As e-commerce companies learn to strive hard with lower valuations, Lenskart is certainly defying the trend. Delhi based Lenskart which was founded in 2010 has been funded by three venture capitalists till date, namely IDG Ventures ($4 million in October 2011) and Ronnie Screwvala-led Unilazer Ventures ($10 million in February 2013) and TPG Growth & TR Capital ($22 million in January 2015). The company has also attracted funds from Tata Sons, and S Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys.
In an exclusive conversation with indianretailer.com Peyush Bansal, CEO, Lenskart.com shared, “Overall the eyewear industry is highly unorganised; hence, it is very difficult to evaluate the market in real numbers. However, based upon our in-house research, the share of organized market would be hardly 15% in the eyewear category. The share of unorganised is so huge that it will take time when we will see visible impact in the organized market in terms of growth. As of now, the year-on-year growth in organized eyewear market is not more than two-three percent.”
Lenskart switched to an omni-channel approach to make eyewear available online, in high streets, malls and hospitals, and at home. Apart from its e-commerce portal, Lenskart has 250 franchised stores spread across more than 70 cities. Informing the Lenskart’s market share Bansal informed, “In organized market the share of Lenskart would be 90%. And, in total eyewear market the share of Lenskart would be 10% to 15%. And, we are hopeful that in next 2 to 3 years the share of Lenskart should be close to 50% in the total market. “
This eyewear retailer retails around 7000 spectacles every day, and continues to increase its market share in highly unorganized eye wear market. Though, the company has not achieved its break-even yet, but aims be profitable by FY18 as informed by Bansal. The company generates half of its sale via online and remaining half through its brick and mortar channel.
The company is equally bullish about its tier 2 expansion. “From the small towns, we are beginning to get more and more traction. About 30 % sales are generating from small towns,” shared Bansal. Presently, the company is sufficiently funded and is not scouting for any new investor. Speaking on same, Bansal shared, “Right now, we are not looking for new investment. Mainly, we are utilizing the raised funds by investing in technology.”
Apart from premium labels like Ray-Ban, Vogue, FCUK amongst others, the company has its private label called ‘Vincent Chase’ which is designed in-house and getting manufactured in China and other parts of the world. The company is bullish on private labels, which contributes 70% of its total sales. “We are mainly focusing on value for money brands, and focus on premium category is low. Contact lences is one of the fastest growing verticals for us.” ‘Bausch and Lomb’ and ‘Vincent Chase’ are two highest revenue churning brands for Lenskart in contact lenses and spectacles category respectively.
The company also offers home test service which is available in 7-8 major cities only. The company is charging Rs 100 to avail the service. “We are churning decent amount of sales from home test service. Overall we are conducting around 1000 test everyday across seven centers. About 50 percent of home test convert into actual sales. “
Summing up the growth plans Bansal shared, “Right now we are primarily looking at adding more sales along with increasing the human resource. We are also looking up to build a phone based channel where people can order spectacles over phone. “
The eyewear space is getting crowded with start-ups like Yebhi and Healthkart, there are websites like Glassic and Lensclues, while lens major GKB started a website, gkboptical.com, and put serious money into it, with the organized market growing there is certainly a better prospects for these players.