Interview • Somboon Numtipjuntacharern Thailand's Master of the Art of seeing well - Prestige ( January 2008 )
Somboon Numtipjuntacharern, better known as 'Master Bobi' a man on a mission. He wants the world to see better and it bothers him when people have less than perfect vision. "Life is too short to limit your vision." "He says." Not having crystal clear eyesight limits your life. My mission is to give a better life to my customers."
To be able to see clearly at all times is an ability we have only during our youth. This ability diminishes when we reach our 40s. Our eyes get tired easily, especially when we work long hours reading or working with computers.
The latest technology for progressive lenses use the most precise measurement techniques available is the best solution for people aged 40 to 120 years of age who are far-sighted. The special lenses give them their youthful sight back.
Never forget that the quality of life, regardless of professional or social status, depends on the ability to see
How did you become interested in progressive lenses?
When I first made progressive lenses for a 60-year -old client, he came back after three weeks and thanked me for giving him his sight back. That got me thinking, If I could make this guy see better, why not the world? After tens of thousands of hours spent studying the progressive lenses, I found myself being regarded as the world expert on progressive lenses.
What about the market share of progressive lenses in Thailand?
In the past only 50% of the progressive lenses worked. My progressive lenses are 100% effective. Back then, if you sold 10 pairs of lenses a year, you were good; 30 pairs a year, you were the best; but I'm the first in Thailand who have sold 1000 pairs a year, and 100% of them worked.
We have heard that wearing progressive lenses gives some people a headache. Is this true?
Yes, if they are wearing low grade lenses which are cheaper, plus an incorrect measurement process. This will give anyone a headache!
Are progressive lenses from other shops as high quality as yours?
Most other shops believe clients won't pay much for the best progressive lenses so they making lenses with lower grade products. Not me, I believe in only the best, my clients are the proof that people are willing to pay for the best products.
We have heard that ISOPTIK lenses cost over 100,000 baht and that there is a long wait.
Our price range are from 8,000 to 80,000 baht per pair and the total time from examination to receipt the eyeglasses is 45 days. At the end of 45 days we deliver the most precise and most comfortable glasses available in the world.
What is your view on clients who are doctors and have a responsibility for the welfare of their patients?
The way I see is the well-being of a patient depends almost entirely on the doctor's vision. If a doctor can
maintain his vision at the optimum level, he'll be able operate better. Most surgeons retire themselves early because of their vision. Just imagine how wonderful it would be if an experienced surgeon could continue his practice with our hi-end progressive lenses.
What makes you so confident that your centre makes the best high end lenses in the world?
For decades we have been in this business; my siblings and I are very happy and successful. We rank number one in sales in the south of Thailand. If you asked about quality, I would say that our lenses are second to none and my siblings are as good at making lenses as I am.
I'm confident about my products because of what my clients say. Ninety-eight percent of my clients are from the Scandinavian countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Word of month from one client to the next and now they all know of ISOPTIK in Thailand. One European client came to me and apologized for looking down on our products because compared to what was available, in their currency, ours were not that expensive. After wearing my lenses his vision changed dramatically. He is no longer wears his European lenses that cost him many times more than ours. That was when I knew I had to go international.
One Norwegian client loved his progressive glasses I made for him so much that he brought his 85 year-old father who had to carry two pairs of glasses with him one for nearsightedness and the other for farsightedness. The father bought a pair of progressive lens glasses in Europe but they didn't work well enough for him. At my shop I tested him and let him wear some sample lenses. He became excited because he could see very clearly in every direction he looked. He could even walk downstairs without tripping! When I saw his smiling face, I was so proud. With this lens you can see right away what you pay for.
You also teach fellow optics shop owners about the techniques of progressive lenses, why?
I think the demand is too high for me to do it all alone. And I don't see them as my competitors. It is more like an alliance. By studying with me, in a day they can do what I do. I love to teach, it's not about money. I'm just very good at teaching people who used to see a 300 baht pair of eyeglasses how to make eyeglasses that sell for 20,000 baht
I always say, 'If you believe, you can do anything'. When studying with me, all I asked is for people to have an open mind. The next day they will see a miracle. That's my rule, my only rule.
