Ali Yateem and Mathews Jacob represented Yateem Opticians as jury members for Vision-X VP Awards. Here they are in conversation with Siraj Bolar
What do you think about the Vision-X VP Awards?
It’s a good initiative and we are happy to be part of the first edition of Vision-X VP Awards.
What’s your opinion about the entries?
It was very interesting. As we deal with so many brands and products I thought I would know them all but I was very surprised that I got to learn about a few more exclusive brands. Quite frankly I was impressed. There were a few varieties which we may have not been aware of but I am glad to have learnt about them today at the event.
Tell us about the evolution of optical retailing?
Retailing today is more of a fashion industry. So I would say that fashion dictates brand awareness and that’s what ultimately matters today. So for retailing to be a success your knowhow about the fashion tastes and brands is what ultimately counts. As you mentioned earlier about ‘niche’ brands that are emerging today you are talking about very ‘selective’ customers so it’s a bit of risk from the retailers perspective unless the branding and positioning has been done so perfectly that it just fits in. Otherwise I feel they will spend more time on the shelf and that’s not a good idea.
For those who missed out on the opportunity to have their products in Vision-X VP Awards, what do you have to say?
There are 2 opinions on that. In a way I feel it’s better if they had participated as it’s only fair for everyone to be a part of this. On the other hand, it’s also a good platform for the other players to make their presence felt. There’s a lot of potential in a lot of brands and this initiative will encourage their growth and rise.
Your opinion on online retailing and where it’s headed
For sunglasses it’s alright but I don’t think it’s a good idea for eyewear. For eyewear you need a lot of personal interaction for a sale to take place. Especially in the case of progressive lenses, it’s very important for the person to be present for taking down the specifications.