Indian jeweller plans UAE, GCC expansion

Gitanjali Group eyes 150 retail units in UAE plus expansion into Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain

Founded in India in 1966, Gitanjali Group has an annual turnover of over US$2.1bn (Bloomberg).

Founded in India in 1966, Gitanjali Group has an annual turnover of over US$2.1bn (Bloomberg).

India’s Gitanjali Group, one of the world’s largest jewellery retailers, said on Saturday it plans to have up to 150 points of sale in the UAE in the next two years.

Ajay Pandey, CEO of Gitanjali International Brands Business, announced the expansion plans in a statement, saying the company has already invested about $20m in the emirates.

He added that he was also looking to grow the business in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

"We plan to expand our business to reach approximately 100 to 150 points of sale in the country within the next two years.

"We think Dubai Government has done a wonderful job of creating an infrastructure that has encouraged retailers like us to do business in this commercial hub of GCC and Asia."

Ajay added: "We have had a presence in the UAE for the last 10 years via our whole sale trade showroom in Dubai's Gold Souk.

"However, we now are setting up our own stores and looking for franchise opportunities, as well as exploring potential partners to expand in countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait."

Gitanjali owns around 30 major brands that are designed and manufactured in eight factories and top Bollywood stars have recently signed on as brand ambassadors.

The statement also said the company has also recently acquired a large Italian jewellery group.

In May, Gitanjali said it was considering expanding its network of jewelery vending machines into Dubai as part of its investment in the region.

The firm launched jewellery vending machines in India last year, displaying a range of 36 gold, silver and diamond jewels, and the company is now planning to expand the network over the next three years.

Mehul Choksi, chairman and founder of the company, said the machines will soon be making an appearance in Dubai as part of their plans to invest up to $75m in the Middle East.

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