Known for its sprawling business interests worldwide, billionaire Yussuf Ali-led Lulu Group is now entering northern India with one of the largest supermarkets in Uttar Pradesh, after having a prominent presence in the southern parts of the country for the past many years.
From supermarkets to food processing to realty to financial services, the Abu Dhabi-based group runs its popular supermarkets in the cities of Kochi, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram. And from Monday, its expansive supermarket in Lucknow will be open to the public.
The 66-year-old Yussuf Ali M A, the driving force behind the group and an affable and well-connected businessman, has been expanding his business activities over the years and the latest supermarket in Lucknow would also be one of the biggest investments to come into the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, the largest state of the country by population.
A prominent name in South India, especially in Kerala, the native place of Ali, Lulu Group is mainly known for its sprawling supermarkets. The group, with interests in multiple business areas, including real estate, has a significant presence in many Gulf nations as well as the US, the UK, Italy and China, among other countries.
Born in the Thrissur district of Kerala where he did his schooling before moving to Gujarat to pursue business management, Yussuf Ali is not only known for his business success but also for his philanthropic ways.
He left the country in 1973 for Abu Dhabi to join the EMKE Group of companies. He founded Lulu Hypermarket in 2000 and now has operations in 22 countries across the Middle East, Asia, the US, and Europe. It has 235 retail stores in total.
LuLu Hypermarket, the retail division, has been known as a trend setter of the retail industry in the region. It operates over 200 stores and is immensely popular with discerning shoppers across the GCC, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
According to information available on Lulu group’s website, it has 18 hypermarkets and 7 shopping malls in the pipeline.
LuLu Group, with its 57,000-plus strong workforce from 42 different nations, has an annual turnover of USD 8 billion globally, as per the website.
The group operates retail stores, supermarkets, department stores, shopping malls and hypermarkets. The company produces and processes meat products, manufactures and exports silk, garments, sources, and exports various agro-products, cashew nuts, coffee, rice, pulses, fruits, meat, fish, vegetables, footwear, textiles, luggage, electronics, and household articles.
Besides retail, Lulu Group also has a presence in businesses such as food processing, and commodities trading private labels. It is the main provider of food and consumer goods. It has two of the largest food processing facilities in India in Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai founded by FAIR EXPORTS.
According to media reports, it is also setting up a food and vegetable processing unit in Greater Noida. Lulu Group is also present in the hospitality sector and owns five-star luxury properties, big convention centres and travel consulting companies.
LuLu Group India, the company’s Indian subsidiary, has stretched its operation in hypermarkets, shopping malls, food processing units, e-commerce and fun stations.
Last year, LuLu Group International’s brand-retailing unit Tablez launched ‘House of Toys’, India’s first global kids’ super store at Bengaluru.
Besides, it is expanding ‘GO Sport’, which is a one-stop organised sports retailer with multiple power brands and private labels.
Tablez has diverse interests in fashion, speciality retail, and food and beverages in GCC and India. It has plans to open over 100 stores in India in 2022.
The group’s operational bases are spread across the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Turkey, Spain, Italy, UK, USA and India, according to the website. Yusuff Ali is the chairman and managing director of LuLu International Shopping Mall Kochi, Kerala and LuLu International Convention Centre Thrissur, Kerala. Among other positions, he is the Vice-Chairman – Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department (NORKA ROOTS), Government of Kerala.
He is also a former member of India’s Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council from 2008-2014.