Mahendra Kumar Gupta highlights on how he started his business and led his organisation to new heights

Mahendra Kumar Gupta earned his Engineering degree from IIT – BHU. He worked in Kolkata for four years and then started the business of manufacturing ophthalmic lenses along with his brothers in Agra.

The technology was indigenous and the business was conducted on semi automatic machines. Gupta started exporting to the Middle East in 1975 and the company won the highest export award from CAPEXIL in the same year.

In 1981, Gupta came to Goa  with a 100% Export Oriented Unit licence in a briefcase. It was the 4th EOU licence issued by the Government of India.

IDC and EDC of Goa both received him with open arms and encouraged him to establish a 100% EOU for lens manufacturing in Goa at Tivim Industrial Estate.

Back then, Goa was one state having an international airport and being a Union Territory, it had all the central government offices in the State. All of this, coupled with the simplicity of the Goan people was the encouragement for him to establish his plant in Goa. Gupta shifted to Goa along with his wife and children in 1982.

In 1985, he started another  company by the name of Goa Optolab Pvt. Ltd. for catering to the Indian market. This company used to sell its lenses in the name of ‘GKB Hi-Tech’.

In 1991, in a family business separation, Goa Optolab, as a company, came under his ownership. This was converted to GKB Hi-Tech Lenses Pvt. Ltd. with single ownership. This was the time Mahendra K. Gupta decided to explore his vision to make it the largest company in India with a global presence.

The biggest challenges besides establishing sales and marketing were the new manufacturing sites, arranging  finances from financial institutions in his business, as the entire machinery, consumables, raw material, and spare parts were imported. The biggest challenge for him was to train labour to operate these imported CNC machines. His strength came from the supportive financial institutions and other government departments. There was also the unflinching support of his wife and children, who acquired the best education on their own without much involvement of their father.

Goa being a small state was insufficient to absorb the quantum of production GKB Hi-Tech was producing and exporting. Therefore he started opening distribution and manufacturing units throughout the country. His aim and vision was to make the company have highest quality standards and values and become a one-stop-shop for the consumer for spectacles.

Focus, passion, dedication, hard labour, support of the family, amiable financial institutions and blessing of God has made Mahendra K Gupta’s organisation one with a turnover of 400 crores, with 2000 dedicated and professional people

In 1995, his elder son Shobit joined him after completing his engineering. He had established the footprints of GKB Hi-Tech’s presence in all the markets of India, Middle East, South Africa and Europe. In addition to this, the company, also entered into retail business of spectacles in  Goa, Bangalore and Chennai. Shobit along with his younger brother Neeraj who joined the business in 1996, started growing the business and re-structuring the expanded business by introducing latest technologies and IT controlled business systems.

By 2004, GKB Hi-Tech was a recognised brand within the country and abroad. The market extended from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Mumbai to Nagaland. The entire country was covered with 22 manufacturing units and 102 distribution centres fully owned by the company.

GKB Hi-Tech was the only company who sold its products directly to the opticians without any tier of distributor or  wholesaler. This needed a  strong IT and Quality Control. Every lens produced would directly go into the spectacle without any rejection or return. This unique line adopted by the management of selling direct to the optician was the biggest achievement of the company to establish its brand. Handling about 20000 lenses a day also needed a robust IT system.

The management style Mahendra Gupta and his sons adopted was to know the business, pre consider all the pros and cons and make instant decisions, while executing the work with precision and economy.

Mahendra K. Gupta is a  satisfied person for his career as an entrepreneur and he is seeing his vision growing at a steadier pace.

Today, his company is converting itself from a lens manufacturing company to a spectacle manufacturing company by adding manufacture of spectacle frames.

He has never hesitated in adopting to the latest technology, developing in-house processes which economises the product manufacturing. This is the reason his company has so many firsts to its credit and inspite of two joint ventures with multinational companies in the past, the company is today 100% owned by the family.

Focus, passion, dedication, hard labour, support of the family, amiable financial institutions and blessing of God has  made his organisation one with a turnover of Rs 400 crores, with 2000 dedicated and professional people who swear by his leadership qualities.

The future of GKB Hi- Tech Lenses, under the astute leadership of Mahendra K Gupta, is bright so far and they are enjoying the fruits of their efforts

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