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LensKart Invests $10 Mn With An Eye On Underserved Contact Lens Market

LensKart Invests $10 Mn With An Eye On Underserved Contact Lens Market

LensKart will use the monies for product innovation

It has appointed Indranil Chakravarty to lead the vertical

It wants to disrupt the contact lenses business in India

Faridabad-based optics solution provider LensKart has allocated $10 Mn towards building its contact lenses business, especially to fuel its product innovation, backend integration and enabling trials.

The company has onboarded former Bausch and Lomb commercial director and business unit head, Indranil Chakravarty, to lead the vertical. Chakravarty worked for the US-based eye health product company, Bausch and Lomb, for almost six years and was responsible for introducing the company’s contact lenses, called iConnect, in India.

According to LensKart chief executive Peyush Bansal, Lenskart will be targeting between 1Mn to 2 Mn contact lens users over the near term. With the growth of the business, the company may as well look to set up contact lenses manufacturing facility in India. It currently imports lenses from the UK and Europe.

“We want to disrupt contact lenses, and repeat what we have done in the eyeglasses sector, where we have emerged as the largest player in the organised market in the country,” ET reported, citing Bansal.

Launched in 2010, LensKart is the manufacturer and retailer for eyewear solutions, having both offline and online presence. As of November 2018, the company claimed to have over 460 stores presence across India. It has the team strength of 150 engineers.

A year ago, the company launched AquaLens in addition to its two premium eyewear brands, John Jacobs and Vincent Chase. Last year in August, LensKart introduced Lenskart Blu, an eyewear solution that blocks the harmful blue light that is emitted from electronic gadgets. It was earlier reported that LensKart will also launch an in-app function that will allow customers to check the power of spectacles.

“Our plan is to make this (contact lenses) a $100 Mn business very quickly… There are a lot of opportunities, and I hope we can build a brand that will be larger than the overall category as it is today,” Bansal reportedly said. He estimates that contact lenses business is significantly under-penetrated in India, with only 5% of eyewear users wearing contact lenses and its market is valued at around INR 600 Cr.

For FY18 Lenskart revenue collection reported $43.6 Mn (INR 311 Cr) and a net loss of $16.5 Mn (INR 118 Cr) during the same fiscal. Further, the company plans on adding another 500 physical stores in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and 2,000 stores in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities, and another 100 employees.