An employee controls an ophthalmic lens prior to apply an anti-reflection treatment at the laboratory of the Essilor factory, on January 19, 2015 in Ligny-en-Barrois, eastern France. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN (Photo credit should read JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images)Photograph by Jean-Christophe Verhaegen — AFP/Getty Images

    An estimated 2.5 billion people around the world, the majority in developing countries, have poor vision but no corrective tools. For Essilor, a French eyeglasses company, that’s an opportunity. Through its 2.5 New Vision Generation division, launched in 2013, Essilor has expanded eye-care access to underserved populations in 22 countries, including India and China. By offering no-frills glasses that sell for as little as $6 and finding ways to bring opticians directly to rural populations, Essilor aims to make a small margin on millions of sales. Chief corporate mission officer Jayanth Bhuvaraghan describes 2.5 NVG as a startup that is in its investing phase. By 2018 he expects the division to break even; by 2020 he aims to be helping 20 million people a year see the world clearly.

    Company Info

    SectorHealth Care
    IndustryMedical Equipment
    Revenues ($ millions)7,521
    Company typePublic
    CEOHubert Sagnières
    Impact SegmentPublic Health/Nutrition

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