Yusuff Ali MA, the managing director of Abu Dhabi-based retail giant the Emke Group, has taken the top spot in the first ever Arabian Business Power List featuring the most influential Indians in the Gulf.
The retail mogul sits atop a business empire that employs 22,000 people from over 29 countries, and which has a turnover of more than $3.5bn globally. It is one of the largest Indian-owned conglomerates in the Gulf.
Hot on the heels of Yusuff Ali comes the GCC’s richest Indian, Mukesh – or ‘Micky’ to his friends – Jagtiani, head of the Landmark Group. Another trading maestro, Jagtiani oversees 900 stores in 15 countries and is hoping to post turnover of around $5bn within the next three years.
In third place comes V Shankar - who this year took on the key job of managing Standard Chartered Bank’s operations in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Europe – while fourth position went to BR Shetty, the healthcare magnate and CEO of the Abu Dhabi-based New Medical Centre (NMC) Group.
Other notable performances in our diverse list include Maghanmal Pancholia, who first came to Dubai 70 years ago and has been applying his business acumen to good effect ever since, and Dr Zulekha Daud – the highest woman – who founded the Zulekha Hospital and Healthcare Group.
The list is dominated by Indians working in the retail sector; fully a third of the hundred names we selected made their names by selling products, not just in the Gulf, but all over the world.
Our list also shows that Indians are playing a vital role in boardrooms of both international and local banks operating in the region, with 17 working in the banking and finance sector.
Elsewhere, 15 of the personalities on the Power List earn their living from the construction and industry sector.
But, if anything, the Arabian Business Indian Power List shows just how far the Indian diaspora has become enmeshed in Gulf society, with the region’s 2.5m expatriates working in every sector imaginable.
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