Saeed Emam and Khaled Mahmoud represented Magrabi Opticals at the Vision-X VP Award as jury members. Here they are in conversation with Mr Siraj Bolar
What do you think about the Vision-X VP Awards?
Vision-X has created a lot of interest this year and there’s been a lot of communication and also this initiative of an awards is a very interesting idea. I am sure this year the event will be very different. The Vision-X VP Awards too seems to be organised very well and we are very happy to be part of the event today.
What’s your opinion about the entries?
There were a lot of good entries.
Tell us about the evolution of optical retailing?
We have our optical showrooms in around 14 or 15 countries in this region and we are very well experienced in retailing in the Middle East. So we know each region and each country in a very detailed manner. The challenges I think it’s facing is in the uniformity of pricing structure across all regions. It’s happening in a more organised manner today than in the past. But still some organisations have a larger say sometimes. Coming to optical retailing I would say that in the last 10 years or so, the optical showrooms have evolved and have successfully merged the medical aspects along with the fashion aspect in the eyewear industry to give the best of both worlds to the Middle East customer or patient.
For those who missed out on the opportunity to have their products in Vision-X VP Awards, what do you have to say?
I did miss a couple of big companies like Luxottica and Safilo which would have made this more interesting. In my personal opinion, I think they should be a part of this and share the same platform as the others who are part of the optical industry. They control majority of the bigger brands and it would have been nice to have them as part of this.
Your opinion on online retailing and where it’s headed
We have not explored very deep into the online aspect. I have noticed that specialist retailers are getting involved these days. I am not sure it’s suited for this region and not sure if it’s healthy. I think it’s ok for sunglasses or maybe even contact lenses but for prescription lenses I feel online is not a very healthy option.