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East India Company to return to India by year end

Lulu Group confirms launch plans after taking the brand to US and Japan

Gulf News

Dubai: The East India Company should make its return journey to India before the year is out, according to a spokesperson for the Lulu Group.

The original entity made its first port of call — at Surat in western India — in 1608 and then went on to secure a base for the British Empire, which then lasted all the way up to 1947.

In its 21st century avatar, East India Company has rather more modest ambitions for India. The Lulu Group intends to use it as a platform for luxury food experiences, from tea lounges to coffee and chocolates.

“We might have a joint venture in India for East India Fine Foods,” the spokesperson added. “But an India presence later this year is very much on - we have already made entries into the US, some of the Far East markets and GCC with the gourmet brand.”

It was in October 2014 that Lulu announced its first push into luxury retail through a 10 per cent stake in East India Company and more than 40 per cent in the entity’s fine foods division. At the time it was owned by Sanjiv Mehta, a businessman. Lulu paid $85 million for the twin stakes.