EYEZONE Magazine
EYEZONE: Interview

We Hope to Make Yateem Eye Center a Hub for Medical Tourism: Mr. Nasser A Yateem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The visionary who dreamed of building a world class comprehensive eye care facility and turned it into reality - Mr. Nasser A Yateem – spoke to EYEZONE magazine at length about his mission to provide the best services to customers, the challenges he faced during the journey, the support from various quarters and his vision for the optical industry.

1) The Yateem Eye Center is a unique and innovative concept. When did you first conceive this idea of providing comprehensive eye health services under one roof and how did you turn this dream into reality?

The Yateem Eye Center project has been a dream of mine for decades. Since 1989, I had a vision to bring a world class comprehensive vision care unit into UAE. During those years, I was consolidating the optical retail chain network in the region but the dream continued to remain at the back of my mind. We brought contact lenses to the market to address some of the customers’ needs for vision correction without the use of frames. The next logical stage for this development was to establish a facility that can provide LASIK for those who are keen to have a permanent solution. When more customers began showing interest in LASIK treatment, I initiated the plan for the eye center. My dream began to take shape with more clarity and direction and I worked on building a facility that offer holistic vision care services, world class diagnostic equipment and surgical solution under one roof. With due diligence, a team of highly specialized professionals and the support of the UAE government, I was able to make my dream a reality.

2) Were there any challenges during the planning and execution of this project? How did you and your team overcome it.

A project of this scope has its challenges. One of our primary challenges was in conducting a strong market research. In order for our facility to be the best, we had to study the UAE market, as well as the leading facilities across the world to see which equipment; solutions are best suited for this market. The healthcare sector is highly dynamic. A diagnostic tool that seems advanced today might be overtaken by a new device within 6 months. This led to multiple revisions in our plan for equipment selection. The goal to be the best in service and have the best tools to provide it is our top priority. To meet this goal, our team is constantly exploring the global market to look for groundbreaking new inventions and treatment modes that can be brought to this facility, to make it the most advanced facility in the region.

3) Are there plans for more Eye Centers in other parts of the region in future?

With the launch of the first branch of Yateem Eye Center in Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi; there has been a flood of proposals for expansion opportunities both in UAE and across GCC. We are reviewing all the options available and our team is conducting a market study on the best expansion strategy. We hope to make this main center a hub for medical tourism with specialized packages for residents of GCC, with travel, accommodation, treatment and consultations all rolled into a package. To support this, we might establish satellite centers across GCC. We are also in the process of expanding a new facility in Al Dhafrah region where there is a need for a comprehensive healthcare facility. Our growth is also focused on the development of our primary facility with upcoming new additions in ENT, Dermatology and Cosmetic procedure clinics through a new division called the Yateem International Clinic.

4) What keeps you motivated to continuously implement new plans and ideas?

Since 1910, the Yateem family has always had the passion for improving upon our foundations. In 1969 we opened our first optical retail in Abu Dhabi. This marked the beginning of our expansion in UAE. Since then, our retail presence has increased across the GCC.

We noticed early-on that the lenses being ordered from outside the country took a long time to be finished and delivered. The gap in supply chain resulted in many customers having to wait for weeks for their spectacles. We started the YACO lab to address this gap and the benefit to our customers was tremendous. Seeing the impact this move had on our customers, we made it a policy to always be on the lookout for new ideas that will improve our business in the region. We now have a SEIKO lens processing unit with the same technology and expertise as available in the SEIKO labs of Germany or Japan. We are the sole distributors of these lenses in the region and the premium quality of the lens is making a strong positive impact on our customers. We started from humble beginnings and our growth to this day is a result of dedication, hard work, determination, team work and a unified goal of high quality service to our customers that is shared by everyone in the family. Additionally, our government in UAE is highly supportive towards developing the healthcare infrastructure and plays a vital role in motivating us to come up with new projects and plans.

5) Yateem group is known to provide quality services and follow best practices. How is this philosophy ingrained in Yateem staff to consistently maintain high standards?

During our selection process itself, we try to inculcate in our staff the value that we hold dear. They are given training on the core product knowledge in addition to the quality standards that is expected in all stages of operations. We recognize staff members who work with passion towards the same goal as our vision and provide them excellent growth opportunities to further motivate the quality of service. We are also constantly educating the staff and our management in addition to studying the market for effective quality management practices.

6) What is your vision for the optical industry?

My vision for the optical industry is that we all provide a very high quality service and educate our customers that eyewear is not just an accessory; but an essential tool of day-to-day life. With training to the staff on choosing the correct products as per customer expectation and a focus on providing the best quality products, our industry will remain in high regards of the customers.

 

 

 

 

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