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GKB to distribute Rodenstock optical lens

Calcutta, Nov. 30: Rodenstock, the German optical lens and frames major, has entered into an exclusive distributorship agreement with optical product manufacturer GKB, Rx Lens. This move is part of Rodenstock’s global expansion plans.

The German major will bring into the country its concept of vision followed by fashion. It will make quality lenses as invisible as possible.

“Rodenstock will bring in four lens products ranging from Rs 1,200 to Rs 4,000 depending on the age and eye power of the user,” says Lalit Gupta, director, marketing of GKB.

The Rs 1000-crore Indian optical market is, currently, ruled by the unorganised sector, which commands a 60 per cent market share. However, the scenario is changing and Gupta says that the balance will tilt in favour of branded products within the next three years.

Besides quality, Rodenstock products will be available at almost half the price of its European counterparts. The raw material will be provided by the German company and manufactured at GKB’s units.

GKB has the capacity to manufacture 5000 Rx lenses at its units in Calcutta, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. Another unit is due to come up in Hyderabad.

While GKB has only 14 self-owned outlets across the country, its products are supplied to over 5,000 retailers.

The company expects to achieve a turnover of Rs 40 crore for 2003-04. Its wholesale business will account for 50 per cent of the turnover, exclusive outlets are expected contribute 20 per cent and the rest will come from exports.

Rodenstock is conducting awareness seminars in the cities where GKB has its units and Stephanie Klattenbacher, sales manager for international distribution partners at Rodenstock, says that they have already bagged orders.

With the optical industry growing at 18 to 20 per cent and consumers looking at spectacles not merely as a vision correction tool but as a fashion statement, the company expects to capture a 30 per cent market share by the end of this financial year.

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