M A Yusuff Ali


Born on 15 November, 1955 in the Thrissur district, young Yusuff completed his schooling from Natika. He later went to Gujarat to acquire diploma in the field of Business Management and Administration. From a very early age he fancied becoming a businessman.

In the year 1973, an 18 year old Yusuff left his homeland to join his uncle in Abu Dhabi who ran a manufacturing company there. Yusuff was a quick learner. Not only he clearly understood the business process but also started coming up with innovative ideas to boost their enterprise presence.

Yusuff developed the wholesale distribution of the group and soon set foot in the retail industry. With the launch of Lulu Hypermarkets, MA Yusuff Ali had marked his arrival in style. In the 1990’s when UAE was witnessing a sea of economical changes, Yusuff Ali found it to be the best time to take control and the company started rolling out Hypermarkets across the country.

With a motivated leadership and a dedicated employee bench, Lulu Group has bloomed day and night in the retail industry. The firm today has a hundred and fourteen supermarkets, hypermarkets along with grocery outlets and most of them can be found in the Middle East.

The company then started expanding across to other countries, and without surprise their products were widely accepted and the company now has a firm base in the Malaysian and Indonesian market.

The young boy from India might have left his motherland in search of a better future but he certainly never forgot his childhood. Lulu Group has significantly invested in the Indian Sub-continent. It owns a Lulu Mall and a couple of Marriott Hotels in Cochin. The company is engaged with building a technology park known as the Lulu Tech Park along
with the Grand Hyatt hotel.

Mr. Ali as has also revealed his plans about investing four hundred and thirty five million dollars in Telangana, a southern Indian state which will have a chain of supermarkets, malls and convention centers.


Yusuff Ali has never settled with the things he and his company have achieved. He is known for his never ending curiosity and will to do something new in every aspect of life.

The 62 year old tycoon is now thinking towards vividly expanding into the hospitality sector and the group has already started working towards realizing this dream. Lulu Group International recently signed a $170-million agreement with London-based property developer Galliard Homes to create a five-star hotel at the site of the original Scotland Yard Police Station in London.

Not stopping by with the hospitality industry, MA Yusuf Ali is also a major player in the retail banking sector. Mr. Yusuff has always emphasized on the need of a good and capable team. He believes in the fact that the leader is only as good as his team. Under the employment umbrella of Lulu, come more than 35,000 people from 37 nationalities.

Mr. Yusuff is renowned for his philanthropic character as he is very actively involved in social and humanitarian activities across India and West Asia. MA Yusuff is a proud father of three daughters and makes sure that he spends enough quality time with family. His work has been recognized by the Indian government and he has been bestowed with the Padma Shri Award in 2008 and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in the year 2005.

Majid Al Futtaim

His is an extraordinary story of triumph, where he spearheaded the development of leisure and retailing arena of United Arab Emirates, and currently possesses and controls 17 shopping malls, 11 hotels and 3 mixed-use communities across 13 international markets. His company’s legal name is the same as his own – Majid Al Futtaim – and has developed into one of the most successful and esteemed businesses of United Arab Emirates with the accomplishment of a BBB rating (highest credit rating among privately held corporate houses in the Middle East).

He almost has a monopoly in the shopping mall business in the UAE, as his empire comprises the Mall of the Emirates, the Mall of Egypt, City Centre Malls at Sharjah, Deira, Mirdif, Ajman, Fujairah, Bahrain, Muscat, Qurum, Maadi, Alexandria, Beirut and Nasseriya, and 60+ hypermarkets and 70+ supermarkets in 13 countries. Some quintessential leisure and entertainment establishments including the Ski Dubai and iFly Dubai, and about 150 VOX Cinema screens and 18 Magic Planet centres are also operated by him; in all, enchanting about 150 million visitors each year to his establishments.


“My dream is to create great moments for everyone, every day.” When Majid Al Futtaim started with this philosophy, he wanted to transform Dubai into a world destination hitherto unimagined; however, he moved on with the courage to go into the unknown and achieve the most challenging. He is known for boundless entrepreneurial energy, and a healthy and enthusiastic disposition.

