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Lenskart's Peyush Bansal faces backlash for linking new product with ‘Army and nation’

‘Hustlr’ is an emotion, it's about what we can achieve, it's about infinite possibilities, Lenskart CEO Peyush Bansal had said in the video announcing its launch

Peyush Bansal

Lenskart CEO Peyush Bansal recently announced the launch of 'Hustlr', which is a light pair of spectacles as per the company. However, Bansal was subjected to criticism on social media platforms for the story which he used to announce the launch of the new product.

"For everyone hustling everyday….I want to today announce the launch of something that is very close to me…and we are calling it the ‘Hustlr’ by," Bansal wrote in a LinkedIn post. 

"’Hustlr’ was made from the realisation that our great nation has so many people who aspire to #DoMoreBeMore everyday...Hustlr is an emotion, it's about what we can achieve, it's about infinite possibilities," he added. 

In a video message, Bansal narrated an incident saying that once at the Delhi airport a security officer, who was standing behind a shield, told him that he wants the same pair of glasses that Bansal wears. 

"I asked him why does he want these spectacles when he sits behind a shield all day and nobody can even see him? He said he wants these glasses because he also wants to do something big. That got me thinking that these spectacles represent something more than just the looks of it," Bansal added. 

Furthermore, he went on to state, "I have always seen these Army officers in India wear the popular RayBan Aviators. It's almost like a signature of being an Army man. I thought there should be something that represents the dream, opportunity and promise of India. So, we launched 'Hustlr'.”

'Hustlr' is not about just a pair of spectacles, it's about a feeling that you represent, it's about India, Bansal stated.

Reacting to the post, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, Pramod Bansal stated, "...Just curious—can't similar, reasonably priced pairs be produced for underprivileged Indians so that they, too, can dream big?" 

Senior Product Manager, Adobe, Benjamin Thomas stated that calling something as meant for "hustlers" will immediately put off the real hustlers.

Management Consultant, Infosys, Akash Srivastava said, "I personally didn't find the link between marketing of this brand and India/nationalism..." 

Senior Software Engineer at Walmart, Maneesh Prajapati commented that here the lesson is, whenever you make a marketing story, ensure it's more relatable and believable for customers.

SAP Global Program and Portfolio Manager, Wipro, Pradeep Kumar, commented, "...In this particular video I felt you are trying to encash people’s feelings with the Army/nation. It reminds me of an advertisement where someone was trying to sell floor tiles linking the emotions of the Indian Army and 'desh ki mitti'."

"I would be interested to know what percentage of your profits goes into nation building and charity towards education, healthcare, agriculture and poverty of people in India. Otherwise I would consider this video as very dull marketing strategies where you are trying to sell your product using people’s emotions for the Army or nation," he added. 

Head CSR for FAME - CSR arm of AYE Finance, Ravi Agarwal wrote, "This is another advertising strategy selling Indian nationalism. Nothing wrong in that but the story didn’t come out so well. It seems you are trying to connect stories from here and there unnecessarily and make it associated with nationalism."

Many LinkedIn users also stated that the story narrated by Bansal was “weak” and not too convincing. However, some people also appreciated the storytelling idea behind the new product.

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