A Healthy Look at the Whole

Interview with Werner Tschan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and CEO of Galifa Contact Lenses AG

Galifa Contact Lenses Premium Lenses
Galifa – Pioneer for Premium Lenses

Hours of screen time is standard for many people. Young people spend hours gaming. This monotonic staring at the screen is strenuous for the eyes. One consequence: dry, red eyes. Shortsightedness can also be a result of too much screen time. Those looking for a competent point of contact for these or other vision problems are in the right place with Galifa Contact Lenses AG from St. Gallen, the pioneer for individual contact lenses in typical Swiss quality.

The name Galifa is synonymous with a tradition-rich Swiss company that manufactures custom-made contact lenses with the latest manufacturing technologies and excellent staff, placing great emphasis on sustainability. Since its founding in 1980, the focus has been on custom-made lenses, especially soft lenses, but also rigid ones.

"Lenses are medical products," says Chairman of the Board and CEO Werner Tschan. "We were among the first to have a Medical Device Certification, something we are very proud of, because it represents a real quantum leap. Previously, the Medical Device Certification was not legally established in this capacity, especially concerning the raw material. Now, all manufacturers are on the same path, but we are a step ahead of most."

Werner Tschan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and CEO of Galifa Contact Lenses AG
Werner Tschan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and CEO of Galifa Contact Lenses AG

Premium Partner for Premium Lenses

Over 600 custom-made lenses are produced daily in St. Gallen; two-thirds soft, one-third rigid. Distribution is exclusively through specialist dealers in Switzerland and the DACH region, where one-third of the sales are made.

Galifa Contact Lens Production Robots
Custom-made lenses require precise work
Galifa Contact Lenses Selected Raw Materials
Selected raw materials are the basis for the high-quality contact lenses

"Our goal is to be the first choice for high-quality contact lenses for customers in the DACH region," says Werner Tschan. "Thanks to the wide range, we offer solutions for healthy vision for all ages and all levels of vision impairment. In doing so, we follow the motto 'Focus on Life'."

Quality is paramount for Galifa; this claim is reflected in selected raw materials and competent consultations. Galifa relies on state-of-the-art technology and sustainability – this applies to production and the products themselves. In the production in St. Gallen, work is carried out in an energy-sustainable manner; the products are three-, six-, or twelve-month lenses.

"Our lenses distinguish themselves from the market in several respects," says Werner Tschan. "They are custom-made premium lenses and thus niche products, with which we cannot compete with competitors who produce mass products. At the same time, they are lenses made of durable material, which have nothing in common with disposable products and are presented in environmentally friendly packaging."

Galifa Contact Lenses Customized Contact Lenses
Customized contact lenses for every age and every vision problem - a hallmark of Galifa

Trust and Appreciation

Galifa occupies a leading market position with modern contact lenses. For Werner Tschan, this is mainly thanks to the excellent employees, a highly motivated team that brings new ideas and inspirations for the continuous development of the product range.

“We are very fortunate to be able to rely on excellent employees,” emphasizes Werner Tschan. “Further training plays a major role in the company and is particularly important against the backdrop of the shortage of skilled workers. We create the conditions for excellent training, while the employees themselves bring in many new ideas that they can live out. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute a piece of their individuality and sees sense in their work. This is the reason why our employees are motivated and enjoy coming to work.”

Werner Tschan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and CEO of Galifa Contact Lenses AG

Werner Tschan


"Our success can be attributed to a highly motivated team and consistent training."

Werner Tschan

Flat hierarchies and mutual trust are a matter of course for Galifa. Each individual is treated with respect, and an interaction on equal terms shapes the work culture. “Our doors are always open,” says Werner Tschan. “Hierarchical thinking is a thing of the past; we don't need an organizational chart, but rely on trust. And we have had very good experiences with it. For example, during the pandemic.”

Together for better products

Galifa focuses on consistent quality to assert itself in a market that is constantly changing and always brings new challenges. In the past years, there has been an increased focus on automation – without compromising on quality. Moreover, Galifa has entered into a partnership with the Swiss competitor Falco Linsen AG – a collaboration that many benefit from.

“Falco is a very interesting company with exciting products,” says Werner Tschan. “Together, for example, we organize further training and courses and have created the website Lensity for this purpose. Lensity is not just a platform for further training and information about contact lenses, but also serves as a forum for exchange within the community. Lensity is perfect for sharing our long-term experience as lens manufacturers with others.”

Galifa Motivated and committed employees
Motivated and committed employees form the backbone of the company
Galifa Production
Swiss quality goes hand in hand with modern production methods

Galifa supports others and wants to continue growing itself - both qualitatively and quantitatively - with a clear focus on individual lenses of top quality. To achieve this, everyone in St. Gallen tries to give their best every day - which is not always easy. "The expectations and ideas of young people have changed," says Werner Tschan. "Until January, we worked in shifts, since February we produce two to three hundred lenses overnight without employees in a ghost shift. This change was necessary and was achieved very quickly."

Changed demands, staff shortages, digitalization, delivery difficulties - Galifa faces many challenges to remain visible. "Personally, the throwaway mentality of society concerns me," says Werner Tschan. "Lenses are a medical product that deserves a higher status. We want to counter this trend and provide answers to the question of what we need to do today to be in the market tomorrow."