Uday Shrikantiya and Avinash Dudeja represented Rivoli Eyezone as jury members for Vision-X VP Awards. Here they are in conversation with Siraj Bolar
What do you think about the Vision-X VP Awards?
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. On a more serious note, I’d say it’s very well organised and it feels like a lot of thought and preparation has gone behind this.
What’s your opinion about the entries?
The entries were very nice and there were a multitude of brands. I would say it was very much in line with our expectations as we always expect the best from VisionPlus.
Tell us about the evolution of optical retailing?
It’s a very competitive environment. And needless to say it’s not just about the brands you represent and the styles you carry but it’s also the customer service element and the customer relationship management that’s going to make you win or lose in this marketplace. You cannot be a ‘flash in the pan’ anymore. I am told that in the past there were players who would come in, trade and leave. That’s not going to happen anymore. Whoever is here now is here to stay. Also the retailing environment in this region is very sophisticated… as sophisticated as any other important part of the world because consumers in this part of the world now know what they want and they expect service, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
For those who missed out on the opportunity to have their products in Vision-X VP Awards, what do you have to say?
The brands that have not participated have definitely missed out on an opportunity. And then again as it’s the first time you are doing this, as you go on with continuos improvement I am sure the participation will be a lot more robust.
Your opinion on online retailing and where it’s headed
It’s a big challenge to all the retailers and like it has already made it’s presence felt in more developed countries it’s surely going to affect this region and we need to be ahead. And we can only do that with our offerings of great service and innovative schemes. Currently we are not into the e-commerce space with Rivoli Eyezone and I would go as far to say that this part of the world is a couple of decades behind in terms of being e-commerce ready. In this region as far as limitations in entertainment is concerned, I am not sure if people are ready to forego the shopping experience and shop online, especially for eyewear. But in due course of time, I am sure that people would go in that direction but today I think people would rather go shopping cause there’s not much else to do.
Another thing I’d like to add is that eyewear is a much more personalised product and people expect service. In the absence of service I feel e-commerce might fail for retailing in eyewear. But having said that I know that someday Social Media and E-commerce will come in, in a big way and force eyewear retailers to provide the platform as well as the service aspect.