With a belief that the future of eyewear retail lies in Independent opticians and their expertise and relationship with consumers, Pune-based American Vision aims to go national with its unique boutique approach.
The two-month-old startup has a network of 40 outlets in Pune and has become one of the largest optical networks in the city.
“Currently, we have 40 outlets in Pune. Our next destination is Vidarbha, Western Maharashtra and Marathwada. We expect to have at least 250 outlets in Maharashtra by end of this year after which we would be looking at Rajasthan, UP, AP simultaneously in phase II of expansion,” Ajay Kashikar, Director, American Vision told indiaretailing.
American Vision works on a unique concept of ‘one pin code, one optician’ (there are over 25,000 pincodes in India). The startup ties up with one individual optician per pincode, which is then branded as an American Vision exclusive outlet. The startup brings all these outlets under one umbrella and provides an online platform where stand-alone opticians and consumers can reap the benefits of both online and offline models. The approach also provides exclusivity to the retailers and eliminates competition.
“Other players take away consumers from these opticians and eat away at their margins. However, our aim is to get consumers to opticians and take only marginal commission. Even from the consumer point of view, they benefit from quick deliveries from an optician near their house. They can even approach the outlet for after sales services, return, etc. which no other player is providing,” explained Kashikar.
The eyewear market in India is highly unorganised and fragmented with presence of large number of small and regional players. American Vision claims to be touching exactly the weak areas of these independent optician through its boutique approach.
“We are completely against the commodity approach taken by ecommerce players of giving solutions without understanding the requirement of customers. An optician educates the user, understands correct usage and this is where our search engine and exclusive network makes the difference,” Kashikar added.