Heeding Modi’s call, Lulu imports 400 tons of Kashmiri apples into UAE


The Lulu group owned by multi-billionaire Keralite businessman M.A. Yusuf Ali has, heeding the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support the Kashmiri apple farmers, imported around 400 tons of Kashmiri apples to the Middle East.

Yusuf Ali, the Chairman and Managing Director of the group while speaking to IANS said, “I have always considered that it is the prime responsibility of all Indians to accept and act upon the policies of Government. Naturally when PM Modi during his UAE visit in 2019 put forth the idea of investing and supporting the state of Kashmir, I was the first one to give my commitment and we have imported more than 400 tons of Kashmiri apples during the last year and it is continuing but it’s slightly less than the target owing to Covid related issues.”

The businessman employs more than 30,000 people and most of them are Indians. Of these Indians more than sixty percent are from Kerala with a larger percentage from his home district, Thrissur.

Yusuf Ali had reached the Middle East in 1973 and since then he had struggled to reach the top. Now the Lulu group has more than 198 stores in various sizes spread across the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC), Egypt, India and the Far East and it caters to more than 16 lakh shoppers per day.

Yusuf Ali said, “I had never thought of this type of expansion and now have retail operations in GCC, India, Africa and the Far East and our sourcing offices are there in all the major cities across the globe.”

The Lulu group and Yusuf Ali have always been in the news for supporting people who get stuck over court cases or become jobless in the UAE and is often addressed as the “Unofficial Indian Ambassador”. When asked about this Yusuf Ali said, “My philosophy of philanthropy is based on the teaching of Prophet Mohammed which says that if your neighbour goes hungry, you should be held responsible and I keep a very sizable portion of my earnings for charitable activities not only in India but across the globe. The focus areas are health care, public welfare, disaster/calamity support and education.”

This was seen during the Covid crisis when not a single employee was terminated from the company nor was salary reduced owing to Covid. The group is now in the process of opening one of the largest shopping malls of South India at Thirvuvananthapuram in Kerala with a built up area of 1,999,934 sq ft with an investment of around Rs 2000 crore.

The group is on an expansion spree and has diversified into money exchange, hospitality business and has a hospital chain in the Middle East.