Spotlight on.... Russia

By Jean Patrick Mouradian

I recently took a business trip to Russia to speak to a group of ophthalmologists and optometrists. This trip gave me an opportunity to discover the evolution of the Russian optical trade, with western-style shopping centres, and optical stores which integrate the presence of an ophthalmologist in each store to perform eye exams. (See our article about the Armenian market, which is organised in a similar way).

Russia one

I visited at the same time as a group of French citizens, members of the French Optic Leader Club, and they were being particularly interested in a presentation which showed that progressive lenses are still in their infancy here. Surprising as it may seem compared to the scale of this country, the Russian lens market does not even represent half of the French market. I found other surprises too. Entrepreneurs wishing to set up an on-site business have to deal with very incongruous situations. And that’s an understatement, according to a Russia’s leading optical distributor, who explained that to create a business in Russia, you had to not only be a good optician and know how to take risks, but also how to negotiate.

In Moscow, the shops can rival the most beautiful shops in capitals around the world . They do, however, still have staff in white uniforms that gives an ill-matched medical aspect to their beautiful designer interiors.

Russia two

The Moscow International Optical Fair (MIOF) is held each year. MIOF is a key business expo event for all specialists in the field of optometry, medical production and also fashionable collections of eye glasses and frames.

Jean Patrick Mouradian is an independent marketing and management consultant. He has specialized in the optical sector for about forty years. He intervenes mainly in companies, and this internationally. He has worked with a number of optical distribution groups in Europe as well as for ESSILOR (at Essilor Varilux University in Paris) and for a manufacturer of frames in the world of luxury. These interventions have taken him to many European countries, to the Maghreb, to Lebanon in Armenia. He participated a few years ago in a seminar at the School of Optometry of St. Petersburg. He is the author of several books on the sale, translated from French into: German, Spanish, Bulgarian, Polish and Russian. He has also written numerous articles in the optical press.

Topic: Country spotlight