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Meet School Dropout Who Runs $2.2 Billion Turnover Jewelry Chain Biz

Kerala based Joyalukkas, a premium shopping destination for gold and diamond jewellery boasts over 100 outlets in India and 60 overseas, making it one of the largest jewellery retailers in the world.

By Rashaad Ather
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Joy Alukkas

Joy Alukkas

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1956-born in Kerala, Joy Alukkas was born in a world crazed by gold. He was the 11th child of his father, who owned a small jewellery shop. 

As a kid, Joy was fascinated by the design of gold pieces in the shop. At the time, Kerala was ruled by an extreme left-wing government which limited industrial growth and business incentives. But Joy never considered leaving the family business. 

Instead, Joy dropped out of school to further his family's legacy.

The Alukkas family showed resilience in navigating the challenges of the Gold Control Act of 1968, which restricted gold ownership and imports.

Booming Gold Market in Dubai

In the 1970s, Joy heard about the booming gold market in Dubai. 

Workers from Kerala were flocking to the Gulf, and Dubai offered lower gold prices than India due to high customs duties. By the early 1980s, they expanded their business to Kozhikode, where Joy Alukkas established a strong presence. 

But Joy saw an opportunity in Dubai's growing market and felt a connection between Kerala and the Gulf's love for gold. While his brothers hesitated to compete against West Asian competitors, Joy saw an opportunity and seized it without expertise in the jewellery business.

Inception of First Store 

He set up his first store in Abu Dhabi in 1988. Over the next 12 years, he opened nine more stores in the Gulf area.

Joy's bold move to West Asia proved to be a game-changer, propelling the family business to new heights of success. 

By the early 2000s, the Alukkas family had established itself as a prominent player in the global jewellery industry.

Everything was on track right before the family dispute in 2001. As happens in many large families, Joy separated from his brothers.

Ironically, it set Joy Alukkas on the path to greatness. 

Alukkas Jewellery International

He was handed control of the West Asia business, and Joy rebranded the company as Alukkas Jewellery International in 2002, with a focus on Indian expatriates. 

Joy decided to go back to his roots.

He opened his first store in Kottayam, Kerala in 2002. He pioneered the 'Wedding centre concept' with jewellery and textiles under one roof.

And boom! It worked.

The success in Kottayam gave him confidence that he could cater to the public in the ways he knew best. He ventured outside Kerala in 2004, opening his next store in Coimbatore. 

He steadily made moves in Tamil Nadu. In 2008, he opened the largest jewellery store in Chennai and a place in the Limca Book of Records, declaring Joyalukkas, T Nagar, the largest gold jewellery showroom ever. 

The company expanded to major cities like Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai. 

Today, Joyalukkas boasts over 100 outlets in India and 60 overseas, making it one of the largest jewellery retailers in the world.

Post-pandemic, India is seeing a boom in jewellery demand like never before. Today, the price of gold is a shocking ₹71,000.

Joyalukkas India Ltd seeks to emulate Titan in its operations.

It reported a turnover of ₹14,513 crore ($2.2 billion) in FY2023, with a net profit of ₹899 crore in India. By 2024, Joy wants to see the turnover at $3.2 billion.