Yusuffali M A, chairman of the Abu Dhabi-based Middle East retail chain LuLu Group, figures in the Forbes’ annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons.
Yusuffali has been placed 25th in the list with a networth of $4bn.
Last year his net worth was $3.7bn. He is the only Keralite who made among the ‘Top 25’ of Indian billionaires.
Yusuffali presides over $6.3bn (revenue) LuLu Group, with some 129 stores in the Gulf region, India, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia, Turkey and Brazil. New projects include a $300mn investment in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the South Indian state of Kerala that will include a mall, hotel and convention centre.
The group’s hospitality arm owns Dubai’s first Steigenberger hotel, a German luxury hotel brand and a 50% stake in the Sheraton hotel in Muscat, which will reopen October this year after renovations and the legendary Old Scotland Yard building in London, slated to be open as a Luxury hotel by early next year.
Yusuffali is followed by Ravi Pillai, also a Gulf-based businessman who is placed 38th in the list with a fortune of $3.1bn.
The other Keralities who made into the Indian billionaire club include George Muthoot at 59th position ($1.92bn), Sunny Varkey, chairman of GEMS Schools ($1.9bn) at 60, PNC Menon with $1.64bn (78th), Kris Gopalakrishnan, ($1.92bn), Dr Azad Moopen ($1.28bn) and Shamsheer Vayalil ($1.27bn), who is the youngest Malayalee in the list and a son-in-law of Yusuffali.
Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped Forbes’ annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons with a net worth of $22.7bn.
The combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest is $381bn, up 10% on $345bn in 2015.
Naazneen Karmali, India editor of Forbes Asia said, “In a post-Brexit world, India appears a steady ship with an economy growing at 7%-plus. The majority of India’s 100 richest have notched up handsome gains as their companies have outperformed the stock market in the past year. As the domestic investment cycle starts kicking in, we can expect more gains and new names in the future.”
India’s richest pharmaceutical magnate, Dilip Shanghvi, remains at number two with a net worth of $16.9bn.
His wealth, however, fell by $1.1bn along with a drop in the shares of his Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s fifth-largest generics maker. Taking the third spot are the Hinduja brothers with a net worth of $15.2bn, up from $14.8bn last year.
Tech magnate Azim Premji, who has led Wipro for five decades, slips one spot to number four on the list with a net worth of $15bn.