Lenskart could move manufacturing in Southeast Asia to a factory in India

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Omnichannel eyewear retailer Lenskart plans to shift all of its Southeast Asian manufacturing operations, including for its recently acquired Japanese eyewear chain Owndays, to its largest manufacturing unit in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, said two people with direct knowledge of the company’s plans.

The fully automated facility uses mobile robots and can accommodate up to 100 million customers each year. It aims to help Lenskart increase production and increase margins, said one of the people quoted above.

“Controlling the supply chain through this plant will be accretive and help the business increase margins,” the second person said. Both requested anonymity.

Lenskart’s phygital approach to eyewear retail has spurred exponential growth in its business, the person added.

Lenskart, backed by SoftBank, which plans a public listing by the end of 2023, currently has a revenue rate of 2,800 to 2,900 crore.

Owndays, which it acquired in a $400 million stock and cash transaction, is profitable and has a revenue rate of 1,800 to 2,000 crore.

With the merger, Lenskart now has access to approximately 13 markets in Asia, including India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

“The idea is to serve these markets from India,” said a third person, who also declined to be named. A Lenskart spokesperson did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Lenskart also has a manufacturing facility in Gurugram.

The Bhiwadi factory includes a lens laboratory and a frame manufacturing centre. This unit will also handle the distribution of Specialized Stock Units (SKUs) such as sunglasses. Omnichannel distribution requires the use of technology, and Lenskart has invested in a highly automated distribution center capable of delivering over 200,000 glasses per day for the Indian and overseas markets.

To design and implement this modern distribution center, Lenskart partnered with robotics company Addverb Technologies. When contacted, Satish Shukla, co-founder of Reliance Industries-controlled Addverb, confirmed the development.

“Lenskart serves over 7 million customers through its omnichannel retail model; it already has a good presence through its internet channel and has opened physical stores at a rapid pace, unseen by any other player in this industry in the world. Addverb provides warehouse and factory automation products powered by robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and the Internet of Things (IoT),” did he declare.

While Lenskart caters to the mass to mid-premium segments, Owndays targets the premium segment.

Earlier in August, Lenskart rolled out its home services in an effort to disrupt the eyewear market. It is currently available in 23 cities including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad.

The service offers an end-to-end solution including eye checks, frame trials, product selection, customization and last mile delivery.

The second person said that they would soon seek to introduce these services to overseas markets.

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