Majid Al Futtaim chose to manage his corporate house with non-family members; it becomes more challenging in this competitive world, but he took it in his stride and carried on to create an empire where his net worth is calculated at $6.5 billion (May 2015).


Majid Al Futtaim and the billionaire Abdulla Al Futtaim are estranged brothers; however, his eponymous holding company operates malls and Carrefour hypermarkets across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. For successfully running the vast empire of malls, he chose Sir Michael Rake as the Chairman, who is also the Chairman of British telecom company BT Group plc, WorldPay and International Chamber of Commerce. Though the corporate house is privately held, Majid Al Futtaim keeps the conglomerate most transparent in the UAE.

Majid Al Futtaim has built a team of experts to take care of his vast empire, that brings decades of experience across a diversity of industries to the company, and thus in the process combine business acumen with strategic leadership in their respective fields of expertise. These experts contribute to the soul of the group as they are passionate, talented individuals who continue to drive success by exemplifying the business’ vision, mission and values. Majid Al Futtaim has kept on top priority his commitment to good corporate governance, sustainability initiatives and community empowerment, the values on which his business model rests. He has also backed the initiatives of the Dubai and UAE governments, and has contributed to the development of the city and the country as global tourist destinations. He has directly participated in Dubai’s major tourism-related events through Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), and also through Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises.

With all the stupendous success in the last 20 years, he has ambitious plans for the future, actually intending to double his business in five years by increasing investment in existing brands and also by expanding the market internationally. The growth and expansion is based on his commitment to innovation, a customer-first attitude and new entertainment concepts. Under his epochal leadership, the company has delivered more than expected on the financial strength and operational augmentation in the UAE, Middle East and North Africa across all areas of the business.


Exploring avenues to enalrge his empire and its commercial presence, he has inaugurated the maiden LEGO-certified store in the entire Middle East, a consumer finance company dealing in “Najm” credit cards, a fashion retail establishment showcasing famous global brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Juicy Couture and Halston Heritage, a healthcare enterprise, a facility management company – Enova, and a food and beverage firm in partnership with Gourmet Gulf.

His success story hinges on his resolute belief that if you surround yourself with other accomplished and gifted people with the goal to support each other in their own individual missions, you are bound to magnetize their talents, expertise, vision, passion and success towards yourself. In his pursuit of excellence, he has empowered thousands of emiratis, and provided UAE a taste of luxury, and superior experience of shopping, entertainment, leisure and hospitality.

He is a true people person and believes in building and celebrating success together with all stakeholders, structuring a home-grown environment, and disseminating to and utilizing the skills and knowledge of the local people of the UAE and everyone involved in his projects. He also takes care of inclusiveness and integrity in his organizations, and has created the most transparent corporate house in the UAE, in which he raises the capital through the financial markets and regularly publishes his company’s financials in the public domain for everybody’s scrutiny.

He is a man of principles and immense financial talent, creating an aura of inordinate accomplishments around himself; yet is humble about his opulence and believes in making a future of luxurious, simple and pleasant life for all.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum


Sheikh Ahmed is the Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group comprising Emirates Airline and dnata. He launched Emirates as the world’s fastest growing international carrier with a fleet of more than 150 aircraft covering over 100 destinations across six continents. The airline has achieved a rare feat of recording impressive profit figures for 25 straight years. dnata is one of the largest combined air service providers in the world, serving over 300 airlines in 35 countries with efficient cargo and ground handling, catering and travel services, effectively transforming Dubai from an attractive global tourist destination with a mix of leisure and luxury to the world’s most promising global aviation and logistics


