Dr Archana Verma
Arjun Sagar, Founder, Coco Leni, talks in this interaction about his eyewear products business, which uses sustainable material such as wood, cellulose acetate, ethically-sourced horn, titanium etc for the making of these products
How did you come into this field?
I got into eyewear as a business knowing that eyewear is something everyone needs at some point in their lives, be it as a fashion accessory or as a medical device. Once I entered the field, I realised that it is an extremely wasteful and high carbon footprint industry. So I decided to find ways and means to manufacture and produce eyewear as sustainably as possible. This has led me on the path or journey that you now find me on.
How do you meet the challenge from the conventional products in the field?
Firstly, the product is in a field of its own. So there isn’t any real challenge posed by other products, conventional or otherwise. But if you really want to compare, we keep ourselves viable with our “just in time” manufacturing. We do not “keep stocks”. The products we make are for the “woke” consumer. Our styles and collections are unique and fresh. We also make bespoke, made to measure eyewear, which is made only for that specific customer. No two frames are the same. We have a virtual mirror designed by our in-house IT team. This helps customers get a feel of what the frame will look like on them, without stepping into a store! Ideal during this pandemic. These are the things that give us the edge over the conventional product market.
How has your business been going in the last 2 years?
In FY20, the company has clocked a revenue of Rs 2.64 crore - 70 percent of which came from online sales and the rest from our brick and mortar stores. Also the current pandemic has reversed the brand’s focus from offline to online marketing.
Do you export abroad? If yes then what's the graph of your exports? What are the challenges in exporting?
Yes, we do cater to our international customers. We provide our international customers with free shipping and have a customer service and support team to guide and help them. Most of our customers are from Europe or the United States but we do get a few orders every month from other parts of the world too. We haven’t really faced any challenges exporting. Time taken for the customer to receive the product obviously goes up but that is well explained on the website. If anything, repair and maintenance in the United States is a bit time consuming as the repair centre is in Germany. We are looking to address this issue in the next few months and then we are completely sorted.