Keeler – A British Global Success Story


Keeler’s China and India teams.

From its foundation in 1917 as a dispensing practice in London, Keeler has gone on to become a global leader in ophthalmic instruments, with many award-winning products to its name.

The decision to target global markets – especially the USA – began after the Second World War. The British economy was struggling and Keeler knew it had to pursue exports to remain viable, so it separated its dispensing optician and instrument businesses to create a more streamlined operation and ventured into new markets overseas.

In 1984 Keeler faced increased domestic competition due to the deregulation of retail optics in the UK. This meant increased pressure to maintain a profitable dispensing optician business. Three years later the company won a major lawsuit in the USA, enabling it to continue selling its Pulsair non-contact tonometer – one of its flagship products – in the USA and globally.

This was a turning point in the company’s global success and helped establish Keeler USA as a leading player in the North American ophthalmic industry – no mean feat for a British interloper (albeit one whose founder was originally from America!).

Keeler’s products are now helping improve the eyesight of patients all over the world, from India and China to Brazil, Australia and South Africa.

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