Taking into account Dubai’s strategic proximity to Europe, Africa and Asia, Sheikh Ahmed identified aviation industry as the main growth engine potentially driving Dubai’s economy as a global center for trade, commerce and tourism.
Aviation sector today accounts for over 17% of Dubai’s total workforce and Sheikh Ahmed, the Two-time flag-bearer for the UAE at the Olympics, is credited with numerous landmark achievements that the world has watched with bated breath. He has been instrumental in developing Dubai International as the world’s fourth busiest airport for international passenger and cargo traffic with a network of over 220 destinations served by more than 150 airlines and launched flydubai that emerged as the second largest contributor to air traffic at Dubai International covering more than 45 destinations with over 820 flights a week. Several ambitious projects including launch of Dubai International’s Terminal 3 in 2008, Dubai Duty Free recording one of the biggest single airport retail operations in the world in terms of turnover with revenues of US$1.46 billion in 2011, opening up of Concourse A in 2013, intended to accommodate 90 million passengers at Dubai International were undertaken by him. Sheikh Ahmed is actively engaged in charitable work alongside holding a number of government positions and playing an increasingly pivotal role as the Chairman of Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank and Chairman of Dubai World, the conglomerate that includes

the world’s third-biggest ports company, DP World. Sheikh Ahmed is also the Chairman of Alliance Insurance Company, The British University in Dubai, The Dubai Power & Energy Committee, Wasl Hospitality, Noor Investment Group and Noor Takaful.


Sheikh Ahmed, the face of the aviation industry in Dubai, has also received several international honors including the Legion of Honor, the highest French Civilian Award, Verfassungsportugaleser, one of Germany’s highest honors for outstanding services to the City of Hamburg and special recognition by the Royal Aeronautical Society, UK. In 2013, he was presented with an honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from City University, London – Cass Business School, in recognition of his outstanding leadership skills in aviation, entrepreneurship, banking and finance sectors in the UAE.


The man who put Dubai on the global aviation map envisions the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020, as a big time opportunity to mark an up cycle trend in aviation with an expected 70 million passengers flying on about 300 aircrafts while keeping an eye on alleviating congested airspace in the Middle East with air traffic management solutions sewn into the system.

3rd Edition Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Awards 2019

It is a widely recognized fact that talent is genderless and an inclusive environment which nurtures a diverse workforce makes any organization more productive, innovative, agile and more receptible to the internal as well as the external environment. In sync with UN Women, we are dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, while endeavouring towards accelerating progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

AsiaOne’s Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Awards is our attempt to recognize not only the achievements of ambitious women who have left indelible impressions of glory in their respective spheres owing to their determination, perseverance and passion to make it big, but also their efforts in helping economies thrive, spurring their productivity and growth.

In our bid to select the phenomenal and the prodigious, we take into account the extent of their influence, impact, success and contribution towards the improvement of society, economy and the world in general; based on each candidate’s innovative ideas and practices, business acumen, and the spirited contribution towards the welfare of humanity. Our exclusive list of “AsiaOne Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Awardees” comprises entrepreneurs and social leaders from diverse spheres who have elegantly graced the pedestal of success with their wisdom, grandeur and charisma, while we merely mirror their reflection of influence, impact and spirit that these top-notch personalities are creating the world over.

How “AsiaOne Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Awardees” are Chosen?

“AsiaOne Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Awardees” are chosen annually through a passionate research, in which URS-AsiaOne’s Editorial Team and the Research Team scout 16 industries worldwide to select only the most worthy from an unceasing list of contenders. After a wide and in-depth research, we painstakingly create an exclusive list of special winners for our “AsiaOne Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Awardees” IPR. UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL COMPACT and THE WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT PRINCIPLES logo and text rights are part of the awards to the final winning brands & leaders.

Person of the Year 2018-19

5th Edition of Person of the Year 2018-19 is our attempt to recognize the remarkable contribution of distinguished luminaries all over the world. We annually select some best achievers out of a lot of illustrious global performers. Their feats serve as a path to be followed by youth and admirers in India and outside! To be held at Asian Business & Social Forum Dubai 2019 & 5th Edition – World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2018-19 Asia & GCC” on 1st May 2019 at J W Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai.

After months of intense research conducted by our research team with active help from our editorial team, names of few of the leaders have been chosen and nominated for this prestigious award.

India as a continent has been made stronger and proud year-by-year at the global level by those who have been working relentlessly behind the scenes, and they must be acknowledged for their invaluable contribution. Their love for their country & continent, and selfless achievements must also be recognized.

