Panaji, Dec 6 Fifty years after entering the field, the once small Indian ophthalmic family-run firm called GKB has built its skills, spread its wings, taken on challenges and marketed its product to over a hundred countries worldwide.
GKB has today spawned a number of respected companies dealing with ophthalmic lenses and eye-care products. It further hopes to grow further into a leading Indian multinational in the field, according to a new book authored by K.G. Gupta, chairman of the Goa-headquartered GKB Ophthalmics Ltd.
"GKB's is a story about a set of young persons who dreamt of immense opportunities in free and democratic India," says the just-published book that traces the history of the technology-driven firm, and penned by one of its co-founders. The book is published by Goa 1556.
Gupta's story chronicles the unbelievable growth of the firm-amidst all odds-in a competitive global economy, and amongst some impossible situations back home. Further, it did well in a field where India had little or no known skills.
In his engaging style, Gupta tells of how they battled the inspector and license raj-which affected everything in this field from getting imported raw material to accessing technology. This also shaped policy and led to curbs on growth.
Gupta's story of his early trips to the Gulf region are insightful and entertaining. These hold out lessons to the modest if innovative businessman looking for markets beyond India.
Encounters with Pakistanis in the Gulf, unexpectedly warm Arab hospitality after initial suspicion, and the charm of encountering a new world out there... all these get outlined in the hard-bound book, titled 'Mansion of Glass: The GKB story', priced at Rs.395 in India.
Today, the GKB exports its products to over 100 countries globally, and has subsidiary companies in Sharjah (UAE) and New Jersey (US). It also has a joint venture with Indo Intercional of Spain, a prominent name in the field.
GKB Ophthalmics Limited itself counts six group companies in its fold-GKB Vision Limited, Prime Lenses Pvt. Ltd., GKB Ophthalmics Products FZE, Sharjah UAE, GKB Ophthalmics Gmbh, Germany, Indo Prime Visual technologies Pvt. Ltd. and Lensco, NJ, United States.