Brand Name- Essilor India Private Limited
Founded- In the year 1849
The brand Essilor International S.A. is a company based in France that designs, produces and markets lenses for correction or protection of eyesight of human beings. With its headquarters based in Charenton-le-Pont, Paris, France, the French-based company is credited with the manufacture and creation of Varilux, the first-ever progressive lens in the world for correction of presbyopia. It further makes way for clear vision and sight of the wearer’s far, intermediate and near vision. Known for being the largest maker and producer of ophthalmic lenses in the world, Essilor was created in the 1972 after the merger of the two companies- Essel and Silor.
Essilor India Pvt. Ltd. was formed in the year 1998. It has a number of subsidiaries including 20/20 Rx Processing Centre, Essilor Sankar & Co Optics Pvt. Ltd., Delta Lens Private Limited and GKB Opticals.
How It All Started-
Essel, formed back in 1849, started off initially as a small network of workshops in Paris, dedicated to assembling of eyeglasses. 19th and 20th centuries saw the quick and rapid expansion of Essel which soon added trading and designing of frames to its small Parisian network. Essel is still known today for the creation of Nylor frame design in 1955 and Varilux in 1959.
Silor was first launched under the name Lissac in the year 1931. Before becoming a manufacturer of lenses, it was retailer of frames and ophthalmic lenses. Essel and Silor were bound by a merger on January 1 1972 and Essilor was born. Back then, the company ranked as the third-largest ophthalmic optical firm across the globe.
Marketing Strategies of Essilor-
During the 1980s decade, the company Essilor saw stiff and intense competition. For the purposes of cutting costs and improving services, Essilor bought over a period of 4 years 4 new plants, located in Thailand, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Manufacturing processes became automated and facilitated by newer instruments in France. Several distributors were merged or acquired in Asia and in Europe with Essilor. During the same time, all subsidiaries came together under one single umbrella in the United States, known as Essilor of America. Such a form of global networking paved the way for the launch of VMD (a new type of Varilux lens) in the US and in Europe.
Between 1990 and 1999, Essilor made slow and gradual withdrawals of its frames operations in order to spend more time and dedicate more focus and attention to corrective lenses. The company also began the employment of a value added strategy and launched the Crizal coating which offered resistance and protection to lenses against smudges, reflections and scratches.
A partnership between the American company PPG and Essilor was also formed and the Transitions photochromic lens was launched, the specialty of the lens being its ability to darken or lighten itself according to and depending on the ambient light intensity. By acquiring Gentex, Essilor launched the unbreakable and light-weight Airwear polycarbonate lens. Lastly, Varilux Comfort was launched.
The beginning of the 21st century saw the launch of Varilux Physio. Mid-21st century, and precisely 2005, witnessed the entry of Essilor into the French CAC40 stock market. USA’s Essilor Vision Foundation was launched a couple of years later in 2007 and with the arrival of 2008 came the acquisition of Swiss company Satisloh. 2 years later in 2009. Essilor acquired 50% of Shamir Optical Industry, the kibbutz-based firm.
2010 saw the acquisition of the American company FGX International by Essilor. The following year again bore witness to the 50% acquisition of Chinese company Wanxin Optical. In March 2014, Essilor acquired Canadian online distributor Clearly.ca or Coastal.com. A year later, Essilor of American acquired independent optometrists service network Vision Source and a year after that, precisely in March 2016, Essilor bought VisionDirect UK, the online contacts retailer of the United Kingdom. October 2018 saw the merger of Essilor and Luxottica, giving birth to EssilorLuxottica.
Milestones and Gradual Growth of the Company-
In July 2012, the 40th anniversary of the Essel and Silor merger was held. With numerous acquisitions under its belt, Essilor International S.A. currently has a valuation and capitalization of about 57 billion euros. Back in November 2014, Essilor had won four prizes at the First Edition of the Vision-X VP Awards, with the Most Progressive and Popular Lens award been given to Varilux S Series; the Most Popular and Best Value Lens award been given to Transitions Signature VII; Most Popular Lens Coating/Value Add award going to Crizal Forte UV; and Best Value Enhancer (Lab) award going to Mr Blue.
By 19th March 2016, Essilor had its shares distributed among 216,477,934 shared with a share value of 23,564 million euros. The company presently has an employee count of about 80,000 people (as calculated till the end of 2018) and revenue of approximately 7.5 billion euros.
A number of various campaigns have been launched by Essilor. It includes the Put Vision First campaign focusing on the importance of routine eye check-ups by medical professionals at regular intervals to avoid loss of vision and other eyesight-related disorders, the flexible campaigns emphasizing on providing support to independent ecp’s and designed and tailored specifically for suiting business needs and strategies, the Driving Blind campaign to ensure proper examination of drivers are conducted before they are allowed to drive vehicles, the Vision Care campaign for empowerment of women, children, infants and kids in Morocco, the Myopia campaign for raising awareness about the disease that affects millions and billions of people worldwide and the Age is Just a Number campaign for spreading information and promoting newer outlooks on aging, among others.
The values and principles promoted by Essilor International are so deeply rooted in their system that they form and provide a very stable and strong platform for sustainable growth. The 5 most essential values that make Essilor what it is today and gives the company its identity are- working together, innovation, diversity, respect and trust, and entrepreneurial spirit. All of these put together help in geographic and economic expansion of the company, so that it may continue to provide its valuable services to billions of customers over the world.