Following investment from fellow optometrist and Kite Eyewear & Nolii founder Asad Hamir, a revamped product range and a complete rebrand, Ocushield founder Dhruvin Patel is aiming for further growth as the brand goes from strength to strength.
Dhruvin Patel launched Ocushield while studying optometry at City University in January 2015. The idea came from his dissertation, which led to a further research project to develop the product.
After securing a small grant from CitySpark, a CASS business school competition, Dhruvin launched Ocushield while still a student, using his student loan alongside the grant to get the business up and running. He noticed that while many pairs of prescription glasses have the option of a blue light filter coating being built in, there wasn’t a product available for those who don’t wear glasses - especially while using phones or computers.
The idea caught on, and attention to detail ensured Ocushield’s first products to market were as effective as the current range. Turning over £45,000 in the first year of trading, while Patel was still a student, year two (2016/17) saw 110% growth in turnover, and forecasts for financial year three predict turnover to shoot up 1000% to just over £1m.
All digital devices emit high levels of blue light, a high-energy light that contributes to visual stress leading to eye strain and fatigue as well as headaches. Blue light in the evening also suppresses the production of melatonin - a hormone we produce to naturally regulate our sleep cycles. Blue light suppresses melatonin production twice as much as other types of light.
Patel firmly believes that his passion for eye health and dedication to product quality is behind the brand’s exponential growth. This year has seen recognition for the product, with Ocushield becoming the first screen protector in the world to receive medically-rated status from the MHRA. Patel is also a nominee in the HealthTech Founder category at BMW’s i UK Tech Founder Awards. Ocushield has also agreed to a partnership with eye health charity Fight for Sight, with £1 from each product sale helping fund the leading research institution for eye health.
Having launched a new Ocushield screen filter for the corporate market, which also double ups as a privacy filter, stopping people snooping on screens as well as reducing tired eyes, Patel has further plans for the range including blue light limiting light bulbs & prescription lens coatings. Alongside Patel, who still practises as an optometrist, the Ocushield team includes a number of leading eyecare experts and sleep practitioners.
Patel comments on the recent growth: “It’s been a really strong year for Ocushield so far with enhancements on the product, brand and team. We’re now at an exciting point in the business where we believe is the perfect time for our products to be in the market with more emphasis on health and wellbeing. We’ve had huge uptake from enterprises and SMEs using our new privacy filter x blue light Ocushield in the offices. We’re also launching our smartphone and iPad products with a major mobile network in hundreds of their retail stores just before Christmas this year. ”
Asad Hamir comments: “I am super excited to be investing in Dhruvin and his exciting journey with Ocushield. We want to turn Ocushield into the authority in eye health innovation, to help people see, feel and sleep better!”
More information about Ocushield can be found on their website.
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