Dubai | A Dubai-based Indian business tycoon has dismissed the negative sentiments about economic slowdown as a temporary phenomena, but said that the next two years would be crucial for his Lulu Group as the firm embarks on new markets while strengthening its presence in the GCC and India. These are just temporary phenomena and I am quite confident that economy will rebound on the back of long-term visions of Arab governments and strong fundamentals of its diversified income sources, chairman Yusuff Ali said.
Ali dismissed all negative sentiments in the markets with reference to economic slowdown. In the past few months, the retail major has been on an aggressive investment and expansion phase announcing large investments in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia to the tune of almost USD 1.7 billion. Next two years are very crucial for us as we embark on new markets of Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia while strengthening our presence in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and India, Ali said. He was talking about the announced investment plans on the sidelines of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Lulu, which currently operates 121 stores across the Middle East and India, has been strengthening its sourcing operations around the globe by setting up its own sourcing offices in the UK, Brazil and the US. Globally, Lulu Group employs more than 35,000 people. To maintain highest quality level, uninterrupted supply and to be competitive in the market, we have been setting up our own sourcing offices around the globe including Far East, China, Africa, Europe and now Americas, Ali said. This will give competitive advantage in our current as well future business, he said. With a net worth of USD 3.4 billion, Ali was ranked 24th on Forbes’ list of India’s richest 100 people last year. He hit the headlines last July for the USD 170 million purchase of the iconic Scotland Yard building in London. The group has also invested in India’s retail market with a mega mall in Kochi, Kerala.