Spreading Joy: Story of a Malayali with the Midas touch | Lifestyle news


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True gold fears no fire. In ‘Spreading Joy: How Joyalukkas Became the World’s Favourite Jeweller,’ readers get a peek into how taking risks head-on refines and polishes an enterprising entrepreneur. Carving a niche path for oneself is no cakewalk, especially when you are surrounded by conventional minds. Kerala’s famed jeweller Joy Alukkas, who founded his eponymous global retail brand, holds a magnifying glass to his entrepreneurial journey through this autobiography co-authored with Thomas Scaria and Nidhi Jain.

From drawing a picture of how his late father Puthussery Alukka Joseph Varghese’s entrepreneurial spirit lit the spark of business in him from a young age, to unveiling how he evolved as the entrepreneur today, Joy addresses various facets of his life in the book, as he traverses through retirement age. He discloses quite a few of his shortcomings and his family’s early impressions of him, but the overall tone of the book is indubitable confidence. From the word go, Joy says he was sure of himself despite his lack of school, college degrees or even encouragement from his family. There is considerable impulsiveness too in his journey, but it’s part and parcel of the overall personality.

Adventures, love and family feud
While the essence of the book is how he grew his business to a global brand, there are also fascinating accounts like ‘Cashless in Kashmir’, which narrate his teenage adventures that taught him valuable lessons; the impatient wait for a partner as one of the older brothers delayed his wedding, and his eventful first trip to the UAE. Just as in the rest of the chapters, his ‘taking the bull by its horns’ attitude and panache for the unexplored shine through these anecdotes. Even the various ‘soups’ he fell into can be simple yet delicious lessons for those designing their dreams on similar lines. The brushstrokes of a non-quitter are very evident in him.

While it’s generally said that having a big family means enjoying tremendous support, the multiple chapters on family disagreements, bad blood between brothers and separations make us wonder what it takes to run a family business peacefully. When branches from a single root decide to grow in their desired direction, is it better to let them be? Joy thinks so and explains in the book why loosening the family ties helped him design his vision better

Expanding horizons
The man who landed in the UAE first on a ‘home driver visa’ didn’t have it easy, when he launched and expanded his business in a country where he had no connections. One can’t help but wonder how there was hardly a ‘fear of the unknown’ in the various steps Joy took towards expanding his business. The book offers valuable insights into how all he saw were ‘unexploited opportunities’ and not scary territories. And this, while replanting his young family too, to the Middle East.

Joy showers his wife Jolly with praise for her support through his endeavours, especially in the beginning years. The book is also an account of how from a ‘met-on-the-marriage-day’ couple, they formed a decades-long partnership of love. Some of the most interesting portions of the book are those on his unique advertising campaigns. The stories behind the creation and execution of the brand’s famous taglines such as ‘One Woman, 100,000 Expressions,’ ‘One World, One Family, One Festival’ and the latest, ‘World’s Favourite Jeweller,’ are narrated with considerable zeal.

Joy has explored in depth the thought behind adding ‘Joy’ to ‘Alukkas’ and the eventual path to an independent identity. The challenge to rebrand himself without losing the Alukkas legacy, bringing on the change on everything from letterheads to ads, the initial family opposition and eventual imitation, and the Rolls Royce campaign pique readers’ curiosity. That said, the chapter on ‘Prelude to an IPO’ might mostly attract only those with a keen interest in the business. Be it a reader looking for a dose of motivation through personal anecdotes or an aspiring entrepreneur wishing to garner business skills by putting various hurdles into context, ‘Spreading Joy’ can be a fascinating read.

Spreading Joy: Story of a Malayali with the Midas touch | Lifestyle news

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