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Joy Alukkas: A Journey from Thrissur to Global Jewel Domination - Book Review of his autobiography: Spreading Joy

Author: Joy Allukkas with Thomas Scaria and Nidhi Jain

Genre: Autobiography

Published by HarperCollins India

Pages: 256

MRP: Rs. 699/-

Book Review in association with @bookreviewersclub


The Joy Alukkas Story is an auto-biographical account of one of the most successful jewellery entrepreneurs in the world, Joy Alukkas. The book traces his journey from a humble childhood in Thrissur, Kerala, to a global empire of over 160 showrooms across 11 countries. Along the way, it reveals the secrets of his business acumen, his personal values, and his philanthropic vision.


The book is co-authored by Thomas Scaria and Nidhi Jain along with Joy himself. The book is based on extensive interviews with Joy Alukkas, his family members, his associates, and his customers. The book is divided into 12 chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of his life and career.


The book begins with a prologue that narrates a dramatic incident in 2001, when Joy Alukkas impulsively bought a Rolls Royce car in Dubai, after being insulted by a salesman. He then used the car as a promotional tool for his jewellery business, creating a huge buzz and boosting his brand image. The prologue sets the tone for the rest of the book, which showcases Joy Alukkas’s bold and innovative approach to business.


The first chapter, A Diamond in the Rough, introduces Joy Alukkas’s family background and early influences. It describes how his father, Varghese Alukka, was a self-made entrepreneur who ventured into various businesses, such as textile printing, umbrella manufacturing, radio agency, and real estate. Joy Alukkas was the eleventh of fifteen siblings, and was considered a misfit and a rebel by his brothers. He was, however, very close to his father, and learned the ropes of business from him.


The second chapter, The Birth of a Brand, recounts how Joy Alukkas’s father re-entered the jewellery business in 1964, after a brief hiatus. He named the showroom Alukkas, a short and catchy version of their family name. He also obtained a licence to deal in gold, which was a scarce and regulated commodity at the time. Joy Alukkas was involved in various aspects of the business, such as running errands, organizing events, and supervising construction projects.


The third chapter, Cashless in Kashmir, and Other Adventures, narrates some of the challenges and risks that Joy Alukkas faced in his early years of business. It tells the story of how he travelled to Kashmir to buy pearls, but was robbed of his cash and jewellery. He managed to escape with the help of a local taxi driver, and returned to Thrissur with a valuable lesson. The chapter also describes how he expanded his business to other parts of Kerala, and how he dealt with labour unions, competitors, and customers.


The fourth chapter, Love, Death and Golden Dreams, delves into Joy Alukkas’s personal life and emotions. It reveals how he fell in love with Jolly, the daughter of a prominent jeweller in Kottayam, and how he faced opposition from both families. It also recounts how he lost his father in a tragic accident, and how he coped with the grief and the responsibility of taking over the family business. The chapter also chronicles his first overseas venture, when he opened a showroom in Abu Dhabi in 1987.


The fifth chapter, Baptism by Fire, details the difficulties and setbacks that Joy Alukkas faced in the Gulf region. It explains how he struggled to adapt to the different culture, laws, and market dynamics. It also narrates how he survived the Gulf War of 1990-91, when he had to close his showroom and evacuate his staff. The chapter also highlights how he bounced back from the crisis, and how he diversified his business into other sectors, such as fashion, money exchange, and malls.


The sixth chapter, War, and a Golden Age of Peace, describes the rapid growth and expansion of Joy Alukkas’s jewellery business in the 1990s and 2000s. It illustrates how he capitalized on the liberalization of the Indian economy, and how he opened showrooms in major cities across the country. It also depicts how he entered new markets, such as Singapore, Malaysia, UK, USA, and Qatar. The chapter also showcases his innovative marketing strategies, such as offering a Rolls Royce car as a prize, and launching the Joyalukkas brand ambassador scheme.


The seventh chapter, A House Divided, reveals the internal conflicts and disputes that Joy Alukkas faced within his family and business. It discloses how his brothers accused him of mismanagement and fraud, and how they filed a lawsuit against him. It also narrates how he resolved the issue amicably, and how he divided the business among his brothers. The chapter also reflects on the importance of trust, transparency, and communication in family businesses.


The eighth chapter, The World’s No. 1 22-Karat Jeweller, celebrates the achievements and milestones of Joy Alukkas’s jewellery business. It enumerates the awards and recognitions that he received, such as the Guinness World Record for the largest ring, the Superbrand status, and the Retail Jeweller India Award. It also highlights the features and benefits of his products and services, such as the Joyalukkas loyalty card, the Joyalukkas exchange scheme, and the Joyalukkas wedding centre.


The ninth chapter, Putting the ‘Joy’ in Alukkas, explores the personality and philosophy of Joy Alukkas. It portrays him as a humble, simple, and generous person, who values his customers, employees, and family. It also reveals his hobbies and interests, such as travelling, reading, and music. The chapter also delves into his spiritual beliefs, and how he follows the teachings of Mata Amritanandamayi, a Hindu spiritual leader and humanitarian.


The tenth chapter, Joy in India, focuses on Joy Alukkas’s social and environmental initiatives in India. It describes how he supports various causes, such as education, health, women empowerment, and disaster relief. It also mentions some of his projects, such as the Joyalukkas Foundation, the Joyalukkas Golden Village, and the Joyalukkas Green Drive. The chapter also emphasizes his commitment to ethical and responsible business practices, such as sourcing conflict-free diamonds, and complying with quality standards.


The eleventh chapter, Prelude to an IPO, discusses the future plans and prospects of Joy Alukkas’s jewellery business. It reveals his ambition to become the world’s largest jewellery retailer, and how he intends to achieve it. It also mentions some of the challenges and opportunities that he faces, such as competition, regulation, and innovation. The chapter also hints at his intention to go public, and how he is preparing for it.


The twelfth chapter, Towards Glittering Tomorrows, concludes the book with a positive and optimistic note. It summarizes the key lessons and insights that Joy Alukkas’s story offers, such as hard work, passion, vision, and integrity. It also expresses his gratitude and appreciation to all the people who have supported him in his journey, such as his family, friends, mentors, and customers. The chapter also conveys his hopes and dreams for the future, both for himself and for the society.


The book is a well-written and engaging account of Joy Alukkas’s life and career. It provides a comprehensive and balanced perspective on his successes and failures, his strengths and weaknesses, and his joys and sorrows. It also offers valuable insights and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially in the jewelry industry. The book is enriched by anecdotes, quotes, and photographs that bring out the personality and charisma of Joy Alukkas. The book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the glittering world of gold and gems, and the man who made it his own.

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