Hyderabad: The eyewear company Lenskart, which is on a war path to expand its offline store presence (online-assisted) in the country, is also planning to expand its manufacturing capacity from 7,000 units per day to 35,000 units once it moves its operations from Okhla, New Delhi to Gurugram. The company is also exploring the possibility of setting up a unit/satellite manufacturing office in Hyderabad as part of its plans to capture the southern market.
Sharing why Hyderabad is on radar for its next unit, Amit Chaudhary, COO, Lenskart, told Telangana Today, “Hyderabad has excellent air connectivity. For manufacturing, it’s a big plus.”
The company has 18 retail stores in Hyderabad now and this number will go up to 30 by March 31. Lenskart which has 250 stores now nationally, wants to take the count to 330 in three months and 500 by January 2018. Telangana will have over 50, of these 500 stores.
Explaining that India is still largely an untapped market with more than 60 per cent of people needing to wear glasses do not have access to them, Amit says, to enable customers try out spectacles and find eye power, the offline format comes in handy. Of the 500 stores to come up, 150 will be company owned and 350 will be partner-owned. The company primarily will explore the partner/franchisee route in tier-2 and tier-3 markets.
When asked about acquisitions, he said, “We are keen to acquire eye check-up technology players and glass manufacturing companies. Talks are on, and we should finalise few deals in the next few months.”
Lenskart went live online in 2011 and is strengthening its presence in the eyewear market. It forayed into retail in 2013. In this sector, the offline market is more dominant than its online counterpart, and Lenskart, which has been growing its offline presence over the past years, plans to generate 50 per cent of its revenues from offline channels in the next two years.
Eyes on IPO
Lenskart plans to turn profitable by October this year and is planning to go for an IPO during 2019-20. The company has been earlier funded by Premji Invest, IFC, Ratan Tata and Kris Gopalkrishnan.
The company which has launched a mobile app will help the user access it even without internet. Technology is also being deployed for faster delivery of eyewear products to customers. It uses robotic technology for preciseness.