VP Academy Webinar On 2nd May Concludes On A Positive Note

The webinar “Bridging The Digital Gap In Eyewear Business” hosted by VP Academy & IIOO Expo was a grand success. It was held on 2nd May, 2020 lasting a good 100 minutes of fruitful discussion, polls and Q&A.

Speakers from different segments of the optical industry, which included brand owners and retailers shared their insights on how to bridge the digital gap in the eyewear business.

The welcome note was presented by Siraj Bolar (CEO/Editor) at VisionPlus Magazine, while Jasbir Bolar (Marketing Director) at FourPlus Media moderated this discussion.

The elite panelists included Akash Goyle,(Country Manager and MD) at Luxottica, Ashutosh Vaidya (MD) at Safilo India spoke from the Brand perspective, Ketan Parikh (MD) at Sterling Meta Plast, Ronak Sheth (Director) at Eternity Lifestyles, Bhavin Kothari (CEO/Partner) at Ganko/Iris Brands spoke from the retailer’s perspective. Speaking from the lens industry perspective were Maarten Geraets (CEO-South Asia) at Essilor, Rohan Paul (Business Head-Vision Care) at Carl Zeiss India.


The main takeaway of the discussion was how to bridge the digital gap between brands, retailers, opticians and their pre-COVID business methods. It is an accepted fact by all that “a new normal” has been birthed and we all need to prepare ourselves to deal with this situation. It was shared that we are at the doorstep of a digital economy. Many consumers have already checked online about their product choices, features, and have already pre-decided on their purchase choice before they even step into an optical store. digitalization should not be feared but should be embraced and adapted to for a better collaborative approach. In fact once digital becomes a friend, targeted advertising becomes key to achieving more footfalls in stores. Brands will assist retailers with advertising tools, marketplace platforms, and training assistance to increase sales. Retailers too need to have customized methods to reach out to their existing consumers to increase their own brand value.

In the lens industry, of course everything may not be able to digitalized due to its very delicate nature. Digital transformation too should be taken over by a balanced and practical approach. Digital by its very nature being omnichannel takes precedence especially where the branded eyewear is concerned. Branded eyewear is an immersive experience, which no online platform can replace.

Brands will provide expert training assistance on-demand to retailers and their staff to ensure a consistent product presentation. Brands will assist in setting up platforms for virtual shopping & virtual try-on so that the consumers touch only what they buy. Digital catalogs should be provided to retailers/opticians to increase sales and cutting down cycle time of purchase to delivery. Retailers and opticians need to focus on building their own goodwill brand among consumers.

Siraj Bolar made a new suggestion in the category of glasses called “Vanilla glasses”- basic eyewear with plain lenses to be promoted as fashion and protective eyewear. These could be a new category as fashion wear, ready to wear eyewear adding profitability to retailers separately.

There were interesting polls live-on-air conducted and their results too were eye-opening. Many interesting questions too came from the viewers, where some were answered too.
The webinar closed with all in agreement that a collaborative and accepting mindset towards Digital technology will benefit the industry and consumers as a whole. Let’s all adapt to the new normal.

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