THE founder of an independent opticians’ practice has combined business acumen and community spirit to drive his operations forward.
Moin Valli, 34, became a qualified optometrist in 2000 and worked for five years as a locum at various practices as well as establishing an optical recruitment agency.
He founded the Valli Group in 2005 when he was 27 by acquiring Hampshire Opticians with three practices in Lockwood, Honley and Meltham. In 2006, he added Openshaw Opticians in Cleckheaton and in 2009 purchased Optim-Eyes Opticians in Mytholmroyd, which was rebranded to Valli Opticians. In 2011, Moin acquired S D Haigh Opticians in Almondbury and this year added Mamtora Opticians in Hebden Bridge.
Starting from three practices, turnover of £350,000 and eight staff in 2005, his business growth strategy means the group now has seven practices, 25 staff and anticipated turnover of £1.2m by the end of 2012.
Said Moin: “My goal is to position The Valli Group as the leading independent opticians across West Yorkshire and beyond, offering professional eye care and outstanding service in our local communities.
“Along with my team, I’m working hard to achieve this through the acquisition of further practices, growth of current practices, business development, extensive financial investment in technology, a comprehensive refurbishment programme and through investment in our staff development and training.”
He said the group’s business strategy had resulted in increased turnover and net profit. Each acquisition has achieved its five-year financial forecast by the end of the first year – with average turnover and profit for the first year of trading after acquisition rising by 43% and 68% respectively.
The group has also invested in the practices with major refurbishments and the introduction of state-of-the-art equipment – enabling them to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
Said Moin: “The Vallie Group has invested heavily in technology, optical equipment and refurbishment, spending over £260,000 in the last six years to rejuvenate our practices.
“This allows us to offer patients modern, high quality practices with traditional values of the very best in customer service.”
Moin said another key business strategy was to create an environment where staff were happy and enthused about work, adding: “I’m committed to having a highly skilled and knowledgeable team and provide regular in-house and external staff training. This has been a key feature of our growth and success.”
The group also supports its local communities, offering a free domiciliary service to elderly and disabled patients who are unable to visit their local practice. Moin also makes regular visits to local schools and community groups to deliver talks aimed at raising awareness about eye health.
The group has also hosted charity events to raise cash for local causes, including a Wimbledon-themed event to support Kirkwood Hospice. The group also sponsors Honley FC.
Moin is a member of Sight Care, the Association of Optometrists and the College of Optometrists as well as a past member of the local optometric committee for Kirklees and Calderdale.
“The future will see further rapid for the Valli Group,” he said. “We plan to rebrand four of the existing practices to Valli Opticians before the end of the year. Two further practices have been targeted for acquisition for next year, which should push group turnover to the targeted £2m by the end of 2013.”