Lenskart’s CEO Peyush Bansal Suggests to Focus on Problem Areas but Not on Channels for Business Development

Lenskart CEO Peyush Bansal

Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • Lenskart’s CEO, Peyush Bansal, doubts omnichannel success.
  • Lenskart has 2,000+ offline stores in India.
  • BlueStone’s co-founder, Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, praises omnichannel strategy for D2C success.

About Lenskart

Lenskart is an Indian multinational optical prescription eyewear retail chain, with over 2,000 retail stores, three-fourths of which are in India. Its manufacturing facility in New Delhi produces 3 lakh glasses a month, and it is building an automated factory in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. Founded in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhary, and Sumeet Kapahi. The company shifted its focus to eyewear and shut down its other websites by the end of 2014. Lenskart launched the eyewear brand John Jacobs in 2017 and signed brand ambassadors Katrina Kaif and Bhuvan Bam in subsequent years. In 2022, Lenskart acquired a majority stake in the Japanese eyewear brand Owndays.

Lenskart's Evolution and Approach to Business Channels

Peyush Bansal, the CEO and cofounder of Lenskart, expressed his viewpoint on the company’s strategy, highlighting that despite operating both online and offline, he does not endorse the omnichannel business model. According to him, understanding the market’s pain points is pivotal for startups, rendering the quest to determine the most effective business channel irrelevant. He emphasized that customers are drawn to products or services rather than specific channels. Bansal firmly believes that businesses should evolve from addressing genuine problems or pursuing areas of passion rather than adhering rigidly to a predefined model.

Impact of Offline Expansion on Lenskart's Growth

Lenskart’s journey was highlighted by Bansal, who shared that when the direct-to-consumer brand was initially limited to online channels, the conversion rates were around 3%. In order to increase conversion rates, the company decided to experiment with an offline store in 2012. The experiment proved successful, especially with the addition of eye tests, leading to the company’s expansion of its offline presence. Lenskart now boasts over 2,000 offline stores across the country.

Most recently, the direct-to-consumer unicorn announced its intention to launch 300-400 physical stores outside of India. Leveraging its omnichannel strategy, Lenskart disclosed an operating revenue of INR 1,618.3 Cr for the fiscal year 2022.

Skepticism Towards Omnichannel as a Long-Term Success Model

Nevertheless, Bansal expressed skepticism regarding whether the omnichannel model alone will guarantee sustained success for the company.

“Even I’m not entirely certain if Lenskart’s omnichannel approach has become the ultimate success recipe, considering the ever-evolving nature of channels. If eye tests start being conducted online, there’s a possibility that online presence might surge,” he mentioned.

BlueStone's Omnichannel Success Story

Meanwhile, standing alongside Bansal, the co-founder of BlueStone, Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, shared his thoughts and emphasized the importance of the omnichannel strategy for their direct-to-consumer (D2C) operations.

“We initially reached a revenue of INR 50-60 Cr solely through online operations. However, we soon realized that while people were exploring new jewelry online, the conversion rate lacked due to a trust deficit. The ease of purchase hadn’t developed as much as confidence in the browsing process. Hence, a blend of offline and online channels has proven incredibly effective for us,” he explained.

The three-day event began on Monday, March 18 and will wrap up on Wednesday, March 20. The opening ceremony was graced by esteemed guests including DPIIT secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh and former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. The event featured over 10 thematic pavilions where startups presented their innovative products. Other notable attendees included Deepinder Goyal from Zomato, Rikant Pittie from EaseMyTrip, Falguni Nayar from Nykaa, Peyush Bansal from Lenskart, and Rajan Anandan from Peak XV Partners.

Peyush Bansal, CEO of Lenskart, expresses skepticism towards the omnichannel business model, advocating understanding market pain points and addressing genuine problems over rigid adherence to specific business channels. He highlights Lenskart’s successful expansion from an online-only to a thriving offline presence, with over 2,000 stores in India and plans to launch 300-400 stores abroad. Despite disclosing an operating revenue of INR 1,618.3 Cr leveraging its omnichannel strategy, Bansal remains uncertain whether this approach will ensure sustained success due to the ever-evolving nature of consumer channels. Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, co-founder of BlueStone, contrasts this view, emphasizing the omnichannel strategy’s efficacy for their direct-to-consumer operations.

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