EMKE Group boss Yussuffali MA has topped the list of the GCC’s 100 most powerful Indians, published by Arabian Business today.
The group, which owns the Lulu chain of hypermarkets, is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and has offices in 29 countries, employs around 27,000 people —including 22,000 Indians — and has an annual turnover of $3.75bn.
In at No.2 is another retail giant, Landmark boss Micky Jagtiani. GEMS boss Sunny Varkey, the brains behind one of the world’s largest school operators, netted the third spot.
The highest ranked banker was Standard Chartered CEO V Shankar, who took fourth place. Shankar is one of two bankers to secure spots in the top 10, with the CEO of Doha Bank, R Seetharaman, rounding up the rankings.
The list is dominated by UAE-based businessmen, hardly surprising when bilateral trade between India and the UAE topped $43bn last year. A report from Doha Bank last week noted that total trade between the six Gulf countries and India stood at $80bn in the first nine months of this year alone.
Edward Attwood, deputy editor of Arabian Business, said: “This year’s list proves beyond any doubt the huge contribution Indians have made to the development of the Gulf in the past few years.
“What is fascinating about the list is that many of those close to the top of it came to the region several years ago without any real income. Through sheer hard work, they have built empires worth billions of dollars.”