Peyush Bansal is the founder and CEO of Lenskart and hails from Delhi. Mr. Bansal worked for Microsoft for a year before returning to India.
His first company was Valyoo technologies which was registered in 2008. Before that he also ran a web portal searchmycampus.com targeted at university students.
Lenskart was established in 2010 with 2 other co-founders Amit Chaudhury and Sumit Kapahi. Since inception, Lenskart has been setting a trend in Indian eyewear industry with its innovative products and marketing strategy.
How Lenskart Started
Lenskart came out of the need to offer oranized eyewear services at affordable prices to the Indians.
More than 1.5 millions of specs are sold in India everyday. But the industry is unorganized. The top 3 players used to hike up lens prices so that the minimum price for a quality lens was Rs. 1500.
There were a lot of players in this industry but due to the unorganized nature of the industry, most of them really could not capture any market share. The prices in the unorganized sector ranged from the super cheap to Rs. 250.
The range is from Rs. 250 to Rs. 1500 was ripe for the taking. This is where the founders of Lenskart introduced their product.
Lenskart products and services
Lenskart offers prescription glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. All products are available for a wide range of audience, from kids to seniors and in varying shapes and sizes.
Lenskart now spans in 550+ retail stores across 30+ cities in India. It is going to spread into more tier II and tier III cities in the near future.
Why lenskart became a popular brand
Free eye checkup service at home.
Before Lenskart, no one thought of offering free eye chekup services, that also at home! It was super convenient to most people who needed glasses but hesitated to take the trip to the local optometrist due to laziness or some other factor. Lenkart eliminated this pain point completely by offering free check up service at home. This was a big contributor to Lenskart becoming popular quickly.
First frame free
The first frame free was a masterstroke from marketing perspective. Lenskart was luring customer with the free plan and then hooking them with quality service. A truly affordable service in eyewear with a free checkup plan! The trust factor buildup from this method was immense to growth of popularity of Lenskart.
Lenskart brought in celebrities like Katrina Kaif and Bhuvan Bam, both representative of the huge youth population of India. Their endorsements were another factor in making this brand appealing to youth.
Smart pricing strategy
Before Lenskart entered the market, the eyewear segment in India was totally disorganized. The top 3 players hiked up the lens price as they liked. There was nothing cheaper than Rs. 1500 for a standar pair of lens! Lenskart changed all that. They entered the market as an affordable but quality brand that offered quality lenses that the top players were offering. Lenskart consciously made the decision to keep lens prices below Rs. 1500 for the most part. Most of their lenses were priced between Rs. 250 and Rs. 1500 – not too cheap and not too pricey. It was a game changer.
Online eye checkup service
Indians love everything free!! Lenskart caught onto that real quick and offered free check up services by certified optimitrists. Before Lenskart, no other provider could think of offering check up for free!! Word of mouth spread quickly and Lenskart gained customers by dozens. It was an innovative and risky approach that paid off for Lenskart.
Cutting edge 3D technology to let you try-on their services
Lenskart was the first company to let their customers try the frames in 3D! With the help of technology Lenskart made it easy to try on more than 5000 frames virtually! This was one of the big attractions of Lenskart. Naturally, customers loved it, because now they could see which frame fitted perfectly and choose accordingly!
More than 5000 frames to try
Before Lenskart came into the scene, the providers could not offer more than 100 – 200 frames to customers. Lenskart completely changed that by offering more than 5000 frames to choose from. Lenskart targeted customer satisfaction in a way no other provider thought of before and it was part of their marketing strategy.
Lenskart uses robotic techniques on glasses. The glass making machines are imported from Germany and they can produce prescription specs correct to 3 decimal places.
Lesnkart has now 80 retail stores across country and plans to add more in the future.
Expansion through Franchise Model of Business
Lenskart adopted a franchise model to expand its business. The franchise model is a well known approach adopted for expansion with minimum cost. Applying this strategy to the specs business allowed Lenskart to become a big player in the market. We have not seen any top player in this industry using this strategy. Lenskart was the first and successful adopter of the franchise model.
At the moment of this writing, Lenskart has more than 720 franchinsee across the country and the number is increasing steadily.
Lenskart received 12 rounds of funding till date. Their investors include Premjiinvest, Kedaara Capital, Chiratae Ventures, TPG Growth, TATA Sons, Rajeev Chitrabhanu, Adveq Eqip Capital and IFC Venture Capital Group,
And in the 2019 it raised $275 millions from SoftBank Vision Fund.
Valutation and revenue
Lenskart is valued at $1.5 billions and its revenue in 2019 was Rs. 486.26 crore
Lenskart market share at present is a mammoth 70% + !