Luxury eyewear is still in the infancy stage : Ronak Sheth

In an exclusive conversation with Ronak Sheth, Partner, Eternity Lifestyles highlights growing market sentiments for luxury eyewear retailing in the country.
“Luxury eyewear is still in the infancy stage” : Ronak Sheth

 How do you see the eye-wear market is growing in India? As this market is dominated by in-organized retailers so what would be the estimated size of organized retail? Also, highlight the market share of Opium eye-wear?

The eyewear market in India is very fragmented between the organized and unorganized sector. As per industry estimates there could be around 20000 opticians in India spread across rural and urban areas.

However, the Urban and Tier 2 cities would have around half of it. In addition to the above there are numerous other part time shops selling mainly sunglasses as an OTC product.

There is no real estimate of the market done by a reputed agency so these are only industry estimates stating the Retail value of the organized market is around 2 Billion USD. The unorganized market is assumed to be 2 times the organized market. 

Opium is small in the overall things however it is in the Top 3 Indian brands and overall in the Top 5 brands in terms of quantity sales.

Kindly highlight the journey of the brand to Indian market?

Opium was born around 5 years back. We at Eternity have been around brands all the time and it was a matter of time that we started our own. We were sure we wanted to be in fashion category however we wanted to do it in an exciting way. Thereby starting from the name Opium to our imagery and visual appeal we have always tried to go beyond the normal. We wanted to establish a brand from the consumer’s lens and not base it on Industry point of view. We have created a space for OPIUM which is all about interestingness; it’s about how you look at it. Each one has a point of View, which is unique and interesting in its own way.

We created OPIUM California which was only 2 styles but the world’s largest collection in Aviator and Wayfarer. Each one having more than 60 colors and 2-3 size each. It was a unique innovation in product offering.

We also pioneered in in-film placement with great movies like Zindagi Na Mile Doobara and others.

Our packaging has won accolades; recently we won the best packaging award, Blue Elephant at Kyoorious Design Yatra, 2016, amongst multiple products, not just eyewear.

And our product design has always been exceptional, because we believe truly that product is the king. We say the least about and let it do the talking.

Kindly highlight your current retail footprint including the online and offline presence? How you are looking to expand the footprint?

For OPIUM, we are available in 200 plus Large Format Stores like Shoppers, Lifestyle, Pantaloons etc and 800 plus opticians across India. We are available on all major Ecommerce sites.

Kindly briefly sum-up your portfolio? How many sun glasses you are retailing on daily basis? What is the starting and existing price point for your product range?

We are a dominant player in the Luxury Eyewear with brands like Cartier, Chrome Hearts, Dita, Maybach, Hublot, Ashton Martin, Boucheron etc. The Price Points range from 35000 till 2 lacs

In Designer Fashion, we represent Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen etc. The Price points range from 15000 to 35000

What is your take on luxury eye wear retailing in India? Kindly mention your luxury portfolio? Averagely, how many orders you fulfill on monthly basis?

Luxury eyewear is still in the infancy stage as with any luxury products currently in context in the Indian market. There is still a lot of time wherein Indian consumer lap up luxury. Right now, it’s only the super thin top layer which is actively buying luxury. However not all their buying happens in India. These guys travel a lot and its cheaper and easier to buy abroad given the fact that they get VAT refund and the mind-set is to shop. Within India we already have high taxes and duties which make the product more expense to buy.

   What are the latest purchasing trends in the sun glasses category?

The trend keeps chancing depending on the fashion however Oversized, Vintage, Rounds, odd shapes, Metals, Dark Lenses are the trend for women sunglasses.

For Men – still following the basic Aviators, wayfarers, nothing new.

Are you also retailing your private label? Which brand is churning maximum response for you?

Opium is our Private label.

At last, kindly mention your growth plans?

We have big growth plans for Opium. We have only scratched the surface. The market is big and the important players have not made a big impact. There is still a long way to go to get even a reasonable share of the current market. We are expanding our product offering, furthering our brand into limited editions and special editions, collaborating with influencers.



Ronak Sheth, Partner, Eternity Lifestyles