Simply Abu Dhabi III

67 SIMPLY ABU DHABI YUSUFF ALI M. A . MANAGING DIRECTOR OF EMKE GROUP The Legendary Mr.Yusuff Ali M.A. is a highly successful entrepreneur with a keen involvement in many social, charitable and humanitarian activities both in India as well as in Gulf countries. His establishments currently employ more than 27000 people from all over the globe. As Managing Director of Emke Group, he ranks today among the top NRI Business personalities. The Emke Group is an Abu Dhabi based retail giant that has supermarkets, hypermarkets and malls spread all over UAE, operating renowned retail chains including Lulu, Al Falah Plaza and Emirates General Market. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the Group is well known throughout the Gulf and its’ chain of popular retail outlets serve the widest segments of multi-ethnic residents in the region. With four decades of unparalleled commitment to customer service, the group has also diversified into real estate. Outside the Gulf, it operates in several countries, including India, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Kenya and Tanzania. Under Yusuff ’s dynamic leadership, the Group has broadened its horizons, concentrating expertise into many significant areas – retail being the most prominent. Yusuff ’s astute business vision and strategic mind have evolved ambitious growth plans for the Group and ensured their success thanks to a dedicated team of people who share his drive and dynamism. With its, 27,000 strong workforce from 29 different nations and operational bases extending over the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Benin and Tanzania the Emke Group has become one of the most successful corporates of the times with a steadily ascending growth curve over the years. With an annual turnover of US $ 3.75 billion globally. The Group’s formidable position in retailing is ably supported by an integrated network of import, distribution and whole- sale marketing operations, apart from a cross-continent network of outsourcing operations. His strong business mind has seen him achieve success across industries and Yusuffali is also the founder-director of India’s first private airport, the Cochin International Airport in Kerala, and heads Air Kerala International. Said to have close associations with the rulers and authorities in the region, Yusuffali was overwhelmingly elected as the Board Director of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industries in 2005 – the crowning glory in his career. This was the first time that elections were held for the ADCCI and an expatriate was elected to the Director Board of one of the world’s most prosperous and wealthy business regulatory authorities. In addition to this, he was also unanimously elected by the Board members as the Vice-chairman of the prestigious Trade Committee of the ADCCI. Aside from his busy business involvement, Yusuff Ali is equally active on the social front and is associated with various organisations. His commitment to social causes has received huge acclaim. In recognition of his valuable contribution in promoting the honour and prestige of India, his efforts in fostering the interests of overseas Indians, and his outstanding achievements in the field of business, the prestigious “Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award” – the highest Indian Government Award given to Non-Resident Indians – was bestowed upon him by H.E. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former Hon’ble President of India at Mumbai in January, 2005. In recognition of his remarkable achievements in Business & Industry and his distinguished services in the field of Social Work, he was also presented with the prestigious Padma Shri award by H.E. Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Honourable President of India on 05th May, 2008. He was the first Non- resident Indian from the Gulf to be honoured with this coveted award by the Government of India. Yusuffali is very closely involved in many social, charitable and humanitarian activities both in India as well as in Gulf countries and plays a vital role in fostering the interests of Non-resident Indians and keeping intact the communal harmony among the NRIs in the Gulf. His earnest and dedicated efforts have helped in securing cremation grounds for Hindu brethren in the Gulf. Through his close association with the authorities in the Gulf he has been able to arrange free land for the Christian community to construct churches and s alliances with the Rulers and local government authorities in the Gulf countries has gone a long way in strengthening the bilateral ties between India and the Gulf countries. As a true son of India, Yusuffali has always strived to bring in foreign investments and expertise to India especially to Kerala for various infrastructural development projects, prime among them being the first and only International Airport with private participation, in Cochin of which he is a Director. The philanthropist in him has always come to the forefront in organizing huge and timely relief measures from the Gulf during many natural calamities in India such as the Lathur Earthquake, Gujarat earthquake and Tsunami tragedy. He was the first to contribute for the rehabilitation of the Calicut market fire victims when thousands lost their livelihood and during the amnesty period in the U.A.E. he was in the forefront by providing free air tickets including other facilities to hundreds of hapless Indians who could not even afford a ticket back to their motherland. This is testament of a man with a not only a great entrepreneurial spirit, but also an incredible social conscience. 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