CTW09.19-17. Essilor
A coffee farmer in Myanmar takes a low-tech eye test with the help of Essilor-trained screeners. Courtesy of EssilorCourtesy of Essilor

    Keeping poverty from obscuring people’s vision.

    In 2013, Essilor—now part of EssilorLuxottica, the world’s leading producer of eyewear—launched 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5NVG), a line of more affordable (but still stylish) prescription glasses targeted at the 2.5 billion people around the world—almost entirely in low-income countries—who suffer from uncorrected poor vision. After much engineering work, the company now makes glasses that cost as little as 50¢ a pair to manufacture, and that retail for no more than three to four days’ pay in a given country. France-based Essilor has also created new business models to sell them, partnering with governments and NGOs to train entrepreneurs in dozens of countries, who now offer vision-testing and lens-fitting services. In the six years since the program’s launch, Essilor estimates it has enabled access to vision services for 200 million people, more than 25 million of whom now use a pair of 2.5NVG glasses. The company expects the initiative to become profitable in many places in a few years.

    Company Information

    HeadquartersCharenton-le-Pont, France
    Impact SegmentPublic Health/Nutrition
    IndustryMedical Products and Equipment
    CEOLeonardo DelVecchio (executive chairman)
    Company TypePublic
    Prior Year Rank-
    Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$17,970
    Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$1,284
    Market Value ($M) as of 8/12/19$62,942