India’s Gitanjali Group, one of the world’s largest jewelery retailers, is planning to invest up to US$75m in increasing its number of outlets in the UAE to 110 within two years, the founder and chairman of the company told Arabian Business.
Founded in 1966, Gitanjali Group has an annual turnover of over US$2.1bn and has around 4,000 points of sale in India, with additional outlets in China, the US, Japan and the UK.
A favourite with Bollywood film stars, it is now set to expand into the Middle East, with its first store having opened in Lamcy Plaza in Dubai.
“We are opening a series of stores in the UAE… We have 50 shop-in-shop contracts all over the UAE. We want to be in 110 shops in the UAE within one and a half years time,” Mehul Choksi, chairman and founder of the company, said in an interview.
“It is a total investment of up to US$50m to US$75m over the next two years,” he added.
The company is also planning to expand the brand into Saudi Arabia and is looking at opportunities in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. The expansion will create around 75 new jobs over the next two years, Choksi estimated.
The brand is aimed at the expatriate Indian market, but Choksi said it will also seek to launch products targeting the Arab market.
“We have been familiar with the market… we have been working very closely with the UAE for the past 15 years,” he said.
Net sales for the full year to the end of March 12 rose 33 percent to INR12,498.3 crore (US$2.257bn), with jewelery sales up 40 percent to INR7,007.5 crore (US$1.265bn) in the same period.
Listed on Indian stock exchanges since 2007, Gitanjali's gems are a favourite with Bollywood superstars, with Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor already signed up as brand ambassadors.
From Arabian Business