A video interview with Mary Perkins – episode 1

by Julie with Mary Perkins

< Scroll down to watch episode 1 >

Mary Perkins is co-founder of Specsavers, the world’s largest privately owned optical company. Built on the belief that everybody deserves to have “as many pairs as Spectacles as they have shoes” her and her husband, Doug, built a partnership with 3,500 stores across 11 countries who thought the same as they did. Now, 36 years on, Specsavers sells 22 million spectacles a year, over half a million contact lenses, 400,000 hearing aids and are now moving into primary healthcare. 

In January 2020, I had the pleasure of asking Mary some key questions about growth, why it worked for them and how after creating 2 leading businesses she looked after herself to enable her to lead and still play a full-time role in her company.

In this first episode, it’s wonderful to hear her story in her own words and what the key drivers were that enabled them to make the impact whilst keeping their purpose.

Summarising key points
We hope you enjoyed the first episode of our interview with Mary. Below is a summary of some of the key things that really stood out for us and might get you thinking about your own growth journey and next step:

  • The importance of knowing your topic, your people, your market
  • Think about how you are supporting growth and develop a way of working that promotes equality of responsibility to deliver purpose
  • How can you place your customer at the centre of the decisions you take, knowing what to provide as their needs and wants change
  • Look for the innovation and fill the gap; keep innovation moving your product/service forward
  • Seize the opportunity, believe in yourself and stand for something different. Be proud of it
  • Clearly define the difference you want to make
  • Develop an everyday growth mentality
  • Understand your core; the essence of the company is what you can duplicate if you get it right. Specsavers was the power of the joint venture partnership and nobody else could replicate this culture 
  • Stick to your journey, your drive and purpose

There are 3 episodes in this interview series, watch episode 1 and 2 by clicking below.