Indian expansion plan eyed by UAE retail group

Emke Group is going to undertake the construction of the biggest shopping mall in the Indian city of Kochi in Kerala. The group is operating a chain of the biggest hypermarket in the Middle East, known as the LuLu and Al Falah.

The Managing Director of the group, Yusuff Ali M A, said, "Work has already started on the project and we expect the mall to open in July 2011."
This mall shall spread over two million square feet of retail area. After the successful construction of this mall, the group shall undertake construction of more malls all over India.

Emke Group has 75 supermarkets and 100 hypermarkets, a one-third share of the UAE's retail markets, and plans to further invest 4.3 billion dirhams (INR 57.19 billion) in the expansion of its network in next three years.

The company commissioned its 75th hypermarket during August, and it serves 350,000 customers per day.

The company has its presence in 15 countries of Asia and Africa and encompasses manufacturing, garments, trading and shipping. It is also making a sudden entry in Egypt, where it shall open its store by the end of this year and a hypermarket during 2010.

The total turnover of the company was more than 7.6 billion dirhams (INR 101.09 billion) in the previous year, of which 40 per cent itself was from the UAE. The company has 21,000 professionals, of which more than 14,000 are Indians in the Gulf region.

Yusuff Ali, a non resident Indian, left Kerala and started as a petty trader in the UAE in 1973. His success began when, in 1990's, there was a big boom in terms of traditional groceries and supermarkets working their way into large neighborhood stores and hypermarkets.