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$585, 300 | India | Stage 2
The problem: The economic costs of vision loss
While uncorrected vision results in an estimated $202 billion loss to the global economy, 544 million people around the world could have their vision restored with a simple pair of reading glasses. For those with vision impairment, a pair of eyeglasses can mean the difference between opportunity and loss of income and quality of life: glasses can increase productivity by 35%, and increase monthly income by 20%.
90% of individuals with vision impairment live in the developing world; in India alone, the market for eyeglasses is projected at 300 million people. The poorest citizens there comprise the bulk of this market, but their need remains largely unmet by sparse informal outfits offering limited and often inadequate services, and formal eyeglass stores that cater to middle and upper-class customers.
The solution: A new business lens
VisionSpring will use a cross-subsidization model to support the sale of glasses to their poorest customers (a target 70% of all customers) with revenue from higher-priced products sold to wealthier customers. With $585,350 in Stage 2 funding from Development Innovation Ventures, VisionSpring will open ten BoPtical Care Hubs that target the 145 million potential customers at the base of the pyramid (BoP).
VisionSpring will reach BoP customers in rural and peri-urban areas through outreach efforts that will provide vision screenings, access to affordable glasses, and assist with market creation. VisionSpring’s ten years of experience serving the global BoP optical market will inform the program, notably its successful implementation of the BoPtical Care Model in El Salvador, which will be fully self-financed by 2013. The organization targets the same success in India, to reach 1.2 million people in 6 years.
Potential cost effectiveness, impacts, and implications
Each of VisionSpring's ten BoPtical Care Hubs will aim to reach 12,000 individuals annually with comprehensive, high-quality affordable eye care. VisionSpring hopes to drive down delivery costs from $18 to $6.51 for each pair of glasses, increasing their affordability for BoP customers. Assuming that each pair of reading glasses lasts two years, this will yield an estimated $216 in increased earning potential per pair sold.
Over the three-year DIV grant, VisionSpring will target sales of more than 200,000 pairs of glasses, conduct over 600,000 vision screenings, generate $2.5 million in revenue, and create $43 million in economic impact.
Last updated: April 02, 2013
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