Interview: Martin Batho, managing director Hoya lens UK

Hoya has become synonymous with supporting independent practices and, as Chris Bennett discovers, it has plans to help underpin the future of owner-led retail optics too

Independent practices are the lifeblood of the optical business and recent times have seen them fighting back against the onslaught of the multiples. Not so many years ago it was a common theme at business seminars to hear how independent practices were dwindling. Change has taken place but to mis-quote Mark Twain reports of the independents’ death have been greatly exaggerated.

Martin Batho, managing director of Hoya lens UK in Wrexham agrees that the pace of demise for independent practices has been slower than predicted. He is clearly grateful to the sector for supporting Hoya and he puts this success down to the right product mix, support and training for independent customers and a stable team within Hoya. Perhaps not so expected is another role Hoya is finding in financially supporting practices to remain independent and to expand the independent footprint.

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