A fully-fledged mission

For Essilor, MIDO is an opportunity to reinforce the central role of its clients. How? In this interview, Luca Strigiotti, Managing Director of Essilor Italia, explains all.

We can’t talk about Essilor without mentioning its merger with Luxottica…You stated that you have joined forces in a shared mission: “to help the world see better, live better and enjoy life to the full”. What form does this commitment take on a daily basis within the company?
Our mission is strongly linked to Essilor’s original goal: “to improve life through improved vision”. The additional ideal of “enjoy life to the full” completes the concept. Specifically, the mission that Essilor has pursued for years aims to “eradicate poor vision from the world”. Certainly, there are regions in some developing countries where the problem of poor eyesight is very serious. However, even in more developed countries we have taken steps in the form of, for example, projects for children, children’s homes and prevention initiatives. In Italy, we have collaborated for some years with the non-profit foundation Francesca Rava NPH.
The pursuit of this mission is an integral part of our daily operations and a source of inspiration in all our initiatives: Hubert Sagnières – President and CEO of Essilor –officially announced that last March the Essilor Group invested over 19 million euros to this end.

How have your clients received this big change? Are they able to see the benefit you wish to give them?
I have to say that, even though it’s been talked about for a long time, the official partnership only began on 1 October last year, so we have only recently been able to put it into action. Various projects are in the pipeline that will be evaluated by the designated integration committee. The essence of this “combination” lies in developing the market to support our clients. We are working to identify business initiatives that can benefit the industry – it is worth noting that we work in a market which still has much potential for development. For example, in Italy, the penetration of progressive lenses is still limited, with much lower sales than in northern Europe.
For Essilor, a focus on optics and resulting sustained growth is, and will continue to be, essential to our task. Proof of this commitment is found in the Global Integration Committee headed by Eric Leonard, Chief Integration Officer of Essilor International, which will organise initiatives that are designed specifically for each country with dedicated local teams.
Regarding our Italian clientele, at the end of last year we spread our ideas with the help of a 15-stop Roadshow on the theme of “Transparency”, as well as with a convention attended by roughly 1700 people, including our most important clients.

What challenges are you looking to tackle in 2019?
The main goal will be what we call “client focus” – as well as the usual new products in the form of both tools and lenses, we will stage important initiatives offering unique and exclusive services to our partner clients that aid their business and promote improved information management. These new schemes and products will be premiered at MIDO.

Can you give us a sneak peek of them?
We will present a series of tools for retail outlets which will allow opticians to better explain the value and quality of Essilor lenses. We will launch a hi-tech digital catalogue, an essential tool in this new era of digital transformation, and an order tracking system, which is highly innovative in our market.
There will also be two new major developments for tools: the production of Vision-R 800, a patented phoropter that revolutionizes the field of refraction, and Visioffice X, the new and cutting-edge system for video centring. It should be noted that all this is occurring in the context of the Italian Stability Law, that has led to a hyper-depreciation from 250% to 270%, and will still be in force in 2019.

What does MIDO represent for Essilor?
Two things. First and foremost, it is an important showcase to launch, introduce and reveal all the latest news on our products. Furthermore, the fair is a vital B2B opportunity to meet our clients.