The Administrative Challenge
Naturally, importing glasses was not easy at first. DOT needed to address both, requests from the Federal government of Ethiopia and from Ethiopia’s local governments. The fact that glasses are classified as a medical device only added to the administrative burden. DOT needed to provide 13 different documents to local authorities to begin the distribution process. Finally, after months of negotiations, DOT Glasses received device registration from the Ethiopian Food and Drug Authority (EFDA). Combined with growing costs of international shipping, the project got delayed nearly half a year. As DOT glasses mentions, hiring a local project manager made everything go smoother.
The pilot project for Ethiopia picked up good pace. By December 2021, DOT reported that over 8,000 glasses have been distributed and another 10,000 have been ordered by DOT’s Country Director who oversees the project locally.
DOT’s Solution Around the World
The Challenge Fund in Ethiopia was a part of DOT’s larger global operation, which keeps constantly growing. By autumn 2021, DOT Glasses has sold over 50,000 glasses to its 10 LDC markets, which include Bangladesh, Nigeria, Nepal, Uganda, or Ghana adding to the total of 14 countries. As DOT’s distribution network grows the economy of scale helps to make the DOT Glasses solution more accessible to economically disadvantaged. To support its goal of making glasses accessible, DOT won support of multiple donors and investors, including the Tilia Fund and Nation 1 Fund. Having won the Red Dot design award and the Czech SDG award, DOT Glasses are clearly a much needed, stylish solution to the challenge of poor vision.