Kamal Vachani Image Credit: Neeraj Murali

Take us through Al Maya Group’s growth journey over the past three decades.

Al Maya Group had a humble beginning in 1982 with one stand-alone supermarket in the UAE. In the last 36 years of our existence under the visionary business leader L.K. Pagarani, the group has diversified exponentially in multiple industries.

Today, Al Maya Group is one of the leading retailers in the UAE with more than 90 retail stores in the country, FMCG distribution operations representing close to 70 brands, franchisee rights for Borders bookstores and Paperchase, presence in manufacturing, restaurant, bakeries and fashion.

The group provides opportunities to more than 5,000 talents representing 25 nationalities.

What’s behind Al Maya Group’s success in the UAE?

Al Maya Group prides itself on its employees. We believe in appointing the right talent for the position and then empowering them to succeed in their respective roles and responsibilities.

Is the company making any new investments in infrastructure or expansion soon?

We have invested substantially in infrastructure development by having combined office and state-of-the-art warehousing facilities at National Industries Complex (previously Technopark) to centralise our UAE operations to facilitate further growth. The premises will be fully operational by end of this year.

How will Expo 2020 Dubai benefit the retail sector, especially food retail, in the UAE?

Expo 2020 is expecting to draw about 25 million visitors from across the globe.

This provides huge opportunities to the retail sector as apart from the business dealings, visitors would also like to explore the offers being provided by the retail sector in the UAE.

Food retailers would have to ensure availability of the product range from across the globe to suit the taste profile of each visitor.

Namduk Heo, Consul General of South Korea to Dubai, and Kamal Vachani, group director of Al Maya Group, at the opening of a Korean food section in its Al Muraqqabat branch.  Virendra Saklani/Gulf News


What are your future plans for the UAE?

The UAE is Al Maya Group’s key market for both retail and FMCG distribution.

Also the Group’s headquarters is based in Dubai, hence it’s a very important market for us.

We have a robust mid- and long-term business expansion plan for the home market. We are in the process of opening new retail stores at strategic locations in the UAE, also bringing multinational brands for the consumers.