Person of the Year 2018-19 (Trademarked)

AsiaOne has been consistently recognizing and commemorating through its Intellectual Property Right (IPR) – AsiaOne Person of the Year 2018-19 (POY), the indispensable contribution of exemplary Individuals across Asia & GCC. To match the global standards of these POYs, only the best of the best globally are chosen.

This is in addition to our many Intellectual Property Rights across ten countries!

Recent Awards & Business Summit by AsiaOne Magazine: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Singapore:

“World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2017-18 Asia GCC Awards” JW Marriott Marquis Hotel 9th May’18 Dubai; Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzszlmrA_qk

“World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2017 Asia GCC” The Meydan Hotel, 21st May’17 Dubai Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSRGIj8xTaQ&feature=youtu.be

“World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2016 India UAE Africa” Ritz Carlton Hotel 29th May’16 Abu Dhabi Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBAY8omLMAY

“World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2015 Asia GCC” Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, 12th Dec’15 Dubai Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5St1q2JiOw

“Asia’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2016” Marina Bay Sands Hotel 24th Jan’17 Singapore Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWF7H6eA-g4

“Asia’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2017” Marina Bay Sands Hotel 29th Jan’18 Singapore Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzT-NajsoHs

“Asia’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2018” Marina Bay Sands Hotel 21st Jan’19 Singapore Video: https://youtu.be/Ei4cQkcDevk

India’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2017-18 ” Taj Lands End Hotel 10th Sep’18 Mumbai Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z67FPyXOy8E&feature=youtu.be

“India’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2017-” Taj Lands End Hotel 9th Oct’17 Mumbai Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhQt6LrOlu4

“India’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2016-” Taj Lands End Hotel 3rdSept’16 Mumbai Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuWr2AhhcW0

Only par excellence global leaders from across Asia & GCC Region are worthy of being selected as AsiaOne Person of the Year 2018-19.

The various categories for AsiaOne Person of the Year 2018-19 are as follows:

Political Leadership; Business Leadership; Community Leadership; Technology Leadership; Sports/Cinema Leadership; Global Leadership; Education Leadership;

Healthcare Leadership; Start-ups Leadership; Editor’s Choice Of these, Education, Healthcare and Start-ups would be flexible categories, which may be changed every year.

Few Previous Year Winners: Madam Grace Pinto; Ryan International, Ashok Aggarwal; HPM Chemicals and Fertilizers, Dr. Tejinder Singh; Qtickets & BPO Plus Qatar, Manoj Shroff; Niti Group of Companies, Dr. Vandana Gandhi; British Orchard Nursery, Dr. K. D. Singh; Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, etc.

How POYs are Nominated?

Leaders who have made the most impact in a year, and consequently have made the world a better place in the aftermath, are nominated as Person of the Year. They may also have made a similar impact within a region of their activities in their specific category.

Thus, AsiaOne Person of the Year is nominated annually and might be a newsmaker or generally highly admirable because of their highly innovative ideas, excellent business, political, or administrative acumen, or extraordinary contributions to the society – leaving an indelible mark in the process.

The list of nominated AsiaOne Person of the Year is painstakingly created after months of intense research conducted by our research team with active help from our editorial team.

The Final Selection

The final selections are made on the basis of the following:

a) We have introduced an online poll for reader’s/people’s choice, and a certain weight-age is given to their scores.

b) We send the “List of Nominated AsiaOne Person of the Year 2018-19” to our top ten “Asia’s Greatest Leaders Asia & GCC 2018 – Third Edition – ” held on 21st January 2019, Marina Bay Sands Expo and Conventions Center, Singapore and top ten “India’s Greatest Leaders 2017-18 – Process Reviewers PricewaterhouseCoopers PL held on 10th Sep 2018 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai for their advice on the selection. The advice of these eminent personalities is peremptory.

c) After taking into account the scores of readers, and advice of top ten Asia’s Greatest Leaders and top ten India’s Greatest Leaders, the final selection is made by the Chief Editor of AsiaOne.

d) Primary Data Evaluations from the filled Leader form.