robots to deliver glasses that are correct to three decimal places.

It is a trusted platform that offers prescribed power glasses, BLU glasses, frames, and goggles. Furthermore, Lenskart concentrates on traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. 

As of December 2021, it had already established over 80 actual retail locations across India. Every month, its Delhi manufacturing unit produces around 300,000 glasses. Lenskart also has a plant in Zhengzhou, China, that handles roughly 20% of its frame manufacture. 

The company, which is hailed as India’s largest eyewear brand, is also recognized as a unicorn prescription eyewear company, LensKart got the Unicorn badge of honor in December 2019.

The Inception:

Our mission is to give India a vision,” According to Lenskart’s mission statement.

A boy from Delhi with big dreams went on to Canada for his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from McGill University after that he bagged a job in the US at the tech giant Microsoft.

Bill Gates, the co-founder of the Seattle-based corporation, had long been a hero to the young engineer. Peyush’s employment at Microsoft was working on MS Office and developing features to better the user experience.

Working for a company like Microsoft is a dream that is unachievable for most people, even after getting such an opportunity to work for Microsoft, Peyush Bansal suddenly decided to quit and decided to come back to his roots, in India in the year 2007. The abruptness of his decision was very shocking to all of his friends and family.

The ‘Great Recession,’ which refers to the worldwide economic slump that occurred between 2007 and 2009, was already in full swing, so people’s concerns about his decision weren’t entirely unfounded. 

Peyush, on the other hand, desired to tackle broader problems that would help people; making already happy Microsoft users further happier wasn’t enough to motivate him.

Back in India, between 2007 and 2009, Peyush dabbled with a handful of very successful firms while simultaneously earning a management diploma in entrepreneurship from IIM Bangalore.

While in IIM Peyush Bansal  established “VALYOO technologies.”In regards of the most recent disclosures from the Shark Tank Peyush Bansal pitch episode, we now know that when he started with Lenskart in 2010, he realized that approximately 50% of the population need spectacles but only 1/4th of them had access to glasses. 

This is why Bansal aimed to revolutionize vision correction and provide glasses to 50% of the population. The co-founder of Lenskart aspired to make his company the “Maruti of eyewear.”

With Valyoo, the team aimed to add ‘value’ to its clients’ lives by cutting off the shops. In this manner, they decided to establish high-quality manufacturing facilities and ease direct product supply to consumers around the country. 

The company also recognized in-house robotic lens manufacture and assembly as the ideal option to assure 100 percent precision and excellent quality control. When Lenskart first opened its doors, it served 30 customers per day, which quickly grew to 3000.

How does it work:

LensKart has both an offline and online presence and they also provide home eye testing facilities as well. Customers can buy the products from their official website or can go visit the nearest LensKart outlet. Lenskart also uses specialized robots to deliver glasses that are correct to three decimal places.

Lenskart offers over 5000 distinct eyewear models, free home delivery, and a 14-day replacement warranty. From sunglasses to reading glasses to contact lenses, the company manufactures everything in the eyewear area.

Growth:

In 2021, the Indian eyeglasses market is expected to generate $4,427 million in revenue. Spectacle lenses have been the market’s largest sector, accounting for $1,985 million in revenue.
When the idea of the operation is novel and backed by capable investors such as Softbank, Alpha Wave, and Ratan Tata, tapping into one such market is undoubtedly profitable.

Lenskart is currently ranked as one of the top three optical companies in India.
The company serves over 100,000 consumers per month and has grown by more than 200 percent in the last two years. Lenskart claims to have over 5000 eyewear styles, which is 5X more than any other retailer in India.

Challenges that Lenskart faced:

The most difficult task Lenskart had was convincing customers to use the internet store instead of traditional shopping. The company sought to change people’s perceptions about eyewear and create confidence in them that they provide high-quality goods at lower prices than their brick-and-mortar competitors.

Lenskart’s brick-and-mortar locations, desktop platforms, and smartphone apps all worked admirably. In comparison to their other sites, however, the mobile website converted the fewest visits into consumers.

Future plans of Lenskart:

The vision of Lenskart India intends to reach the masses by building a low-cost franchise model. Lenskart Lite is a model that will assist them in introducing the framework in Tier 3 and 4 cities while also expanding their presence in Tier 2 cities.

It has also introduced regular contact lenses that may be removed quickly. Lenskart’s goal with its Aqualens product is to give economical and uncomplicated eyewear alternatives. It will be highly cheap to the everyday masses who desire both trends and costs at a daily cost of Rs.40.

Lenskart India’s major goal is to close the gap between chosen and unselected lenses, as well as the firm plans to open more than 500 outlets in the next two years. It intends to open 2,000 outlets by the course of the next 5 years.

Bottom line:

With an optimistic vision of the future, Peyush says “Our general view is that everything will be fine in the long term. Plus-minus six, nine, or 12 months also doesn’t bother us; we know things will be fine in the long term. So, we continue to open stores, we continue to operate every store. Some may make profit, some may make losses, but the larger goal is to serve vision correction for customers.”

The company started off by selling contact lenses online Lenskart now caters to all of India and it is now planning to expand itself. Today, nearly a decade later, it is one of the largest success stories in the Indian startup scene, with huge growth and last year’s entry into the coveted unicorn (company valued at more than $1 billion) club.

Despite beginning as an internet company, the company now has 600 retail locations and plans to open more to complement its e-commerce business.

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