Essilor is also applying some of the successful skills training from the Eye Mitra model to strengthen and expand primary vision care in Indonesia.
Building on existing networks
Indonesia already has a network of vision micro-entrepreneurs who serve local communities across the country. 35,000 people travel around on motorbikes to perform basic vision screenings and provide eye glasses and sunglasses to people in remote areas. In many cases their training is informal and skills have been learnt from family, friends or work in optical stores.
Professionalizing primary vision care
To improve the quality and delivery of primary vision care, Essilor has created a two step program that began in 2017. The Mitra Mata program provides additional training in refraction, as well as in basic business management skills for this network of mobile vision entrepreneurs. In a second step, Essilor’s 2.5 NVG division offers certified Mitra Mata the opportunity for further professional development. Students will follow a part-time three-year course towards a Refractive Optometry (RO) qualification. They will also benefit from special business training, merchandising and marketing materials from Essilor with the aim of helping them set up their own optical store.
The Indonesian government requires certified RO professionals to be present in every optical store. The Mitra Mata Optician program enables qualified personnel to boost the mainstream eye care industry by providing access to quality affordable vision care and improving provision in remote areas where there is little or no presence of qualified opticians.
Since 2013, Essilor has been exploring different inclusive business models to solve the issue of access to vision care by creating the infrastructure to serve ‘base of the pyramid’ consumers.