Patrick Devlyn
Director General
Grupo Devlyn
View from the Top

Better Eyesight Clears Path to Productivity

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 10:18

Q: How do you expect operations to change now that the Devlyn family has repurchased the company?

A: The repurchase was the result of a cycle coming to an end with our partner investment fund. We merged with this fund to strengthen our position and serve the market more competitively. Our goal now is to consolidate the company with a medium and long-term vision focused on our brands: Devlyn Optics, Optimart, Clínicas, Vetro and Poyssa. We also want to strengthen ties with our business partners in department stores and with international brands like RayBan, Vogue, Carrera, Lacoste and Carolina Herrera. 
Q: How is Devlyn approaching its goal of modernization?

A: Besides strengthening our business relationships, our strategy is focused on better customer service. However, the priority is not to open more stores but to improve how existing venues serve customers. What got us to where we are now will not keep us there because consumers are not the same as they were 15 years ago. Both the market and the consumer have evolved, creating new challenges. Grupo Devlyn must modernize its service by bringing clients closer to our opticians to provide quality ophthalmological exams, access to the best products and proper eye care. Grupo Devlyn will operate through an omnichannel communications system, allowing clients to contact our stores in the way that best suits them.

Q: According to the World Economic Forum, sight problems should be considered a public health matter because of their impact on productivity. What is Grupo Devlyn’s perspective?

A: In collaboration with the CCE and other partners like CANIFARMA, Funsalud and the Mexican Hospital Consortium, Grupo Devlyn can strengthen public policies geared toward prevention. Approximately 80 percent of all cases of treatable blindness globally can be resolved with a pair of glasses. Therefore, a public health issue becomes solvable through a pair of well-graduated and affordable glasses, creating a significant impact on various segments of society. With children or young people, better sight translates to improved school performance and greater engagement in education. Meanwhile, people already working can benefit from greater productivity and fewer mistakes. The cost of frame or contact lenses is minimal when compared to the productivity and engagement benefits that people can get from them. Moreover, lenses can also contribute to reducing public problems such as road accidents. 

Q: What recommendations would Grupo Devlyn make to the government to properly address eye health?

A: If the government, companies and the ophthalmological and optical sectors work together, there can be a favorable and almost immediate impact on society. At Grupo Devlyn, we believe eye health should be a priority in the national healthcare plan and we can and are willing to collaborate with the government to ensure spending on eye health results in a cost-efficient investment. 

Q: What strategies is Grupo Devlyn implementing to compete against retail giants like Amazon?

A: Competition can come from different sectors, which means we must be aware of what companies like Amazon and Walmart are doing. Our first priority is to make sure we know our customers better than anyone else, while prioritizing quality and service through a personalized experience. Innovation is another key element in our differentiation strategy. We create new experiences for the client by employing innovative technologies and new distribution channels that make it easier for our customers to contact us.
Q: What role do you want Grupo Devlyn to play in the retail sector in Mexico?

A: Grupo Devlyn’s priority for 2019 is to better serve its customers and business partners in all segments where it participates. Secondly, we want to work more quickly in bringing together the elements and strategies that will exponentially improve our brand positioning and presence in the market.