The story of GKB (Gopal Krishna Brothers) commenced on a humble note with the setting up of just four hand-operated single spindle machines to surface ophthalmic lenses in the verandah of a house at Agra in 1959. By 1964 the company had moved into its own building. They were amongst the first manufacturing units in the country to have installed imported automatic generators and smoothing and polishing machines to produce ophthalmic lenses. They soon established an envious position as one of the leading manufacturers of quality ophthalmic lenses in the country and entered exports in a modest way in 1975. In 1980, the company received the special CAPEXIL Export award for Ophthalmic Lenses, for the first time in the country.
GKB was originally started by the four Gupta brothers, all of whom are today much respected and renowned figures in the ophthalmic optics business in India.
Mr. Mahendra K. Gupta, the youngest in the family was looking after exports in addition to other responsibilities. In 1982, he was the first to leave the nest when he moved to Goa to set up a 100% export oriented unit at a total project cost of Rupees 45 lakhs. In 1985, a prescription laboratory was started under the banner of Goa Optolab Pvt. Ltd. A branch-manufacturing unit at Delhi followed this.
When the family decided to part ways in 1991, Goa Optolab came under the wings of Mr. Mahendra K. Gupta. Under his dynamic vision and leadership the company has grown by leaps and bounds.
He founded the GKB Hi-Tech Group that soon came to be reckoned amongst the leading manufacturers in India for both glass and plastic ophthalmic lenses.
Currently, his two technocrat director sons, Mr. Shobit Gupta and Mr. Neeraj Gupta ably assist Mr.Mahendra K. Gupta in running the three companies under the GKB Hi-Tech Group umbrella. The three companies are: Goa Optolab Pvt. Ltd., which manufactures prescription lenses and directly supplies to Opticians worldwide; GKB Hi-Tech Lenses, which manufactures glass and plastic ophthalmic lenses for both export and the domestic market, and GKB Optolab Pvt. Ltd., which takes care of the growing retail operations.
Thanks to the foresight of the Group's leaders, GKB Hi-Tech's turnover has risen at an exponential level, from Rupees 50 lakhs to over Rupees 50 crores, in a short span of just 12 years. This is no mean feat by any standards.
With its reputation of always keeping up-to-date with the latest technological advances in the industry, this forward looking company has grown to become one of the largest and most successful ophthalmic lens manufacturers in India, with a current market share of 35-38%. In India, the company can proudly boast of:
- A total manufacturing area ofmore than 150,000 square feet, with 5 AR coating plants, 12 hard coating machines and 600 machines for the manufacture of glass and plastic ophthalmic lenses.
- State-of-the-art machinery imported from LOH, Coburn, Balzers and Satis Vacuum.
- Being the first company in India to manufacture Progressive lenses, Hi-index lenses and multicoated lenses
- Producing lenses which have ISI specification and which also meet International standards including DIN of Germany, FDA ofUSA
- Capacity to manufacture 9000 Rx lenses, 11,000 hard coated lenses, 9000 AR coated lenses and 20,000 stock lenses
- Dispatching over 10,000 made-toorder lenses daily, all over India.
- Being the first company to set up a network of regional prescription laboratories. Currently, they have 15 laboratories in 15 major cities in the country.
- A well-knit marketing and distribution network of service centers in the cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Surat. These service centers facilitate booking of orders regionally. These orders are then transmitted via e-mail to the factory for processing.
- A chain of 80 retail showrooms across India.
- Exporting ophthalmic lenses to over 30 countries worldwide,
including Europe, Middle East and Sub-Saharan countries. Almost 15,000 lenses are exported daily.
GKB Hi-Tech is a progressive company that has never been known to falter from its path of creating a welldeveloped infra-structure in the optical trade.
At an early stage GKB Hi-Tech realised that creating awareness for the more expensive value added products like lightweight plastic lenses, progressive lenses and AR coated lenses could not be left alone to the traditional opticians. So they set about creating an awareness network for these value-added products by opening their own retail showrooms. Their first showroom opened at Porvorim in Goa in 1996 and today they have a chain of 38 retail showrooms, mainly in South India. They have plans to expand this chain to a total of at least 100 showrooms spread all over India within the next one-year.
In addition to showcasing the products of the company, these retail outlets work to create increased awareness of the latest trends in ophthalmic lenses and encourage consumers to adopt these. This has resulted in increased volume and returns not only for the company but also for the entire optical trade in South India. This has also encouraged other manufacturers to promote value-added products.
As Mr. Mahendra K. Gupta proudly states "If ever there were Oscar
awards to be given in the optical trade for creating awareness for
value added products, it would definitely have been awarded to GKB
Hi-Tech Ltd.. Our dedication to this endeavor has not only helped
to evolve the optical trade in the country, but has made business
easier for generations to follow"