A celebration of aspirational and transformational leadership

Our Chairperson, Vidya M Chhabria was recognized as an ‘Icon of Retail’ by Images RetailME. In its recently-published yearbook, Mrs Vidya is honoured in the Visionaries category – featuring leaders who are actively involved in their organization’s long-term strategies, setting the vision and mission of the company, and ensuring the overall business success. Below is the write-up as published in the yearbook.

Vidya M Chhabria took over the reins of Jumbo in 2002, following the sudden demise of her husband and founder of the company, Manohar Rajaram Chhabria. In the years that followed, she has run a tight ship, slowly and steadily steering its strong growth. Chhabria scripted the organisation’s multi-brand strategy and directed its foray into the B2B segment. Compassionate yet strong, Chhabria is an inspiration for generations of women aspiring to make a mark on the corporate world.

As a leader with years of experience behind her, the key learnings she would like to share with the industry are: 1. Make partners a part of your growth story: The team will continue to invest time and resources into their network of partners to build on the success of the trusting relationships they have created over the last five decades. 2. Customer and brand experience must remain top of mind: Today, with customers looking for a hassle-free experience, an omnichannel, integrated approach is the key to success. 3. Take your cue from visionaries: The UAE leadership never fails to impress. The service levels we get to experience at the different government agencies are a result of exemplary vision, planning and execution. At Jumbo, we are inspired by this nation and try to keep in step, particularly in matters of forward looking investments, adoption of technology and customer happiness.

Of the three Ps of business success, the People component has always been Chhabria’s area of interest. To empower the Group, they have recently launched a cutting-edge AI-powered enterprise learning and upskilling platform, which they christened the ‘Jumbo Edge’. The Group has also automated a range of key HR processes like recruitment, onboarding and payroll as part of their digital transformation endeavour. Currently, they are also working with a global management consultancy on a remuneration benchmarking exercise to ensure new hires and existing employees are compensated fairly and in keeping with the highest industry standards.

“As we continue to accelerate our digital transformation efforts, the newly upgraded is another facet of our focus on utilising technology to make our customer experience even more hassle-free,” she noted.

 My outlook on life has evolved over the years, and so has my sense of purpose. What hasn’t changed is my love for this organisation and its people. Jumbo must continue to grow and evolve in keeping with the times. We must remain at the forefront of delivering quality products and services to our customers, clients and partners while keeping alive and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and integrity – the two values I have imbibed from my husband. It's possible only in a collaborative workplace with inclusive leadership, which is what I’ve always worked towards.”


  • Geographical reach: UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the wider Middle East and Africa region
  • Brand portfolio: Over 60 global brand partners, including Sony, Dyson, Apple, Samsung among a host of others.
  • Retail footprint (offline & online): 17 stores across the UAE with 89,000 square feet store space. Three million annual footfalls across stores and 11 million annual online shoppers.
  • People strength: Over 2,500 employees
  • Established in 1973 Jumbo Group entered the new fiscal FY 2023-24 on a high, thanks to consistent and steady growth witnessed across the Group’s businesses.
  • This year Jumbo Group is celebrating its 50th anniversary and gearing up to strengthening its omnichannel retail, distribution, and enterprise business