Eyecare is an important industry but it is mostly confined to urban areas. The access to affordable optical wear is limited in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Big brands like Lenskart and Bren Franklin have created a high demand for their products in Tier 1 cities but with little presence in rural part of country. Shivi Singh and Saurabh Dayal identified this issue of affordability and accessibility and began ClearDekho in late 2016.
ClearDekho has an Online to Offline (O2O) business model making their eyewear available online on their website as well as in the franchise stores. During his previous job with Warby Parker’s India Program, Shivi had to travel to Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities of country making him realize the low availability of glasses for people. He also handled sourcing from Chinese markets giving him another point of high margin profits. After delivering glasses to the smaller towns for almost 5 years, he was determined to make optical solutions easier for them. This led to the beginning of ClearDekho.
The optical market in India is highly unorganized and non-standardized resulting in inconsistent service to customers. The average annual disposable income for low-income households is Rs 3500 making glasses least of their priorities. Regional distributors take care of the customized glasses that again are expensive. With Lenskart, Titan Eye+ and Vision Express, the industry has become more organized but only for Urban households.
Through ClearDekho’s website, customers can select their frame and lens type and get the glasses delivered at their residence. The startup provides high quality affordable glasses giving it an edge above others. The offline stores run through FOCO (Franchise Owned Company Operated) model. The franchises run as retail stores for the low-income households which is basically the target market of the company.
Like any other startup, ClearDekho faced challenge to reach out to its target market and open franchise but through consistency and multiple plans they could run their offline operations on full swing. They have faced problems in hiring as well considering this requires a qualified and trained optometrist. The founders have invested Rs 18 lakh from their personal sources. They also have raised two rounds of funding and are planning to announce a massive round soon.
The future plans of the startup mostly include expanding offline business to 150 stores from current 50 and launching their own range of sunglasses and frames. They plan to increase the turn over of the company to Rs 36 crore from present 6 crore by end of this financial year. They also plan to start an Optometry Academy to train fresh Optometrist and to keep a supply in their stores. The startup believes the right pair of glasses can have a huge impact on the low-income household by increasing their work productivity. ClearDekho has its plans in line to grow bigger in coming years.