Hertfordshire manufacturer invents new eyedrop applicator welcomed by leading retailers and distributors. | Manufacturing Growth Programme

EziDrops Ltd was incorporated in March 2019 when business owner, Bob Gokani, had been having difficulty putting eyedrops in his eyes. After being unable to find anything suitable and easy on the market to help him, Bob decided to invent a gadget himself.

The EziDrops design was perfected, and prototypes were created. These prototypes were shown to Boots, who have agreed to stock the product in approximately 1800 stores. Furthermore, the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) are also selling the product.

EziDrops Ltd was created from scratch by Bob, who funded the business from his own resources. He created it without having previous manufacturing experience and knew that there were challenges he was going to face. With that in mind, Bob Gokani engaged with the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) to access free tailored support and grant funding to give his venture the best possibility for growth.

Amanda Freeland, the Manufacturing Growth Manager for MGP in Hertfordshire, helped Bob to gain access to capital grant funding from MGP to get the tooling made to enable the gadget to be manufactured.

The business has experienced challenges; Covid-19 delayed the whole process, since even though pharmacies remained open during lockdown, numbers of shoppers were greatly diminished. Also, the manufacturing and stockpiling of the product needed to be timed correctly to meet the seasonal needs of their major client, since eyedrops are a big seller during the hay fever season. Other challenges included research on whether CE marking was required and navigating the legal requirements to register the IP. Amanda has been able to refer Bob to relevant sources of SME support and provide him with an in-depth business analysis using GROWTHmapper® to identify areas of the business that need prioritising and areas that are performing well, providing Bob with an idea of where to make key improvements.

Amanda commented on her time working with EziDrops Ltd; “Bob Gokani has worked tirelessly to create a brand-new product from scratch, with all the technical complexity of getting it manufactured, packaged and now sold through all the right channels. It’s been such a lot of hard work, and I’m really happy that our funding has been able to help him succeed. He’s created something so useful that he’s now getting volume sales from a major retailer, as well as other pharmacy & optical distributors and the RNIB.”

Bob Gokani commented; “We are currently in the prototyping stage of a totally new invention, which is an ear applicator. I hope to seek Amanda’s expert guidance once again to have prototypes made. You can see the ear applicator on our website.”

The EziDrops business has had a strong start with orders from notable clients and it hopes to employ more staff over the next year. Their website is now available in German, Spanish, and French, and they are accessing support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) to increase exports.

More details about EziDrops Ltd is be available at www.ezidrops.com