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Bausch & Lomb turns 150 news
Our Corporate Bureau
03 November 2003

Mumbai: One-hundred-and-fifty years to the day after its founding as a small optical shop in Rochester, New York, Bausch & Lomb, the global eye health company, today launched a year-long celebration of its 150 years in business by announcing two major initiatives and ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Founded in 1893 by German immigrants John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb, Bausch & Lomb''s heritage in vision care is second to none. What began as a small shop selling spectacles and magnifiers imported from Europe is today a global company with nearly $2 billion in sales, 11,500 employees and strong franchises in contact lenses and lens care products and ophthalmic surgical and pharmaceutical products.

In India, the company began its operations in 1992, taking credit for bringing in a revolution in eyecare. Over the past decade, Bausch & Lomb has demonstrated its innovative technology and know-how in eyecare by continuously bringing in revolutionary products in all three areas of eyecare that it operates in.

In vision care, the company has brought in breakthrough new-generation contact lenses such as Soflens Comfort, ReNu, Pure Vision and SL66 Torics. High-quality foldable intraocular lenses such as Akreos & Millenium Microsurgical System have spearheaded a similar revolution in cataract, while the state-of-the-art Zyoptix vision correction procedure has ushered in a new gold standard for surgical vision correction in the country.

Simultaneously, B&L''s ISO 9002 certified manufacturing facility is perhaps the most advanced eyecare products manufacturing unit anywhere in the country, with ReNu being manufactured under a Class 100 sterile facility and contact lenses by the spin casting process. Apart from this, it has also set up a Bausch & Lomb International School of Optometry in Hyderabad.

"Our founders knew that a commitment to constant innovation was key to building a successful company," says Ronald L Zarrella, Bausch & Lomb chairman and CEO. "They understood that being good partners — with each other and with their customers — was not just the right thing to do, but could also be a competitive advantage. They never forgot that they couldn''t succeed except through the efforts of their employees. They were dedicated to perfecting vision and enhancing life150 years ago — and we remain committed to their values today."

"The Bausch & Lomb story in India is not much different from that of our parent organisation. Starting on a humble note a decade ago, Bausch & Lomb today is not only a leader in most segments it operates in, our brand is undoubtedly synonymous with innovative technology eyecare in the country," says J P Singh, managing director, Bausch & Lomb Eyecare India.

"The strength of our brand in India is not only a result of our innovative products and services in Eyecare, but also due to the emphasis that we lay on strong, intimate relationship with our customers. To that extent, Bausch & Lomb continues to find immense value in the principles of partnership with customers and employees, handed over by the founders, even today. We believe in total openness and transparency in our operations," he adds.

Bausch & Lomb, in keeping with its long heritage of service to society, has donated $1 million to the international organisation Vision 2020 — The Right to Sight, a collaborative effort of the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. Its goal is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness by 2020.

Bausch & Lomb has proclaimed 29 April 2004 as its global day of caring. On that day, Bausch & Lomb employees around the world will participate in charitable and public service projects as a way to thank their local communities for supporting the company''s operations.

In India, Bausch & Lomb announced a yearlong celebration of its 150th year with a number of community outreach programmes that will promote eye health among school and college students, conduct advanced training workshops for eyecare specialists and organise events across the country to promote eyecare awareness. It believes in being a responsible corporate citizen, by raising the standards of Eyecare in India, which is home to 25 per cent of the world''s blind population.

At 4 pm Eastern time, Bausch & Lomb chairman and CEO Ron Zarrella will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Joining him on the podium will be the leaders in the eyecare professions of ophthalmology and optometry and Bausch & Lomb employees from around the world who were chosen as examples of the company''s dedication to service, professionalism and innovation.

Bausch & Lomb is the eye health company, dedicated to perfecting vision and enhancing life for consumers around the world. Its core businesses include soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses and lens care products, and ophthalmic surgical and pharmaceutical products. The Bausch & Lomb name is one of the best-known and most respected health care brands in the world.

Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2003, the company is headquartered in Rochester, New York. Bausch & Lomb ''s 2002 revenues were $1.8 billion, it employs approximately 11,500 people worldwide and its products are available in more than 100 countries.


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Bausch & Lomb turns 150