The return of Optic Man
Opticman hasn’t been around for some time now. Last we heard from him was before the pandemic. Here he makes a return to share some of his recent experiences
Hello Readers. It's me, Opticman. I am back and this time, I am done with complaining and cribbing about the situation and circumstances. The pandemic has taught me a lot and I think with the new normal, there's been a rebirth of me as the new optician.
Let me give you a little history about me. I come from a place that's not really a city but it's not really a village either. It's what the economists refer to as tier2 or tier3.. it's somewhere in between the city and the village. And from the looks of it, these days, my location is the one that's most important as it has the most amount of growth prospect! So there you have one more reason to be optimistic... right?
Yes, post pandemic I've been optimistic. Maybe because I think I've seen the worst with the pandemic and from now on, things can only get better.
As a kid, I used to visit my father's optical store and I've picked up most of my business skills and acumen from my father and the experience of meeting customers. However my father wanted to ensure that I have a background in optometric education so he ensured I had one. And I am so glad about this foresight he had. It's one of the things that differentiates me and my business from the random opticians cropping up at every nook and corner these days.
Today I owe my success and happiness to what my father invested in me and the business. Of course, like in any other business, there have been many ups and downs but that's just a part of life. But if it wasn't for the optometric education that I received I'd probably just have seen the business as a business and not as a service that I am able to provide. This small but very important difference in my outlook thanks to the optometry education is what has helped me earn goodwill and sustain my business.
Today, I am a regular optician who is probably described as an independent optician by the industry. I aim to progress to be a professional businessman. But that's something I realise is a different kind of skill-set. I am not sure if I will be able to do that with my expertise or whether I have to hire someone to help me make that transition. Or maybe like my father had the foresight to educate me in optometry maybe I should educate my son with optometry as well as business administration.
The road to success in the future seems to be having someone handle the business who understands both aspects - optometry as well as business administration. These days I notice some opticians being lazy and complaining about the situation around and always comparing themselves to the business giants.
This, in my opinion, is a very self defeating attitude. The bigger players have reached there because of the hard work, the investment and a whole lot more. Someday even I or they could be there but not my complaining or regretting their success but rather by understanding that if they are succeeding, then it means that the awareness about the benefits of optometry is spreading and this is good news.
As the customer is getting more and more aware, I feel it's my job to ensure that I keep pace with my knowledge gathering process. Other than attending most optometry related conferences and seminars, I also attend like most opticians the annual exhibition held in Mumbai and Delhi. It's always a good exposure and experience.
However this time, I decided to go beyond the country's boundaries and I visited VisionPlus EXPO in Dubai. It was an eye opener for me. The quality of products, brands and service were all something I had not experienced before in a local show. It was truly an international experience. One can get to see so much better quality of products and in an international gathering that it makes you want to visit more such shows regularly.
I've been told that the shows at Paris and Milan are larger and show even more brands. For me, VisionPlus EXPO was a good beginning and I would advise others to visit this show and if they like it then visit other international shows. I look forward to visiting the event next year as well.
Regarding the future, all I can say is that quality and service will survive. And to understand what's good quality and what's a good level of service, I genuinely feel that we as opticians should look beyond what we are currently offering and try to emulate the bigger more successful players.
And if we can look globally and visit places and make ourselves aware of what's the kind of quality and service that exists beyond the country's boundaries, it would be a real good learning experience. And this learning can be used to make our customers happy and satisfied.
That's all from me, for this now. I will be back with more, next time.