New Delhi: Contact lens maker Bausch & Lomb plans to increase its footprint in India, besides launching its global products simultaneously in the country.
“In the next three years, our objective is to increase our distribution by making our products available to another 1,500 outlets in India,” Bausch & Lomb India Managing Director Harish Natarajan said.
The company’s products are currently available in about 5,500 outlets and it plans to take it up to 7,000 outlets. It is also undertaking training programmes for people associated with its business and create awareness through below the line activities in the next three years.
Bausch & Lomb is also into eye surgical equipment and these are available in almost 450 hospitals in India, he said.
Natarajan said the main aim of the company is to expand the Indian contact lens market to Rs 500 crore from its existing Rs 120 crore.
“Being a market leader, we want to see the Indian contact lens market grow and expand to around Rs 500 in the next three years. So, most of our investment would go in educating consumers, training manpower and creating interest by way of launching more products,” he said.
Besides enhancing the network, the company aims to launch its latest globally available products simultaneously in India.
“There has been a time lag in launching the global products in the country. Most of the time it gets delayed by over three to fours-months period. We want to bridge this gap and launch every product simultaneously,” he said.
While 50% of its consumers in India use the traditional rigid lenses, Natarajan said there has been a “huge move to the monthly lenses” in the last few years.
“In India only about five in every 100 people use contact lenses for eye correction, our objective is to increase it to 20% by way of creating awareness among consumers,” Natarajan said.
He, however, declined to specify the details on how much the company is investing for the above said initiatives in the country. “We usually invest 12 to 15 of the revenue. We will surely be maintaining the percentage this year too,” he added.
While 60% of the contact lenses are imported from the US and the UK, he said the company would keep evaluating if it could set any manufacturing facility in the future.
Asked if the current economic slowdown has impacted the company, he said, “It has impacted to an extend by making it more apprehensive for the new users. People are reluctant to try out but it has not impacted the existing users.”
Present in almost over 100 countries, Bausch & Lomb is growing at a rate of 20-25% in India.