Thrissur, on the coast of Kerala, is known as India’s ‘gold town’. It was here that Puthussery Alukka Joseph Varghese moved into jewellery retail from his umbrella business in the late 1950s. One of his -fifteen children, Joy Alukkas, seemed to have inherited Joseph’s entrepreneurial spirit. In 1986, the quest for his personal El Dorado took Joy to the modern ‘city of gold’: Dubai.
Getting to know the lay of the land, including aspects of procurement, staffing, sales and other regulations, exacerbated by the language barrier, was a challenge that could dampen any entrepreneur’s spirit, but Joy persisted and opened the fi¬rst ‘Alukkas’ jewellery store in Abu Dhabi, followed soon after by another in Dubai. Just as business was taking off, the Gulf War broke out in 1990, disrupting every aspect of life and forcing Joy to return to India. Not only did a resilient Joy go back to the Gulf some months later, but he also re-established the Alukkas footprint, opening stores within and around the UAE. In the next two decades, he expanded his business to eleven countries with more than 160 outlets, and revolutionized the gold-retailing business with innovations such as the use of karatmeter, the first billing so ware in the industry and board rate for gold price, to mention a few. Throughout the years, the ethos of his business has remained the same: to be the ‘customer’s favourite jeweller’.
Spreading Joy not only captures a phenomenal entrepreneurial story, but also provides rare insights into an industry that has predominantly been fragmented and unorganized. Aspiring entrepreneurs, irrespective of the industry they operate in, will find this book of immense value as they build their dream organizations.