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Lenskart hires senior executives for top posts

The Faridabad-based company has named Oliver Kaye, who formerly led global apparel and accessories retailer The Gap’s Indian operations, as its chief operations officer and chief business officer,

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 04, 2018, 12.33 PM IST
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"Culture building, training and leadership development are a core focus for us,” Peyush Bansal said.
NEW DELHI: Online eyewear company Lenskart Solutions is beefing up its senior leadership cohort, with the TPG and PremjiInvest-backed company snapping up a number of senior executives to lead critical functions across the board.

The Faridabad-based company has named Oliver Kaye, who formerly led global apparel and accessories retailer The Gap’s Indian operations, as its chief operations officer and chief business officer, according to Lenskart chief executive Peyush Bansal.

“We wanted to bring in that level of retail expertise, in terms of complexity of operations and the discipline and rigour that is required to create a delightful consumer experience, which is still quite a scarce commodity in Indian retail,” Bansal told ET.

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Also joining the company’s executive team is Deepti Tandon, who has joined from Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times Group, the publisher of The Economic Times.

Tandon, who was also a cofounder of online-marriage portal Jeevansathi, owned by Info Edge, has joined Lenskart as its chief business officer for its online business.

The company had earlier named Suruchi Maitra, who was formerly with enterprise legal services provider UnitedLex and prior to that with IBM Daksh, as its new human resources head. “In Lenskart, we have gotten to a stage where we have cracked the business model, but we needed to become more people-centric, given the growth of the company. Culture building, training and leadership development are a core focus for us,” Bansal said.

According to the CEO, the company is also bringing on board a senior executive to lead its customer operations, a P&L head position.

“We are close to the deal, but can’t name the candidate right now since we’re still finalising the documentation,” Bansal said, adding that the eight-year-old company is also looking to onboard executives to lead its foray into the country’s rural markets.

The developments come at a time when the company is also upping its capital expenditure spends as its looks to bring under control its manufacturing and supply chain functions, driven by rollout of its facility in Gurgaon earlier this year, and the acquisition of a second manufacturing facility in China three months ago.

Lenskart, which had a capex spend of Rs 30-40 crore in the last fiscal, has now upped the same to Rs 120-130 crore, and is projecting it to touch Rs 170 crore next fiscal.

“We believe Lenskart will be synonymous to eyewear… To achieve the best mix of design, quality and cost, there is no better way to achieve but to get your hands dirty,” the CEO said.

The Gurgaon facility undertakes the company’s lens cutting, manufacturing lenses and frame manufacturing. Its factory in Zhengzhou China, which it acquired three months ago, is now manufacturing close to 40-50% of its overall production, according to Bansal.

“We are now selling more than 3,50,000 spectacles per month now, and therefore wanted to get into frame designing, making of moulds design and patent in our plant in China,” he said.

The company currently has about 460 stores across the country and claims to open 120-150 stores a year. Lenskart reported revenue of Rs 179 crore in fiscal 2017, up 79% from the previous financial year. Losses rose just 2% to Rs 115 crore in FY 2017, compared to a year ago.

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