4 Aug 2008
Visual Gains(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 08,2008)
Starting out with a low key line that later develops into a full blown business asset can prove very rewarding, as Concavex Plastic Works Ltd has found with its range of magnifying glasses.
"From humble beginnings, we have become a specialised manufacturer of magnifying lenses," declares General Manager Peter Huang. "Today we offer magnifiers in different shapes, with or without lights, and in bookmark, wallet or desktop form."
Concavex continues to use traditional materials such as acrylic. "We have never used glass because acrylic is lighter and easier to work with," explains Mr Huang. "However, for the bodies we use ABS or PVC."
Magnifying glasses come in a range of designs: there are sporty novelty models in the shape of tennis rackets, while a desktop version combines a magnifier with an organiser. A letter-opener version has a magnifying lens in the handle.
"We also make bifocal models with a window with 2-4 times more magnification than the main lens," says Mr Huang. "We have another that acts as a reading light, with the magnifier mounted on the swivelling base that serves as a stand. Both models use LEDs."
The market is very broad, from youngsters to senior citizens. "Older people generally have poor eyesight and that is a natural niche for us," says Mr Huang. "Students form a large group, while most households will have a magnifying glass somewhere."
Very thin types also make excellent gifts, especially given the high quality of Concavex lenses. "We take pride in crystal-clear viewing at high magnification," says Mr Huang. "We invest in R&D, stay abreast of new technology, and implement strict QC procedures."
Production is made less complicated as lenses do not need polishing. "Each lens is moulded to perfection," Mr Huang claims. "The lens is ready to use immediately."
Concavex differentiates itself in the market by bringing innovation into play. "We have a model with a powerful 10x magnification," Mr Huang notes. "Our pocket magnifiers come in many different forms, such as lenses that retract into the frame body, designs that incorporate a miniature digital clock, and the ever-popular map readers."
The company accepts OEM orders, and produces a variety of magnifying glasses complete with corporate logos. "These go to the US, the biggest market, followed by Europe - Germany in particular - and Japan," Mr Huang says.
"The gifts and premiums sector is a good market, while our products also sell very well at the retail level," he continues. "Corporate gifts take up a good percentage of sales."
Concavex employs in-house designers and hires freelancers as required. "Our technical staff works closely with the designers because we want to change the notion that a magnifying glass is solely for use by senior citizens," says Mr Huang.
"We are definitely not selling to the low-end, and we take pride in our designs and lens quality. Our products are excellent value for money," Mr Huang insists.
TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON