Essilor, founded in 1972, designs, manufactures and sells eye-glasses in over 100 countries. Its Indian subsidiary has distinguished itself in 2003 for developing an innovative approach to allow rural people to "see the world better" in a country that has 15 million blind and 52 million visually impaired.
Essilor India helps the disadvantaged « to see the world better »
6. Clients and consumers
Access to basic services
- Allow access to the poor to better vision
- Train professionals on vision
In 2003, Essilor India conducted a study in partnership with the Aravind Eye Hospital to understand the reality of the terrain and think about a solution for the country. The restraints of time to come to the hospital and lack of regular support for patients were two main conclusions of problems observed. People in rural areas indeed travel long distances to hospitals to have checkups and get their subscriptions. Few villagers have this time (the hospitals are often at least a day trip away), and many simply use magnifying glasses, which further detriments their vision.
Then the "Bottom of the Pyramid" project was born. This is not a charitable project but an economically viable project despite the very low prices: eye exams are free and glasses complete with lenses and frames are sold from 3 to 5 dollars on average. These prices must cover the costs of distribution and production. (NB: the only transportation means to the hospital usually cost them $ 6).
Since 2006, several vans (the MRVP - Mobile Refraction Van Project), equipped for eye exams, stocks of glasses and sharpeners, go twice a month to isolated rural areas of India. Each truck is accompanied by six local staff who can speak the regional dialect: a driver, a co-pilot, two ophthalmic assistants, a seller, and a planning manager. Patients were examined on site or remotely via a satellite connection with a doctor from one of the two partner hospitals (Sankara Nethralaya or Aravind)
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- 40% of patients received buy eyeglasses; 100,000 since 2006.
- development of the market to new populations
- innovative products at low cost that affect other products
- image/client of a responsible company
- More than 250 eye exams are made every day by MRVP
- contribution of the best vision for regional development: better access to education and work