Shibu Philips, director of shopping malls at Lulu Group India, said India’s retail market was still “underutilized” with the share of organized retail still low.
“India is a hugely important market for Lulu. It’s a young population with rising per capita income and consumption. It’s a very underutilized market because if you look at organized retail, it doesn’t is still only 12%. , I believe there is a lot of opportunity here if you have the right business model. Lulu is completely focused on India,” he said in an interview.
In the first phase of shopping malls business in India, Philips said Lulu Group has invested about Rs 7,000 crore to develop five shopping malls, whose property in Bengaluru does not belong to it.
Last month, the group launched a large shopping mall, comprising 2.2 million square feet of built-up area and one million square feet of leasable area, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
The mall, developed with an investment of around Rs 2,000 crore, has more than 300 international and domestic brands.
On future expansion of shopping mall business in India, Philips said “we plan to have smaller shopping malls of around 0.5 million square feet in major districts of Kerala.”
He said the group is currently building malls in Kerala at Calicut, Kottayam, Tirur, Perinthalmanna and Palakkad. Some of these properties will be wholly owned and others will be leased.
Apart from that, it is renovating an existing mall in Hyderabad which will be operational in early 2023.
Philips said up to six malls are currently in the works in Chennai, Ahmedabad, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Bengaluru and Noida.
“We are actively looking for land in Ahmedabad for a one million square foot shopping center there. And we have a similar plan in mind for Chennai,” he said.
Regarding the planned investments for the second phase of expansion of shopping malls business in India, he said the same is being finalized and will be announced in due course.
In October last year, Lulu Group Chairman and CEO MA Yusuff Ali told PTI that he saw huge growth potential in the Indian retail segment, which was one of the sectors most affected between April 2020 and July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a retail organization with nearly four decades of experience, we have been through some ups and downs. But obviously the worst is behind us. Things can’t get any worse than this. tough and tough times, we have to make adjustments and fine-tuning things, but now I can say with confidence that it’s only progressing.
“Travel restrictions have eased, people are being vaccinated, they are taking more care of themselves, people are eager to get out and enjoy and get back to life. Enough virtual and digital life. We see huge potential growth,” Ali observed. .
Based in Abu Dhabi, the diversified Lulu Group has an annual turnover of 8 billion dollars.
The group’s business portfolio ranges from hypermarket operations to shopping center development, manufacturing and trading of goods, food processing plants, wholesale distribution, hotel assets and property development.
The Lulu group is present in 23 countries.