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Forecasting Sunglasses

In: Business and Management

Submitted By shashank634
Words 1713
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Sunglasses

After the onset of 1990s with the opening up of the Indian markets to foreign companies, one of the several products which gained prominence was sunglasses. The credit for enlivening the Indian market must go to the global player, Bausch & Lomb (B&L), the producer of the global brand, Ray Ban. There did exist an Indian market, fairly large. But this was limited basically to low-end or medium range products. Small quantities of high-end glasses were imported.
In the recent years several others like Safilo of Italy, Ciba Vision, Johnson & Johnson have entered the market.
The total market, estimated at around 4.0 mn pairs in 1990-91 had expanded to a little over 12 mn pairs in 2003-04. The organised segment, constituted of the branded ones, claims a 25% share. The small players are still very active in the lower end of the market.
Bausch & Lomb, the Rochester-based American visioncare enterprise for contact lenses and other lens and eye-care products and eye-care solutions established a manufacturing base at Bhiwadi in Rajasthan and commenced production in 1993. This marked the foray of MNCs into the production of sunglasses, contact lenses, spectacle frames and lenscare solutions. B&L was originally formed as a joint venture company with equal equity participation from Montari Industries, an Indian group and Bausch & Lomb of the US. Montari Industries pulled out of this venture.
The company landed into rough weather and within first four years it accumulated losses of Rs 210 mn. B&L put in place a strategic marketing package with a host of new launches and the company managed to break even in 1997. By end 1998-99, it recorded a 156% growth in profits at Rs 136 mn. The company is doing well since then. The company's sunglasses sold under the Ray Ban brand name, has around 400-450 styles available in the international market; only about half were being marketed in India. As a strategic move, the products were marketed through non-optical departmental stores and jewellery shops, thus promoting impulse purchases. And then there was a sudden twist in the industry.
Italy's Luxxottica group agreed to buy B&L's sunglass brands into a new Indian outfit, Rayban Sun Optics under a deal worked out in 1999 between B&L, USA and Luxxottica. Under the acquisition, Luxxottica indirectly gained a 44% control of B&L India, earlier held by Bausch & Lomb India Holdings. The latter was in turn, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bausch & Lomb South Asia Holdings. The Indian regulating agency, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has initiated enquiry on whether any of SEBI guidelines on takeover was violated.
Earlier in 1995 the company had introduced new models in Oval, Fugitive, Classic Three & Four and Club Master. A minimum of two styles were introduced every year. Killer Loop launched in late 1997 became its fastest growing brand. The whole strategy has been to close the time lag between the introduction of international styles in India and abroad. Under this new strategy, B&L's Suntamers brand was launched simultaneously in India and in other parts of the world.
The company tied up for online and offline activities with a medical portal, emedlife.com. The offline collaboration jointly targeted the corporate sector and the college and school going youth. The tie-up gave it brand visibility and helped remove the amazing ignorance about eyecare among people.
The company launched Soflens 66, a monthly disposable contact lens made of non-ionic material with a water content of 66%. In this, B&L came face to face in competition in the organised sector from Ciba Vision and Johnson & Johnson. It had to contend with the unbranded and grey market.
Killer Loop, an Italian brand introduced in the country seven styles of sunglasses, each in four colours, priced in the Rs 2,300 - Rs 3,700 range. The styles are in tune with the latest attitude of youngsters. The company was optimistic and felt that Killer Loop would be able to contribute about 15% to its eyewear business within the next two years.
With B & L launching its soft lens, the market composition and growth had changed. The market size was expected to increase four-fold to over 600,000 users, with soft lenses accounting for over 75% of the entire user base. While spectacles cost around Rs 1000, the cost of using a soft contact lens was about Rs 3500 for a year, with disposables costing even higher at around Rs 4500.
Bon Ton was amongst the first optical specialists to introduce contact lenses and the first one to introduce soft contact lenses in Delhi in 1975. Bon Ton claims to command a marketshare of over 12% in north India.
Contact lens market has found favour with people in their twenties, retain their spectacle-free looks and yet employ the much needed vision correction. There is a segment which has found use of contact lenses to enhance beauty of their eyes. The entry of B&L into the market changed the quality of contact lens from hard to soft lenses. Soon the market moved up from 150,000 to 750,000. Considering the lenses are priced upward of Rs 1000 a pair, the market size cannot be considered small. The overall market is estimated to have increased from Rs 1.2 bn in 2000-01 to over Rs 1.5 bn of late.
The lure of the market, patronised by youth, attracted others besides B&L, like Ciba vision and Silklens. Acuvue of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) proved to be very aggressive. Launched in 1996, Acuvue targeted eye specialists and then branched to the consumer market. The aim was the variety-conscious yougsters.
While J & J launched Acuvue, the daily disposable contact lens, Ciba Vision launched Focus in the monthly disposable segment. All the players, including B&L are also offering contact lenses promising several benefits with different USPs.
Sports and Leisure Apparel, the licensee for Lacoste products in India, also launched eight models of sunglasses from its international range. In metal and plastic frames, Lacoste sunglasses claimed to comply with the highest international standards. These filter visible light and block the harmful ultra-violet and infra-red radiation. The lenses are specially treated for abrasion and scratch-resistance. The glasses are being imported.
Colorsoft Lens had launched the Bennetton range of sun-glasses in 1998 of United Colors of Benetton (UCB). Subsequently, it undertook the representation of brands like Serengeti from Italy, Cooper Vision and Harley Davidson of the US. The company also markets these products in other Asian markets like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh. Colorsoft also exclusively represents Centrostyle, a premier Italian company known internationally for its optical accessories. Centrostyle's range includes over 4,500 products .
Sisley brand was yet another entrant into the branded, premium eyeware market in India. It was joined by Bennetton from 2001, with its range of sunglasses for adults. The two products are marketed in India by Colorsoft Lens. The company was targeting to start with sales of 15,000 units from UCB. The UCB's main competitor was Lexxottica (Ray Ban). To enhance its marketability, Rayban roped in the cricketing hot properties Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman as its Brand Ambassadors.
Colorsoft tied-up with Ebony departmental store chain to introduce a shop-in-shop concept wherein all the brands that Colorsoft represents were made available, besides other brands.
Safilo of Italy was set to take on Ray Ban with the launch of its leading brands, Blue Bay, Carrera and Smith in India. The company set up a marketing subsidiary in India with its Netherlands-based arm, Safilo International BV and Osama International, Malta jointly holding 85% stake. The company is located in Italy, Austria and Slovania, and elsewhere.
Safilo is also licensed to design, manufacture and distribute worldwide brands like Gucci, Gianfranco, Ferre, Polo, Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Pierre Cardin, Burberry's, Christian Dior, Max Mara, Valentino. Its entry ushered in a fashion bonanza for the upmarket Indian customers.
While the market in the sub-Rs 2000 range has been largely captured by Ray Ban, Safilo was contemplating either to be content to operate in a niche segment with products starting from Rs 5,000 onwards, in line with its profile in other markets, or to launch products in the sub-Rs 2000 category specifically for India.
Essilor International of France raised its equity holding in Essilor SRF Optics Ltd from 74% to around 88%. Essilor SRF manufactures plastic ophthalmic lenses with technology provided by Essilor and Sola International of the US and distributes optical products made mainly by the manufacturing joint venture, India Opthalmic Lenses Manufacturing. The company has expanded its activities from mere manufacturing of plastic ophthalmic lenses to the establishment of quality CNC lens processing unit and setting up of special coating facilities in order to provide the market with better coated lenses.
What is the more valuable asset of a corporate?
Most efficient equipment? No.
Most effective technology? No.
Best human capital? No.
Best customer satisfaction. Yes.

