Eye care has emerged as a potential biz opportunity over the years with lot of eye care specialists opting for franchise route for expansion. Read on to explore your prospects in eye care franchise biz.
We live in a world today where not many can take out time for care of eyes. At least 5 days in a week are spent staring into computer monitors and the remaining engrossed in Smartphone screens. In addition to this, there are so many pollutants in the air to make eyes suffer a lot. Therefore there is a dire need for eye care in India. In 2009, the total sales for eye care and related products valued up to Rs 257 million.
It has been realised over the years that eyewear is a category wherein there are no national brands. The market was clearly underserved. Speaking on the eye care retail scenario S Ravi Kant, Chief Operating Officer - Eyewear Division, Titan Industries Limited informs: “One in three people in urban India need vision correction whereas only one in five people actually wear spectacles. Replacing spectacles previously had been driven by change of power or loss/damage of spectacles but we see an emerging trend of consumers seeing spectacles from a ‘style’ perspective.”
Acknowledging the potential and need for eye care products and services in the market lot of retailers opted for franchise route. There are also several eye care facilities and products that have struck success with franchising. Consumer awareness is constantly on the rise and quick fixes are gaining tremendous popularity. A professional with any eye related issues will choose a one stop destination for treatment or care of eyes.
The primary set-up of most eye care players is the same across tier I and tier II cities. The low capital expenditure, faster gestation period and financial operating efficiency make it worthwhile for private equity firms to invest in the eye care sector. The Indian eye care industry is slated at almost $ 4 billion and is expected to grow by almost 15 per cent.
Due to this, franchising in the eye care industry is gaining popularity. Some of these opportunities are:
Titan Eye+, the eye wear division of Titan Industries, took the franchise route with its inception in 2007-08 and so far, has presence in 49 cities pan India. The business generated from franchising is 50 per cent while an outlet needs a working capital of Rs 10 to 12 lakh monthly. The average business generated from a franchise outlet stands at Rs 1 to 1.5 crore annually, which needs around four to seven employees for its successful running. The company operates through kiosks, small size, mid-size and large size formats, with investment ranging from Rs 50-70 lakh.
The Eyecare Parlour is a registered Indian company operating pan-India through its various retail formats. The company has been operating since 1989 in the eye care industry and has a vast experience in the field. The industry is growing in India at the fastest ever rate of 33.65 per cent annually and hence has a large potential to grow. The industry also earns the second highest margin and profitability ratio in the retail industry. Only 3 per cent of the optical business is organised in India. Hence this industry has the best of the returns and growth in India and internationally. The investment requires ranges from Rs two to five lakh and the return on investment is high.
Kvkl Eye Care & Opticals offer an eye clinic with optical showroom. The company was born in 1999 and the franchising operations started in 2006. A franchise of Kvkl requires an area of 300 sq. ft and an investment ranging from Rs two to five lakh. They are looking for nationwide franchisees, spread over New Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, West Bengal, Sikkim, Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andaman & Nicobar, Pondicherry, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Daman & Diu. Effectively, return on investment is high and plenty of training and support is provided.
Rajas Eye and Retina Centre is a full-fledged eye-care hospital providing all types of facilities related to eye in Indore. In 10 years of operations we have served more than five lakh patients. Thus, now the compnay wish to expand the hospital facilities to other cities of India for the benefit of people. Investment wise, a franchisee needs Rs 20-30 lakh and an area of 1,000 sq. ft. The likely payback period is three years and ROI of 50 per cent. The training is done in Indore but support is provided throughout the tenure of the franchise, which is a minimum of five years. The franchisors are looking to expand both across India and internationally.
Considering the growth and demand for eye care facilities it would not be wrong to conclude that eye care industry has emerged as a lucrative business opportunity over the years. However, there are challenges that franchisees have to face are in the areas of motivation and retention of its qualified and highly skilled staff. “The only way to be on top of this is to keep the staff happy, motivated and passionate about building customer relationships”, says Ravi Kant.