After teaching in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore invited me to be their guest lecturer. Next was Shanghai. And now we have www.apcthai.com for broadcasting clinical studies and updates on high-end progressive lenses. The website is now internationally recognized as the most accurate website on progressive lenses and provides approved reports on each model of progressive lenses. There are many grades and types out there, you need to check carefully.
Progressive lenses can give you your youthful vision back?
Yes, because when you reach 40, your vision dramatically changes. Normally at the age of 40, the range 40cm and closer will be unclear and at the age of 50, the range one metre and closer will be unclear. That's why every year there are reports that older people fall and break their hips. That's because their vision is bad. When I hear that my lenses help them to see everything around them and help prevent accidents, I'm so pleased.
What kind of person are you?
I put my heart and soul into every pair of glasses we make. My attention to detail never diminishes. Everything from ISOPTIK has to be perfect and we kept improving until one day we produced glasses higher than the European standard. I am very straight forward and very proud. I work very hard and am proud to be able to continue my father's legacy in this field. I have faith in humanity; therefore, I'll do whatever necessary to help improve it.
What about your work style?
I work at what I believe in and I 'm very committed. My staff are the same; they believe in what we do. We all work with our hearts and we are honest. What you get from us is worth every baht that you pay.
Do you have a warranty?
We have an unconditional warranty for six months "Full satisfaction guaranteed and a full money refund if not satisfield." In addition we offer a two year quality guarantee, German standard.
How did you fund your operation?
For nearly two years I made my living teaching bout progressive lenses: 80,000 baht per day in Thailand and 160,000 baht per day abroad. I invested in ISOPTIK tens of millions of baht of my own money and from the Advance Progressive Addition Lenses Club. Not a dime was borrowed from my family.
What about your belief in God?
When I was a child I had a brain disease, and I couldn't cure it for a long time, even after and operation. I couldn't swim or play in the rain. Someone from my school who had the same disease went running in the rain and died. I prayed to God if I recovered I'd serve him. Not long after that the disease went away but I didn't do anything to fulfill l my promise.
Years later I was in an accident and had broken bones and couldn't walk. So for the second time I prayed to God that if I was cured I'd become his servant. I was healed and kept my promise for five years. Then my father's shop in samui was in financial trouble so I had to help. Since then I haven't gone back to serving God, but I still think about it often.
What have you learned from serving God?
During my five years of service to God, most of the
texts I studied were in English so that helped a lot with my business today. Most important is the belief I have in God and my faith in humanity. I also believe in the power of positive thinking; anyone can change their destiny overnight when they believe. When I teach abroad, I use preaching techniques. It has a great impact on the audience. I always say ' all you have to do is believe and do what I say. Tomorrow, a miracle will happen in your optic shop.' I'm well-known for helping people take that very important leap in life. If I can change someone's life for the better, for me, that's the best I can do with my life.
How do you feel about giving back?
It's one of my life's missions to give back to society by giving them good vision. I'm against random handouts of free glasses to the poor. Giving them lenses that are not made especially for their vision is not helping; it's more like an abuse. The human brain is naturally very intelligent. It will adapt vision to fit with lenses. So with incorrect prescriptions, a person's vision will soon be worse. At ISOPTIK, we only strive to improve vision, not to help it deteriorate.
These days, no matter how busy he is, Bobi spends his time taking care of his customers at ISOPTIK. If you are a coffee lover, skip your cup of coffee and try the hi-end coffee at ISOPTIK, because it is one of the tastiest in town!
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" Life is too short to limit your vision "
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Nowaday, ISOPTIK had moved to
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Opening every Tuesday – Saturday at 11:00 – 19:00
Close every Sunday and Monday
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A Testimonial From ISOPTIK’s Customers
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