Bridging the gap between affordability and quality in the eyewear landscape…
This cover page is dedicated to the phenomenal growth of Specsmakers that has become one of the market leaders in the eyewear space. With dynamic performance and inspiring business values, the company has grabbed eyeballs in the industry so far.
Specsmakers recognized the need of providing high-quality eyewear that could be accessible at an affordable price. When they claim access, it is all about establishing a vast chain of mid-sized stores across metro as well as Tier 1/ Tier 2 cities where anyone could relish the benefit of its exclusive offerings. With its in-house designing, manufacturing, and procurement team, the organization has managed to remove the involvement of any middlemen in the process, allowing them to pass-on the price margin completely to the consumers- leading to the cost-cutting.
To get to know the company more, we arranged a virtual meet with the company’s founding head- Pratik Shah who walked us through various facets of his venture. We hope this elegant narrative offers you with invaluable insights and ‘food for thought’ to ponder over that may fuel your growth in the business world!
A brief overview of the company
Specsmakers is a zestful organization that takes immense pride in acquiring 13+ years of experience in the retail business- witnessing an incredible growth curve. Owning the reputation of one of the leading players in crafting modish, high-quality, eyewear that comes at an affordable price, Specsmakers has chiselled a distinct niche for itself in the space.
Today, the brand is being operated across more than 290+ retail stores situated in more than 60 cities across 5 states in South India and also expanding into other cities. It designs, manufactures, and sells its own eyeglasses via its gargantuan network of optical outlets across south India. When asked about the motive behind the establishment, the leader explains that the focus was on reinventing the eyewear shopping experience and exceptional service with an unprecedented level of quality and convenience to provide a pleasurable and comfortable experience for all.
The mission statement asserts providing the best-in-class vision via the most customer-centric, advanced, comfortable upgraded and cost-effective eyewear to all. As per the founder, every individual deserves effortless access to affordable eyewear that should become the reason for their enhanced lifestyle- to see the world better.
What is it that makes Specsmakers stand out from the crowd? Well, not just one but there are multiple aspects to it. Several parameters make them a primary choice of the customers seeking eyecare products. A few of the worthy mentions are as follows-
- Wallet-friendly cost(affordable price)
- 14-Day return policy
- Unconditional warranty on every product
- Trendy designs
- Exceptional Customer Service
Needless to mention, the USP is high product quality, niche marketing strategies where value for money from the customers is their foremost priority. It has specialized in both core and non-core categories of eyewear- be it spectacles or sunglasses, lens solutions, optical lenses and services such as eye-testing facilities.
What is even more fascinating is the presence of expert and experienced optometrists at every outlet, customer-loyalty programs, free servicing offer and concrete product guarantees. In sheer pursuit of lucrative customer relationships, Specsmakers has developed unique marketing strategies to increase its customer reach effectively. For this purpose, it televises its outstanding products utilizing social media channels such as YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
Heavily obsessed with customer-care
Customer centricity is in the DNA of the organization. No stone is left unturned by the teams to ensure it. “We ensure that NPS of our stores, Google Feedback, customer satisfaction survey, etc, are given the top priority in our overall business operations. The whole idea is to allow the customer-base to feel comfortable as well as trustworthy with us.
Our mantra asserts no unhappy customer due to product issue or service quality, ergo, we maintain high standards of our offerings at any cost. Also, we are intensely converged on improving the in-store experience for our valued customers. This is in line with the fact that if we serve a customer with a memorable experience, he will associate with you for a lifetime alongside ensuring word of mouth marketing across his personal networks,” conveys Pratik.
LTV is the Lifetime Value of the customer but for Pratik it stands for ‘Long Term Value’ when it comes to offline retailing where in-store experience plays the significant role of a key distinguisher. This customer-oriented ideology is quite commendable and has been a predominant factor in the exponential growth of Specsmakers till present date.
He is so customer-centric that the email for customer complains is also personally checked by him to ensure every ticket raised is closed with a high level of satisfaction. He says that we own our entire supply chain from design manufacturing, procuring and selling, and we have to ask no third party vendor for their approvals for any issues then why not give the customer the solution.
