Company: Lulu Group International
Designation: Chairman and managing director
Kerala-born businessman Yusuffali MA is the chairman and managing director of Lulu Hypermarket. His astute business vision and strategic mind have consistently delivered ambitious growth for his companies.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Lulu Group is best known in the Gulf for its chain of popular malls and hypermarkets, which have long served a wide segment of multi-ethnic residents in the region.
With a 40,000 strong workforce and operations in 37 different countries ranging from the GCC, Egypt, Thailand, UK and US, Lulu Group is on a huge expansion programme for Indonesia, not to mention its usual new openings across the GCC.
Last year, Lulu Group International announced it will be making its biggest ever one-off investment in the UAE with a $270m plan to develop three malls in Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah and Dubai over the next two years. The three malls are scheduled for delivery in the next two years.
The company currently operates six malls in Abu Dhabi, including Al Wahda Mall, Mushrif Mall and Khalidiyah Mall.Mall of Umm Al Quwain will be a single-level strip mall of 20,000 sq m, with a seven-screen cinema, due for completion at the end of next year.
Avenues Mall Sharjah will cover 43,000 sq m, with premium restaurant and entertainment venues, and is due to open by the end of 2018. Avenues Mall in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis is planned to extend over 82,500 sq m and has been designed as a premium retail and leisure destination. It is expected to open by the first quarter of 2019.
In January, the group revealed a $500m expansion programme in Indonesia where it currently operates a hypermarket. Lulu plans to add another ten hypermarkets and department stores in the next three years.
In February, the retailer opened its 133rd hypermarket, following new outlets in countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman in just the past few months. It has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian government, with the intent to build hypermarkets there.
Y International, a subsidiary of the group, opened its first food processing and logistics centre in the US. The export centre will purchase, process, re-label and export a variety of supermarket products made in the US. The group expects its staff numbers to more than double within a year.
It is no wonder, then, that Deloitte this year ranked Lulu Group as the top retailer in the Middle East and 27th in a list of the world’s fastest growing retailers. The group now rakes in retail revenue of $6.2bn annually across its operations in nine countries.