Building an Empire

by BTM

Mon, 25 January 2021

Building an Empire

With 198 stores spread across 10 countries, starting from the GCC to India and Far Eastern countries: Malaysia and Indonesia, Lulu Group International has grown to be one of the most recognised businesses in the region. Yusuff Ali M. A, Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group International aims to open over 30 hypermarkets by the end of 2021 in the GCC, Egypt and Far East apart from expansions in India.

“We started our first hypermarket in the UAE in 1991. Over decades of serving the retail community, I am proud to say that we are the largest homegrown retail brand and have strongly established ourselves in the organised grocery and retail sector not only in Bahrain, but in all GCC countries,” says Mr. Yusuff Ali.

In the next 10 years, the group is gearing towards expanding in fast-growing economies and emerging markets. “We believe that the market is always positive despite inevitable circumstances like economic slowdown and recession, especially with the pandemic situation,” he says. 

This includes new markets in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir to further expand their presence in India. “The Republic of India which heading towards becoming a US$ 5 trillion economy under the dynamic leadership of PM Narendra Modi and has made investments very easy and transparent. As a result, more and more global investors and NRIs are coming to India as investors,” he explains. 

The group attributes its success to the strategy of combining high quality products with reasonable pricing and excellent service. “Our tagline, which is encompassing to our core principle—LuLu, where the world comes to shop—is evident in all points of our business. As you all know, Bahrain is home to different nationalities; so, we have based our business philosophy around this, in order for us to cater to the demands and needs of our multi-ethnic customer profile,” he says.

“We have grown from a hypermarket chain to a lifestyle brand where people see us as their partners in their daily living,” he adds.  

The group has strong CSR policies, which are built on three key segments—environmental protection and sustainability, education, and support for communities affected by natural calamities and social sufferings. “In the Kingdom, we have been active partners with various charity organisations in their social initiatives,” he says. 

With a move towards being environmentally-friendly, the group has initiated steps and projects that aim to cut down usage of plastics across their operations. “We are known to be one of the first retail chains in the Middle East to switch to Oxo biodegradable bags—a type of plastic bag that degrades much faster compared to the usual plastic bag, which takes an average of 500 years to biodegrade and consequentially causing immense damage to earth,” he explains.

The group notably introduced reusable bags throughout their stores in the entire region. “We are even incentivizing our customers to use fewer plastic bags and become eco-friendly through shopping with their reusable bags,” he concludes, expressing his excitement in sharing the group’s upcoming campaigns focused on sustainable goals for a cleaner and greener environment.