UAE-based Lulu Group to expand retail business in India; to set up shopping malls in Bengaluru, Chennai
Lulu Group, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, already operates a mall in Kochi and have three upcoming projects in Lucknow, Vishakapatanam and Thiruvananthapuram.
Dubai: The UAE-based NRI-owned Lulu Group will expand its retail presence in India by building two new shopping malls in Bengaluru and Chennai, media reported on Wednesday.
The group, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, already operates a mall in Kochi and have three upcoming projects in Lucknow, Vishakapatanam and Thiruvananthapuram.
The Bengaluru and Chennai projects are expected to be operational by the end of this year, the Gulf News newspaper reported.
“We have acquired an ongoing mall development in Bengaluru and will build our own in Chennai,” said Yousuf Ali, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group.
Noting that mall projects give the company the best platform to keep expanding its India portfolio, he said that still there is so much to do in the country's retail space.
“It was easier to acquire an ongoing project in Bengaluru than go searching for a wide expanse of land. The price was right and that's why we closed it at the first opportunity,” Ali, who hails from Kerala, was quoted as saying.
The Group intends to maintain a similar investment momentum in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, its core markets, this year. Saudi Arabia provided about 10 percent, while India now accounts for 5 percent of the top-line number.
Twelve new locations will open in the UAE this year, on top of the 87 it currently operates.
Outside of the Middle East and India, East and South East Asia will be the next big territory for the retail giant to try. Two hypermarkets have opened in Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Through our sourcing and distribution interests in the Far East, we have a fair bit of idea on the retail sector as well. Whenever and wherever we can spot a good location for a hypermarket, we will be there. We are not limited to these two markets either — Vietnam is a strong possibility,” Ali said.
Ali, who ranked 394th on the 2019 Forbes' billionaires list, is the richest Indian expat in the UAE with assets estimated over $4.7 billion.
The development comes in the midst of an aggressive campaign against the state government by the Congress, which charged it with corruption in awarding public contracts and recruitment to government jobs.
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