Peyush Bansal, the founder, and CEO of Lenskart revolutionized the unorganized eyewear industry in India and has led the company to its current success as one of the most successful start-up stories from India. In this blog, we will talk about how Peyush Bansal’s education and entrepreneurial experience helped turn Lenskart into a huge success!
This Blog Includes:
Early Life and Education
Peyush Bansal was born and brought up in Delhi, India. He completed his schooling from an Indian school however chose to pursue further education abroad. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering— IT, Control, and Automation from McGill University in Canada from 2002 to 2006. Then he pursued a one-year postgraduate diploma in Entrepreneurship from IIM (Indian Institute of Management), Bangalore. He pursued the course Management Programme for Entrepreneurs and Family Businesses (MPEFB).
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Career & Achievements
During the time Peyush studied at McGill University, he earned the honor of being on the Dean’s List in addition to winning the ‘British Honor’s Award’. Before returning to India to pursue his postgraduate at IIM, he landed a job with the US software giant Microsoft in 2007. He worked there as a program manager but decided to quit after a year.
At the age of 24, he had a singular goal in mind: to start a company primarily dedicated to e-commerce. He proceeded to found Lenskart in November 2010 along with Sumeet Kapahi and Amit Chaudhary and also founded an array of Indian companies, including John Jacobs, AQUALENS, Lenskart Vision Fund, and Lenskart Plus under Lenskart all of which focuses on the niche of spectacles and lenses.
He has also been collaborating with great entrepreneurs in building some exciting companies and brands like Dailyobjects, Infeedo, Turms, Alpha. Currently, he is also a judge on the Indian version of the globally famous show ‘Shark Tank’, which allows him to invest in up-and-coming startups in India.
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Peyush Bansal’s Journey in Creating Lenskart
Even though Peyush Bansal had a job at Microsoft, he wanted to be his own boss and become an entrepreneur. So he decided to quit. Coming back to India he had no business plan but a vague idea that the business should be centered on e-commerce.
He started interacting with university students and decided to launch a website that catered exclusively to their needs. This gave birth to SearchMyCampus.com in December 2008. It was a student classifieds platform that helped students with any problem they may have related to jobs, housing, coaching, books, transportation, etc. Subsequently, when he had 20 employees, he registered it as Valyoo Technologies (now the parent company of Lenskart) in June 2008.
At the same he enrolled himself in a flexible one year graduate course in entrepreneurship at IIM which made him realise that running a classifieds business was not a viable option. This gave him the idea to tap into the market of selling spectacles, sunglasses and contact lenses online. Initially he chose to target the US market and launched Flyrr.com, a website dedicated to the American eyewear industry. Flyrr was gaining a lot of momentum however faced issues regarding delivery and operations.
So Peyush decided to try his luck in India by replicating the Flyrr model. This resulted in the creation of Lenskart in 2009. The brand started by only selling contact lenses, but by February 2011, the company managed to expand its portfolio to include spectacles and sunglasses and later added retail stores to enhance the customer experience.
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Secret behind Lenskart’s Success
Lenskart is a B2C business model that runs in a hybrid mode, that is, both online and offline through retail stores. Lenskart was born out of the idea that around 1/3rd of the population needs glasses but only some of them managed to get access to them. Besides, India is also popular as the blind capital of the world, which has last recorded nearly 15 million people who are blind. This is the sole reason why Peyush Bansal decided to found ‘Lenskart’ under Valyoo Technologies as the team sought to add ‘valyoo’ in the lives of its customers by cutting off the retailers.
When the company started the initial concern was “Who will buy glasses through the Internet in India?” The company followed a two-pronged approach to gain the confidence of the customers: first they set up a chat line to clarify any queries and second they offered a 14-day, no-questions-asked return policy along with heavy discounts. The company relied on Google ranking for promotion and marketing. In October 2017, Katrina Kaif became Lenskart’s first brand ambassador.
The company also set up high-quality manufacturing units and facilitated the supply of products to the consumers directly around the country. It also has over 80 stores located across the country. To ensure 100% precision and top quality control, the company further recognized in-house robotic lens manufacturing and assembly as the best way. When the company started, Lenskart initially served 30 customers in a day, which soon multiplied to become 3000. With cutting-edge technology that provides 3D Try-on services and online eye check-up services, Lenskart has become one of the top 3 optical businesses in India today.
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Peyush Bansal has been a thought leader and proud alumni of McGill University! Hope you all found the blog worth reading and thought-provoking. For more inspirational blogs, please follow Leverage Edu onFacebook, Youtube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.