Every third person in India wears glasses. And that translates into a Rs 1,800-crore prescription eye wear market. While small retailers meet most of this demand, a few players have set up store chains across the country to tap the brand space. Prominent among them are Lawrence & Mayo, Colorsoft’s Ottica and Cartier.
Now the Rs 2,000-crore Titan Industries plans to do things differently. The Bangalore-based watch and jewellery maker from the Tata Group will open 10 ‘Titan Eye+’ stores by the year end nationally, and then scale up. “We plan to roll out 150 stores in about 3-5 years,” says Harish Bhatt, COO, Titan Industries. In terms of numbers, this would leave its rivals far behind: Lawrence & Mayo has 42-odd outlets, while Ottica has 30. However, the existing players are not unduly worried. With the market growing at 20 per cent, there is plenty of space, especially in the smaller cities. Says Vivek Mendonsa, marketing director, Lawrence & Mayo, in Mumbai. “The entry of new players will not affect profitability. But it might force some small players to back off.”
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.