Equal emphasis on ESS
Employee Satisfaction Survey is equally crucial to Specsmakers’ leadership panel. In the retail industry, apart from customer satisfaction surveys, product satisfaction surveys, and employee satisfaction surveys have to have the highest possible numbers. It is quite imperative for the success of the business.
“This is the secret sauce to keep everyone happy and content in the entire ecosystem right. Also, it is quite essential that your product is sold by the right employee. Our whole business model is like employees should keep customers happy while employee well-being is the responsibility of the management! The whole process is vice-versa,” explained Pratik. A Happy Employee will have a smile on his face and keep the customer happy.
In retail the PEOPLE is a very important parameter and they are the executioners at the front end. In our company the policies towards employee satisfaction is quite important and hence we reward pure employees on incentives and benefits very efficiently.
Take on R&D
For any business leader or entrepreneur, R&D is a daily practice of his work 24*7 where he researches various products, industrial developments, emerging categories, etc. Team Specsmakers is also in constant pursuit of developing out-of-the-box products that could make a difference at the ground-level.
“Owing to our R&D only, we happened to become one of the pioneers to launch a range of computer-light protection eyeglasses for the kids during the covid-19 crisis. A child being exposed to the blue-light radiation emitted by PCs, tablets, laptops,iPads,etc, was a major trigger to this product line unveiled by us within a short span of time. Our latest product line, ‘Charms’ is also the result of an effective R&D process only where kids could modify or customize their eyewears as per kids always wish to wear voguish spectacles,” revealed the leader.
Not only this, Specsmakers has come up with an innovative and newfangled range of eyewear that could be used while being indulged in the sports activities. Here, the product is slip-proof, water-proof and scratch-resistant
Is it equally tech-oriented?
“Basically, we are an offline retail, attention to detail, brick and mortar eyewear business. Our online channel is more of a discovery and acquisition platform but offline one plays a major role in the transaction process,” elucidated the luminary.
Conventionally, the eyewear space has undergone the process of growth through the retail segment only. Well, Specsmakers majorly works offline where its retail stores are what it prioritizes at the forefront but accordingly ensures to operate while blending the offline and online modes of functioning. But, it doesn’t assert the fact that it won’t consider technology at all. From relying on a robust ERP solution that interlinks various facets of its different operations to ensure an online presence, a little bit of tech inclusion is there.
Even they began online retailing via Shopify, but only for establishing an omnichannel network. Though not very much tech-aligned, the organization puts a bird’s eye view on retail where to emerge as the sturdiest retail chain in the Indian eyewear market is its steadfast focus. We use technology in customer acquisition, customer retention and customer engagement.
We also provide 3D VIEWING of eyeglasses online and give the customer a 360 degree experience of seeing our stores and collections online. But we prefer the customer to walk-in to our nearest store and get a greater experience of our product, employee and service.
Creating value at the ground level
Specsmakers never aspired for any professional recognition or crossing any forthset milestone. What the core leadership team has found the most cherishable part of doing this business is to be able to provide immense employment opportunities to the countrywide population. “Bagging awards and recognition was never what we intended for.
We as an employer were able to keep over 1000+ employees safe and secure even amidst the most challenging times of the pandemic while keeping a check on their survival requirements too. This is what we pride ourselves on and we consider it as the biggest accomplishment and milestone so far, despite being featured and awarded by numerous media houses and publication houses across the nation. As an entrepreneur, adding the numbers is only another landmark for me, not the milestones.
What I consider a milestone is the fact that my organization has been able to sustain as well as grow with time while being in sync with the holistic growth of our workforce as well, “asserted Pratik Shah.
What’s up for the future?
“This question is quite simple but is equally difficult to answer. Who would have thought of the covid-19 crisis hitting the world with such a gargantuan impact? Future is always unpredictable. But still for the next five years, we have envisioned to walk the avenue of growth and sustenance with a bigger presence where we see ourselves as a profitable organization escalating higher aloft organically.
Our franchisee network is expanding effectively across the southern states and our expansion is also focussed there. We plan to move to 600 stores in the 5 states of south with a deeper presence in every state in the next 2-3 years. Alongside chasing for expansion, double-pitched growth, and increased number of stores, we put intense emphasis on keeping our bottom line healthy and focusing on the business with a 360-degree approach,” concluded the founder.
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