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Saturday / April 13.
HomemifeatureQ & A With Thibaut Mongon

Q & A With Thibaut Mongon

On a recent whistle-stop visit to Australia Thibaut Mongon the Johnson & Johnson Regional President spoke to mivision about the growth of contact lens wear in the region.

Mongon has worked with Johnson & Johnson for ten years, originally in Europe and Latin America, and now responsible for developing Asia.

Q: Thibaut why you are in Australia?

What is fascinating and exciting about the contact lens industry is that it keeps evolving. What we are talking about today may not even exist five years from now

A: “This is my first visit to Australia and New Zealand. My objective is to understand the market better, meet the key players and understand their needs and how we at J&J vision can better support our eye care partners to be more successful in their practice.

“What is very important is that we understand what is specific to each different market (Australia, NZ, Asia, etc). What we are really focusing on is to understand the needs of the professionals in each market and how we can help them go after the huge opportunities we have in the contact lens area.

“I am very impressed by the level of professionalism I have seen in Australia and New Zealand. Everyone I talk to is very passionate about what they do and passionate about providing the best service to the patients. This is good as it means we will have contact lens wearers in the market who are fitted with the right lenses and their experience of wearing contact lenses will be better so they are more likely to continue wearing them for a long time.

“Australian and New Zealand are very professional markets, but the number of people who wear contact lenses in these countries is lower than we have seen in other markets. There is a great opportunity to combine this high level of professional skill with the unmet contact lens needs of Australian patients.”

Q: What has been the impact of online sales of contact lenses?

A: “It is not my role to decide whether the internet is a legitimate channel to sell contact lenses. Having said that though, I strongly believe that what makes a practitioner successful is their own ability to be proactive, to demonstrate their professionalism and their difference.

“I don’t see the internet as a distinctive player in the eye care market, but as a practitioner it could be seen as another type of competition as this comes in many different forms… Competition can be a website or a store in the next street. So either I spend a lot of time complaining about the fact that this competition exists or I spend my time thinking about how I am going to beat this competition and offer something they don’t. This differentiation comes from service, offering the right products for the right people, being more proactive with my offers… That is what differentiates the successful professional from their competition.

“It is very important that the practitioner fulfils their role in educating and reassuring the patient. It is the responsibility of the eye care professional to ensure that the patient sees them as the best source of information.”

Q: What do you see as the future for contact lens wear in the region?

A: “The futures bright for a number of reasons. Practitioners have more and more options at their disposal to on-sell products to patients. The products available and the technology available now can answer almost any type of eye condition.

“Also, the number of people who have never been offered contact lenses is huge so there is a huge potential for those eye care professionals to demonstrate to these patients that there is a contact lens option available for them.

“The proactive eye care professional who offers contact lens to their patients is very successful because they differentiate themselves.

“Statistically, contact lens wearers tend to be more loyal to a practice and to the professional who helped them discover contact lenses. When you’re proactive in offering contact lenses, you trigger other opportunities including premium frames and sunglasses.

“What is fascinating and exciting about the contact lens industry is that it keeps evolving. What we are talking about today may not even exist five years from now. The needs of patients and the complications that arise will keep evolving as we keep discovering new things. We will keep proposing new technologies; new ways of looking at contact lenses and new ideas. The sky is the limit.”