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Lulu Group MD heads list of most powerful Indians in GCC

Yusuffali MA with the Dubai ruler

Yusuffali MA with the Dubai ruler

ABU DHABI: EMKE Group boss Yusuffali MA has topped the Arabian Business Indian Power List for the fourth successive year. The retail king behind the hugely successful Lulu Hypermarkets chain of stores took the top slot ahead of food giant Feroz Allana, who came in second and Standard Chartered banking boss V Shankar who was named third. Healthcare boss Dr BR Shetty, and legendary investor Ragu Kataria completed the top five. Ashish Mehta was the highest placed lawyer at number seven, with Sunil John leading the way for entries from PR and Media, at number 14. The list was propped up by Geebee Group boss G B Jethwani in 100th place.

This year’s list also featured a record 11 female entries, with 20th placed Zulekha Daud leading the way, ahead of Jumbo Group boss Vidya Chhabria ranked 39th. Diva Modelling founder Nicole Larsen made her first ever appearance in the list in 52nd place. Arabian Business Editor Ed Attwood said: “The contribution of the Indian community to the growth of the GCC has been nothing short of spectacular, and everyone on this list has played and continues to play a major part in that story.” A gala dinner is being held on October 28th at The Conrad Hotel in Dubai to celebrate the list, with Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar appearing as the guest of honor. With over 32,000 employees from 29 different nations the EMKE Group has an annual turnover of $5.15 billion and its retail brand Lulu was ranked as the ‘9th fastest growing retailer in the world’ by the audit research group, Deloitte.

The head of EMKE Group, who was included as 34th wealthiest Indian and the 974th richest in the world, in the Forbes Billionaires list, is the first and only expatriate member to be elected to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was ranked among top 20 non-royal influential persons in the ME by Wall Street Journal and conferred with the prestigious Indian civilian award of Padma Shri by the President of India. Yusuffali has played a key role in facilitating many Indian investments in UAE, as well as investments from the Emirates in India, including the Smart City Project of TECOM in Kochi, India.

Considered as the unofficial Ambassador of India to the Gulf, because of his close and cordial relationship with the royal family and government authorities here, he has helped smooth the implementation of many bi-lateral treaties between Gulf countries and India. Nominated by UAE Government to the Director Board of the prestigious UAE Zakat Fund, Yusuffali has always been in the fore front when it comes to being a good Samaritan. He has been very actively involved in many charitable initiatives both in his personal capacity and as part of CSR - whether it is the rehabilitation of shop owners who lost everything in horrific fire in Deira, Dubai and in Saudi Arabia, or in contributing to the relief fund for the flood and earthquake victims around the world.

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This article was published on 07/10/2013