Lulu CEO to invest in Middle East, Asia and other emerging markets, includes store expansion

November 10
8:07 AM 2013

The chief executive offer of retailer Lulu Hypermarkets expressed his intention to expand in emerging markets. Yusuffali M.A. also disclosed that part of his expansion plan would include the establishment of 42 new hypermarkets in the next two years.

In an interview that was published on Arabian Business, Yusuffali, "After this Arab Spring all these countries now they're now liberalising the foreign investment law and people need organised retail instead of traditional."

Yusuffali is recognized as one of Indian's richest in thr world. His fortune is at USD2.2 billion.

Yusuffali said his company would be erecting seven more hypermarkets in the United Arab Emirates starting next year. Lulu would also be opening three stores in Bahrain and Egypt, four stores each in Qatar and Kuwait, and whopping 15 in Saudi Arabia. Yusuffali also disclosed that the company would be pursuing markets in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Malaysia, Indonesia and Iraq.

Lulu was also seen to have expanding in non-core businesses, but Yussufali stressed that the company was not veering away from its core business.

""Our main business is hypermarkets, not shopping malls. But, why we are going in shopping malls is the shopping malls will complement hypermarkets and the hypermarkets will complement the shopping malls. This is our model. I will stick only in the core business, because I'm not a person for experiment. Diversification, from the company's point of view, will always be in related sector. Hypermarkets, malls, hospitality, money exchange, food service, entertainment centres, etcetera, will be our focus area," Yussufali said.

Lulu goes by the trade name EMKE Group. Arabian Business said the company had also planned to invest USD400 million in India.

Yusuffali had placed personal investments in the banking sector. Recently, he reportedly spent INR5.1 billion to acquire significant interests in banks. Yusuffali owned 4.99% interest in Dhanalaxmi Bank based in Kerala and a 5% ownership interest each in India's Federal Bank and Catholic Syrian Bank.

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