“We Command More Than 30% Of The Market Share”

“We Command More Than 30% Of The Market Share”

Shashank Desai from Optilab speaks about the company's achievements, portfolio and innovations…

Nanubhai Desai started a small optical retail shop in Anand, Gujarat way back in 1954 with his brother. In 1979, his son Shashank Desai  started the manufacturing unit - Optilab.  As they say, the rest is history. Today, Optilab has emerged as a force to reckon with.

In this issue, we speak to Shashank Desai from Optilab to understand the company focus, their extensive range and of course upcoming innovations.

VisionPlus (VP): Tell us something about Optilab's origin and journey so far.

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Shashank Desai (SD):  I would like to thank my team and dealers of Optilab across India for their continued support. Today we command more than 30% of the market share when it comes to diamond wheels and hand edgers.  In 1979  photochromatic glass lenses were quite popular. That material was  hard and quite difficult to grind using conventional ceramic abrasive wheel available in Indian market. One day our relative introduced us to a diamond wheel that was popular in the American markets. We used it, studied it and after a lot of effort were able to successfully develop first Indian diamond wheel machine in 1983.

This was a revolution and replaced the conventional abrasive wheel grinders in India. We went on to adapt it into multiple models to meet the demands of the industry. Later, Optilab developed several tools for glass and ceramic application as well as special wheels for resin lenses too.  Till today, the formulation of the raw material metal bond and diamond matrix is closely supervised by me and my son  Bhavya Desai  who joined the company in 2013.

VP: Tell us a few details about your manufacturing facility.

SD: We are based out of Anand. Our first unit , spread across 20000 sq ft  is where we manufacture complete range of diamond wheels, various models in edger, cutters, frames heater and other workshop equipment . In 2019 we started anew unit spread across 9000 sq. ft., which houses our R&D facility and has the assembly line for Neo,  the only indigenous automatic edger. We have invested into machineries such as CNC turning centers, HMC machine, 3D printer and a fleet of conventional lathes, cylindrical grinders etc. to help us deliver accurate products consistently.

VP: Any recent innovations that the team is working on…

SD: Our team is constantly working on improvising. In terms of recent innovations, we have successfully developed India's first totally indigenous patterned auto edger - Neo. This has been a big change in the optical industry - a revolution of sorts! Previously this segment was  dominated by Chinese machine. The success of Neo can be attributed to  the technology transfer from Grand Seiko Japan,  the expertise of our partner Ajay Parekh in the field of electronic and electrical engineering and the hard work our R&D team lead by our chief engineer Hitesh and  Bhavya. Having more than 300 satisfied customers, Neo a perfect amalgamation of Japanese technology and Indian workmanship and will surely to dominate the market in the years to come.

VP: What are the plans in the pipeline?

SD: Our major goal is to make India completely self-reliant when it comes to optical as well as ophthalmic diagnostic instruments. Currently, most of high tech equipment required by the Indian optical/ophthalmic segment comes from other developed countries. Our team is working on making all of these products completely indigenous. This is our long term goal long way to go but we are determined to make it happen.

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