19 May 2017 - 8:00
Lulu Group opens export unit in Sri Lanka
To further boost its sourcing operations and to bring in high quality products for its large chain of hypermarkets, Middle East-based retail giant Lulu group yesterday inaugurated its world-class sourcing, food processing and export unit in Sri Lanka.
Y A S Lanka was inaugurated by Sagala Ratanayaka, Chief of Staff to the PM and Minister for Law & Order and Southern Development, in the presence of Duminda Disanake, Agriculture Minister; Navin Disanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries; Eran Wickramaratne, State Enterprise Development Minister; Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group; other high ranking officials and prominent businessmen.
Situated ideally in the Katanayake Export Processing Zone, near Colombo International Airport, the state-of-the-art facility will primarily focus on sourcing, processing, storing, packaging and exporting of fruits, vegetables and commodities from Sri Lanka to various Lulu operations around the world.
Speaking at the inauguration, Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group, said: “It is our ongoing strategy to set up our own sourcing and food processing units around the world to ensure uninterrupted supply and ensure competitive pricing by eliminating middlemen. Sri Lanka has a vast variety of fruits, vegetables and various commodities and we are working closely with the Ministry of Southern Development and Government of Sri Lanka to boost the export of these. Already, we are exporting almost $5m worth of fruits, vegetables and commodities, which is expected to go up to $10m by the end of first year”.
The quantum of export is expected to rise from the current 3,500 tonnes to 7,000 tonnes. Currently, Lulu operates 134 hypermarkets in 10 countries in the Gulf, Egypt, India and the Far East and employs over 40,000 people. Last year, the group recorded an annual turnover of $6.9bn and was ranked the No 1 retailer in the Middle East & North Africa region and as one of the Top 50 fastest growing retailers in the world, by Deloitte. Yusuffali MA will also hold meetings with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe to update them about Lulu’s plans.
“Initially, we have invested $20m in this facility, and soon we intend to venture into retail sector with a world-class shopping mall and modern hypermarket in Colombo,” added Yusuffali.
Lulu Group has similar sourcing centres in UK, USA, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Africa among others.