John Jacobs eyes retail
Homegrown eyewear brand from Lenskart is gearing up to hike its turnover to `1000 crore in next 3 years

John Jacobs, a home-grown eyewear brand funded by Lenskart and PE heavyweights like TPG Capital, IFC, IDG Ventures, Unilazer and PremJi Invest, is eyeing 50 retail outlets across tier-I, tier-II cities in the country and in few lucrative international destinations by 2020. It is also gearing up to increase its turnover 10 fold to reach Rs 1000 crore mark over the next three years. And that’s not a tall order, given the huge growth opportunities in the sector.

Significantly, in 2016, the Indian eyewear market was estimated to be nearly Rs 8400 crore and is projected to grow to Rs 12,600 crore in the next couple of years. While the unorganised stores handle most of the prescription eyewear, the organised market is set to grow much faster – at15 per cent CAGR. The organised market, although smaller in volume than the unorganised sector, is expected to draw Rs 1700 crore of business over the next four years.

“Overall, given the vastness of the market and the growth opportunities, we see ourselves growing ten times to become a Rs 1000 crore business by 2020. We’ll be at about 50 stores across tier 1 and tier 2 cities in India, and also across a few marquee international destinations.

Besides the retail foray, we will also be a sizeable online business and our website, IOS App and Android App will have strong stickiness- not just for the product being sold, but the story being told. As the industry moves towards a personal branding space from fast fashion, consumers will continue to love John Jacobs, for our realism and our transparency,” said Sambuddha Bhattacharya, co-founder and business head, John Jacobs. Bhattacharya said that John Jacobs is a trendy designer eyewear brand, that is fast creating a name for representing top international styles at surprisingly affordable prices and that’s their USP.

The fledgling eyewear brand has already started retailing its range of products in the UK, Australia and Philippines and is now readying itself to tap new geographies like the US and Canada to expand its presence globally.

John Jacobs is also pioneering the exclusive brand store experience, both online and offline. Some of its existing outlets include one of a kind retails experiences, including a mini café serving the freshest coffee, chocolates, travel books, meeting areas and interactive board games for an immersive experience for the consumers. By the end of the current calendar (that is within this month) John Jacobs will have 10 such stores across the country.

John Jacobs follows a ‘manufacture to retail model’, which enables them to take full control and ownership of the supply chain and cuts out all intermediate or royalty costs. With its own exclusive stores, it avoids retailer mark-ups – selling its products at affordable prices. The company has also teamed up with globally renowned Italian design house– Mazzucchelli to ensure that this is not at the cost of world class material and design inspiration, Bhattacharya pointed out, adding, “Our design philosophy blends centuries-old craftsmanship with modern lifestyles, and uses only the choicest high-end materials like handcrafted Italian Acetate, pure wood, titanium etc.”

He said, “As more and more people realise that they don’t need to pay a premium to get the similar style and quality in eyewear – the John Jacobs brand will certainly keep getting bigger – challenging the well-established international brands.”

Ritwik Mukherjee