And it grows out of robust equipment, best technology, efficient human capital SRM

Sunglasses

|Demand : Past & Future |
|Year |Rs bn |
|1990-91 |3.22 |
|1991-92 |3.53 |
|1992-93 |3.83 |
|1993-94 |4.19 |
|1994-95 |4.59 |
|1995-96 |5 |
|1996-97 |5.50 |
|1997-98 |5.90 |
|1998-99 |6.40 |
|1999-00 |7 |
|2000-01 |7.55 |
|2001-02 |8.10 |
|2002-03 |8.65 |
|2003-04 |9.30 |
|2004-05 |10 |
|2005-06 |10.75 |
|2006-07 |11.60 |
|2007-08 |12.50 |
|2008-09 |13.50 |
|2009-10 |14.65 |
|2014-15 |22 |

Market Structure
|Product Variation |
|Type |Share (%) |
|Vision correction |25 |
|Sunglasses |75 |

Leading Brands

Ray Ban, Play Boy, Ramson, Blue Bay, Mona Lisa, Killer Loop, Lacoste, Carrera, Amber vision, Bon Ton.
|Market Growth Rates |
|1990-91 - 1996-97 |9.3% |
|1996-97 - 2001-02 |8.2% |
|2001-02 - 2006-07 |8.9% |
|2004-05 - 2009-10 |8.0% |
|2009-10 - 2014-15 |8.5% |

|Sensitivity Coefficient |9.2% |

|Market Segmentation |
|Segment |Share (%) |
|Organised |25 |
|Informal |75 |

|Lead Players |
|Company |
|Safilo, Italy |
|Bausch & Lomb |
|Colorsoft Lens |
|Ciba Vision |
|Johnson & Johnson |

|Strategic Alliances |
|Jatin Shah & Mayank Sanghvi |Safilo Int'l BV, Holland -Osamo Int'l, Malta |

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