Often referred as Chief Evangelical Officer and not a conventional Chief Executive Officer, when Hubert Sagnières, the chairman and CEO of Essilor International, talks about his steady corporate vision, his undaunted desire to serve the best eye-care solutions his bright-eyed face glint with passion. The French lens maker company, Essilor broke all its previous records and mounted a new growth juncture when Sagnières took over as CEO in 2012. Currently, the company is the world’s largest ophthalmic lens-maker. Following a road-map of converting social impact into a competitive advantage, Sagnières joined Essilor in 1989 as President of the International marketing division, since then his journey with Essilor has been seamless. The company shot up a vibrant rise of almost 50 per cent to 1.2 billion euro in pre-tax profits while its shares mounted to more than double the value after the change in company’s executive position.
Eying to double the revenues from 7 billion euro to nearly 14 billion euro, Sagnieres is all set to ink a 50 billion euro merger deal with one of the world’s leading frame-makers Luxottica by the January 2018. Sagnieres aims to make the newly merged entity a global eye-care powerhouse in the world and provide best eye-care and eye-wears for the 2.5 billion people with uncorrected vision. The historic deal is one of the big mergers in the eye-care industry,which left the other industry players in a state of upheaval.Being an astuteminded CEO, Sagnieres is leaving no stone unturned in creating awareness about eye care and providing access points to the people in every nook and corner of the world.
India, being the second most populous country in the world is also one among the places where Essilor is rolling its eyecare solutions. The company is training young individuals who are unemployed or underemployed from rural pockets to become successful micro-entrepreneurs in India. During his recent visit to India, Sagnieres claimed to have set-up around 3,000 start-ups in the rural regions, and aims to set-up another 10,000 start-ups by 2021. When asked about the benefits to Indian market from the merger-deal, he asserted, “This merger will help in creating more awareness, access points and in grooming young entrepreneurs who can open optical centres in rural areas.”
(This article was first published in the July issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)