Kian Saadat represented Hassan’s Optician Co as a jury member that nominated the the top products for Vision-X VP Awards. Here he is in conversation with Siraj Bolar.
What do you think about the Vision-X VP Awards?
I think it’s a great initiative and even when we visit exhibitions abroad like the Silmo D’Or and others, I feel that the distributors from this region don’t really pay much attention to those models which win prizes. So with Vision-X VP Awards I think it’ll open up the concept to them and maybe the region and its players will be more open to such awards. Also, I think it’s a very interesting way in which you are doing this. It’s very unbiased. The questions were very well planned.
What’s your opinion about the entries?
The entries too were very good and they were very varied. So it requires a lot of concentration to really assess them and I think you’ve chosen the right people. With the panel of judges consisting of Yateem, Hassans, Al Jaber, Magrabi, Saudi Optic House and Rivoli, you can be sure that they know the products and they know the brands and they would be the right people to assess the products.
Tell us about the evolution of optical retailing?
I think it’s one of the most advanced regions in the world in terms of optical retail. In terms of shop designs, product availability and with a lot of new concepts coming up that are very avant garde and very brave and they are bringing products to the market. And the good thing was that today we saw those products here for the Vision-X VP Awards and it’s very heartening to see that. And also Dubai has now come out from a frontier market to an emerging market but in the optical world I would say that we are way beyond that… we are definitely one of the developed markets.
For those who missed out on the opportunity to have their products in Vision-X VP Awards, what do you have to say?
I was actually a bit disappointed on that front about those who missed out. I am sure some of the big players who stayed away would have got a few awards if they were present.
Your opinion on online retailing and where it’s headed. If someone asked you to be a part of an online retail mall, would you be interested?
There was such a concept put forward some time back and I am not sure it was a good idea. Mall shopping and online shopping are two very different concepts and both have a market but to mix both of them, I am not sure is a good idea. Mall shopping is all about ambience and experience. One dresses up to visit the mall and shop. There are beautiful women and good looking men and the whole experience of shopping is more glamorous. You dress your best to shop at Chanel.. you don’t walk in there with your slippers. Whereas you could buy a Chanel bag online from the comfort of your home in your underwear and it wouldn’t matter. So these two shopping experiences are very different from each other.