Peyush Bansal, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lenskart is keen to add value to the lives of people. Speaking to M. Rajendran, he highlights the challenge and opportunities in this business. Excerpts:
Describe your leadership mantra?
For me one is leadership and the other is business leadership. The latter is create meaning and rest will follow - money, success etc. If money is primary then meaning is secondary and vice-versa. I believe in creating meaning. Business mantra is 100% centric to consumer. I should give you a product that will make a difference to your life, make it simpler or is revolutionary.
Leadership mantra is creating, collaborating and investing. To realise early in your business, that you cannot do it alone. You need good people around you. To retain them one has to be honest, fair and willing to share.
What is the challenge you cherish most?
100% customer satisfaction. Biggest of the companies try and achieve only 90%. The challenge for me is to bring that gap between 90 and 99.99%. The difference are created in consistency. It is an ongoing challenge and it bothers me continuously that is an interesting challenge.
How did you get into this business?
Unlike many, my entrepreneurship had nothing to do about doing something of my own, because I was bored or had reached the top level in my job. It was more about, what I wanted to do more of what I was already doing. I was working in Redmond in Microsoft office, I was creating high level of value to the products. I wanted to do something incremental and revolutionary and make a huge difference.
Your message to budding entrepreneurs?
Have an idea. I had one and nurtured it. But I also don’t think one has to leave a job, to be an entrepreneur. Now, organisation’s give enough opportunities to be an entrepreneur within the organisation. Today large business are run by professionals.
What are you passionate about?
It is about creating new products, that is meaningful. I have the passion to things like Bill Gates did. Create value and achieve scale.
How have you done it in Lenskart?
My vision is not to become the number one eye ware company with highest profitability. My passion is to create something to the extent where people will identify specs with Lenskart.
How aware is Indian consumer about their eyes?
It is a major problem in India. There are studies that show that 50% of people in India need specs that is 500-600 million people. Only 25% of them wear any kind of specs. So the deficit is huge. It is due to lack of accessibility and awareness. Not many are aware, that in India mobile phone makers sell twice the number of spectacles than the phones. India has one optician for every 50,000 people.
How do you relax?
I go on a vacation to places which is scenic and less noisy.
Which was the last one and next one?
It was in Greece and now I am planning a one in Switzerland. On a weekends I love to relax on couch and watch TV or read a magazine.
How often do you interact with staff ?
We do open houses of 45 minutes without any fixed agenda and Friday lunch with those who do not report to me directly. I spend an hour or two with them. I also land up at their weekend parties and discuss other than office. It helps them to be casual when in office.