Yusuffali Musaliam Veettil Abdul Kader, or Yusuffali MA as he is popularly known, is the Middle East’s answer to Sam Walton, who founded the Walmart Stores back in 1962. With a personal wealth of $5.6 billion and nearly 50,000 employees under him, Mr Yusuffali runs the popular LuLu Hypermarkets across the Middle East and India, making him the 26th richest man in India, according to Forbes Magazine.
The LuLu Hypermarkets see 1.35 million shoppers a day and operate about 156 shopping centres across 23 countries. The group’s mall in the Indian state of Kerala’s Kochi is counted among one of the largest in the world. The LuLu Group will open its seventh hypermarket in the Kingdom at The Atrium Mall in Saar today. In an email interview with Tribune, Mr Yusuffali said the Kingdom remains a key market for the global chain.
“The LuLu Group is a global enterprise that sees every country as unique and vital to its growth and expansion. We have been in Bahrain for 12 years now and in that time, we have reached our seventh hypermarket opening. “We are committed to further expansion in Bahrain and greater investment, thanks to our confidence in the vision of the leaders of Bahrain and the business-friendly environment of the Kingdom.
“I see Bahrain as a key marketplace in our global chain. It may be smaller than others but is sophisticated and our shoppers are keenly aware of quality and cost parameters and repay the LuLu quality promise with customer loyalty. It is a pleasure for LuLu Hypermarket to serve Bahrain.”
When asked about the ongoing economic downturns across the world, Mr Yusuffali said they are just economic cycles, which shouldn’t be a cause of worry. “I must say that I believe that market phenomenon such as recession or slowdown are temporary conditions and it does not stop us from forging ahead with our plans. “The LuLu Group always worked towards a holistic success rather than any set number of stores. “Having said that, we are currently working on 26 different projects in different countries in the GCC as well as in Egypt, India and the Far East. “I think we shall be crossing our 200th hypermarket mark by 2020.”