I think our biggest bet was making consumers see this as fashion and not just medical, and that was a fundamental shift for consumers. – Peyush Bansal, CEO of Lenskart.
Eyewear: No longer a Medical but now a Fashionable Accessories
The struggle begins for every person who wears glasses or lenses and is involved in physical shopping for the same. It is to be noted that a lot of patience and time is tested while going through this whole cumbersome process of taking out time to visit the optician, selecting the suitable frames, checking out various styles and options available, choosing the glasses and then finally being made to wait a couple of days to receive the customized glasses.
In order to counter these challenges a solution was made and it is manifested in the form of Lenskart, which is the dominant eyewear business of India. This platform has essentially streamlined the entire procedure and has largely revolutionized the jumbled eyewear industry. This platform initially started with the aim of providing contact lenses but later on they also included within its range the prescribed glasses as well as sunglasses in their exclusive collection. Have you ever wondered what would be the journey behind this successful business platform and what is its present position?
It is imperative to note that LensKart is an e-commerce platform which basically specializes in eyewear accessories. The platform operates both in online as well as in offline distribution modes, offering its customers the liberty to purchase products either online or through the exclusive offline stores. The company fundamentally facilitates a range of services which includes home eye checkup. It is worthwhile to note that the company LensKart earned the Unicorn company status towards the end of 2019.
Taking into consideration the current times the platform has over a range of 5,000 different styles of frames and kinds of lenses. It manufactures, assembles, distributes and supplies its products across 460 stores across India. The portfolio of the company ranges from a wide assortment of eyewear products which basically includes spectacles, sunglasses, goggles, reading glasses, computer glasses, contact, frame, anti-glare as well as eye accessories.
It was contemplated that the issue concerned was that only a limited number of people using spectacles out of all the people that need them, this particular point required emphasize and to facilitate this process Lenskart carries out 15,000 eye tests everyday so as to provide affordable eye glasses while simultaneously ensuring that they are also of optimum quality as well as fashionable in nature.
Understanding its Business Model
It is crucial to understand the business model of Lenskart. In an old interview it was contended by Peyush Bansal that the platform followed an inventory-led business model in which the designs are eventually followed on to the manufacturers. This particular inventory-based model as well as Lenskart’s supply chain facilitates it in keeping the prices of its products under control.
Another factor which adds to its success is the fact that there is no middle man involved which means that the company can pass on the entire benefits at reduced cost to the customers in the form of almost 70% lower prices. The frames at Lenskart.com are crafted in such a manner by adopting some robotic techniques which offer micro precision glasses that are precise up to 3 decimal points.
The platform also facilitates services like 3D trial services in an attempt to optimize the entire process for their customers. The market approach adopted by this company is mainly an aggressive approach in which they provide the initial frame free of cost to the first-time consumers.
Generally speaking, presently the company pursues the omnichannel retail model. As per this particular model, the business facilitates both online as well as offline services. The primary objective of doing this is that the customer is very skeptical about purchasing the eyewear products online because they physically want to testify the quality and therefore to facilitate this process LensKart followed both offline as well as online mode of services.
Lenskart’s leading investors include PremjiInvest, Kedaara Capital, Chiratae Ventures, TPG Growth, Ratan Tata of Tata Sons, Rajeev Chitrabhanu, Adveq, Eqip Capital as well as IFC Venture Capital Group. So far, the platform has raised up to a total of $456 million in all its funding rounds as confirmed by TechCrunch.
It is important to understand the objective of Lenskart which was to revolutionize the eyewear sector in India. The biggest milestone was going home to do eye exams. Further it was contended that there was almost 200 to 300 percent growth rate in terms of adoption of people ordering without any assistance sales are higher online overall and people are browsing online only as people were not stepping out when the lockdown was discontinued in the majority of the geographies.
The vision of the company is now to be a global company where several consumers are catered to and focus is on India’s manufacturing process so as to generate a lot of employment. It is important to note that the company already helped generate a lot of employment in the country both in the terms of manufacturing as well as in retail. Needless to say, with the help of technology and its future plans underway, the platform shows a great degree of potential towards expanding and marking a dominant position in the near future.