Companies

Safilo Group looks to make eyewear affordable in markets like India, Brazil

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018

Luisa Delgado

Will create brand awareness, enhance presence in top 60 cities in the country, says CEO



Leading eyewear company Safilo Group aims to triple its India business in the next two-three years, as it gears up for a strong push with focus on strengthening its presence in the top 60 cities.

The company’s large portfolio of prescription glasses, sunglasses, fashion and sports eyewear includes its own brands such as Carrera and Polaroid, besides licensed branded collections of Gucci, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Fossil, Saks Fifth Avenue and Pierre Cardin, among several others.

By early next year, 24 of the company’s portfolio of 31 brands will have a presence in the country.

New brands

Talking about the new brands the company will introduce in the next few months, Safilo Group, CEO, Luisa Delgado, said: “We will soon introduce Dior eyewear range in India which will be an important image builder for us and we will retail these at select stores.

Also on the cards is bringing Elie Saab, a premium brand to be launched in limited quantities, as we will focus on establishing this brand with the highest standards and desirability. We will also focus on bringing the mass-cool brand Havaianas which is targeted at the millennials.”

The company will also focus on growing awareness of its brands, such as Polaroid and Carrera.

Delgado said: “The business in India is growing at double digits. Our focus is not just on whether all our 31 brands are here in the country…the focus is on what are we doing with all our brands and how we sell them. In the next two and half years, we have set targets for growing brand awareness, strengthening our presence in the top 60 cities by working with reputed retailers.”

Huge growth potential

She said in developing markets like India, branded eyewear in both prescriptions and sunglasses segment, is largely under-developed and offers a huge potential for growth as Indian consumers are increasingly opting for branded eyewear. But the company does not want to stop at selling premium and mass cool eyewear products to Indians as it has bigger ambitions. Delgado hopes to see a pair of glasses from the Safilo Group in every Indian household in the long term.

“Serving the 250 million-strong middle class consumers in India will be just the beginning. Our real dream for markets like India, Brazil, Turkey and Russia is to democratise eyewear in a way that it becomes affordable and helps us serve consumers beyond the middle classes, so we can offer them quality products,” she said.

The company has already started working on a project like this to design quality, yet affordable, eyewear products but Delgado did not give a timeline. “India is a priority for our global and strategic plan…. I wouldn’t measure our success in India only by the size of our business. I would also measure it by the progress we make in touching the lives of more and more Indians with our portfolio,” she added.

Published on November 18, 2016

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