Boosted by the $315-million fundraise, Lenskart is doubling down on global expansion.
Speaking to BusinessLine , founder and CEO Peyush Bansal said the company will be first expanding to the UAE in the Middle East and then move to other countries like Saudi Arabia. Whereas, in South-East Asia, the company already has a presence in Singapore and is in the process of exploring other countries for expansion.
Lenskart claims to have seen a growth in traction at its Singapore stores, even during the pandemic. “We have expanded to 20 stores in 2 years in Singapore and our expansion has been the fastest by any retailer,” Bansal added. In the background of multiple tech start-up IPOs and Lenskart’s promising growth, he said the company does not have any immediate plans for a public listing.
The new funding will also be used to deepen Lenskart’s investments in technology and AI-driven innovations. Lenskart will achieve this by focusing on three things including, how to make the customer experience better (focusing on customer service and effectiveness), seamless omnichannel technology that should make purchase behaviour seamless irrespective of channel, and making trials for consumers easy (focusing on accessibility).
An example of making trials for consumers accessible is the company’s AR try-on technology which was launched during Covid and enables customers to try on eyewear in a live environment. Overall, the company has observed a shift in buying patterns of consumers between offline and online because of the Covid-lockdown and change in customer demand patterns.
Bansal said that even though Lenskart saw customer movement to the online platform after the pandemic, they were able to retain their customer base. “In fact, our customer base has grown and strengthened during Covid, and what worked brilliantly for us was that we were always omnichannel. So, when our consumers had limited reach to our offline stores, they could still easily reach us online,” he said. During covid, Lenskart also strengthened its home-try-on (HTO) programme to enable at-home eye check-ups for customers.
“Covid essentially strengthened the omnichannel model for us, there are no boundaries between online and offline customers anymore, people keep moving across channels and we've received a positive response from our customers,” Bansal added.
Further, Lenskart has launched a $2-million investment fund called Lenskart Vision fund, to invest in product and technology companies that are synergistic to the eyewear, eye-care and omnichannel retail sectors. With this fund, Lenskart aims to provide these start-ups with the resources and accelerate their growth. Select start-ups would also benefit from Lenskart’s established market presence across 700+ retail stores and global online channels.