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To Growth And Prosperity…

Siraj Bolar, editor-in-chief of VisionPlus magazine shares his viewpoint on the evolution of the Indian eyewear trade and how ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS is a game changer

From being naive idea in the back of my head to being realised as my vision…rather my determination, VisionPlus has indeed come a long way. When I started out with the concept of VisionPlus, the purpose was clear. Eye-care and eyewear had been an often ignored subject. With VisionPlus, I wanted to give the industry a source of authentic and reliable information about the trade, trends as well as the healthcare aspect of vision. I am very thankful to the industry, all my supporters and well wishers who have been a wonderful part of the VisionPlus magazine’s superbly successful journey.

In its nearly two decade old existence, the magazine as we know it has undergone various changes including a name change but the one sentiment that has remained the foremost focus is to work for the progress of the industry. Being associated to initiatives that have led to a sort of revolution within the eyewear trade catalysing its growth, VisionPlus has indeed come a long way spreading its reach beyond the Indian sub-continent with concepts like the ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS.

Last year, we introduced the Indian eyewear industry to ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS and I was overwhelmed with the appreciation and enthusiastic participation that the concept witnessed. Today, as I share my thoughts with you our esteemed readers, we are gearing up for the second edition. And we are confident of raising the benchmark to make this podium a grand celebration of the evolution and progress that the Indian eyewear industry has witnessed.

The maiden edition of the ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS exceeded our own expectations. With nearly 300 opticians participating and more than 10,000 consumer votes plus over a lakh views on social media, we say it’s ample proof that the retailers in India are ready to walk the talk. Their confidence in their own offerings to the customers is very encouraging. To me personally, it is indicative that the eyewear retailers are are more customer-centric than one would ordinarily expect, and they’re setting higher standards for themselves and the industry as a whole. Indeed, kudos to my colleagues from the industry for the growth and prosperity that we have witnessed in the last two decades.

With a progressive mind-set like this, it’s important that a clear message is carried to the end-consumer. They can expect global standards of eye-care services and products at their local opticians. Today, the Indian optical trade is matching up to the global standards but there is still a long way to go. Nonetheless, the tempo is there and so I am confident that the eyewear industry in India will scale new heights.

With the 2017 edition of ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS we hope to reach out to more of the end-consumers giving them an opportunity to make their voice heard on a coveted platform. I sincerely believe that this method of seeking their feedback plays a pivotal role in shaping the road ahead for those who are a part of the optical trade.

Indeed, we, at VisionPlus are quite upbeat about the second edition of the awards. This year, we have decided to shift the venue of the felicitation ceremony to the national capital. The confidence that ZEISS has shown in our concept, reiterates the belief that these awards are successfully emerging as the big game changer of the industry.

We intend to use the ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS as a platform to communicate with the masses through the platform of YouAndEyeOnline.com, a unique co-operative platform for traditional retailers to come together and face the online threat.

The mission of YouAndEyeOnline and ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS together is to Inspire Excellence. They’re both aligned seamlessly to promote existing optical retailers to a higher standard and make them future ready.

In the year that has gone by, the industry has faced many challenges in the last year, particularly with the government’s move of demonetisation and now the change in taxation which will take some time to adjust to.

However, the sentiments on the whole are still positive. Everyone seems to have taken these small bumps in their stride and hopes that these moves will in the long run be fruitful in making the eyewear business in India grow to higher levels than they earlier were possible.

To conclude, I would like to say that excellence is not resting on one’s laurels — it requires challenging oneself every day, week, month and year to raise your own standards.

It’s only when you test yourself against others regularly that you will know where you truly stand. Winning is only a part of it. The real gain is in participation. So my dear friends, come, be a part of the ZEISS ‘YOU&EYE’ AWARDS 2017 and witness the evolution of the Indian eyewear industry!