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13 Questions with Abhay Gupta

An engineer, a consumer and retail expert, an educator, a researcher – Abhay Gupta wears multiple hats – all of which have shaped the cerebral personality he is. He, however, goes beyond those professional proficiencies to answer our 13 Questions

When I had first met Abhay Gupta, he was working with Blues Clothing Company – one of the first companies to start bringing luxury brands to India – while I was a rookie reporter. Fast forward 10 years where Mr. Gupta is now not only a veteran of the Indian luxury industry, but also a pioneer in luxury education in India, while I…well, you know where I am. 

Abhay Gupta luxury expertKnowing him for 10 years, he is an astute and observant individual who knows exactly where the industry is headed, and what is going to be the future. No wonder then that Mr. Gupta has been showered with accolades and awards, with the most recent being acknowledged, yet again, as one of the 100 most influential people in the Indian luxury industry by Blackbook India magazine. 

A marine engineer by education, his credentials are well-known as a retail and consumer expert. But as the founder of Luxury Connect Business School, he has also proven that one of the most important ways to make a difference is to shape the minds of young India. Trained, passionate luxury personnel will pave a brighter future for the Indian luxury industry. He is creating a revolution which is slow, but steady, and will surely bear fruits. And as the owner of Luxury Connect LLP, he is helping luxury brands understand and thrive in this very complex Indian market.

And we are very proud to say that while Mr. Gupta has been contributing for LuxuryFacts off and on, he is going to be a regular colmunist on board, bringing his immense knowledge and foresight into his exclusive columns for us! Since his articles will give enough insight into his multifaceted brain, we thought we’ll begin with asking him some personal questions on life. A conscientious, charming personality who has seen much, he talks about karma and some of the purest emotions which define living.

LuxuryFacts: What did you want to become as a child? 
Abhay Gupta: That’s a tricky question! As a child, one keeps changing his professional goals from one to another as per the fantasy which passes through the child’s mind. In our times, our parents influenced our higher educational decisions as per the prevailing trends. When I was finishing school, the trend was limited to either engineering or medicine. However, I look back now and guess that perhaps my ever latent craving to ‘be different’ than the rut made me fascinated by a career on ships even while being an engineer. This way, I guess I found a balance between my parents’ aspirations and my own fantasies.

What was the life experience that impacted you the most? How and why? 
I guess life out at sea impacted me the most and laid the foundation of what I am today. The hardships, the discipline, the cutoff from society, living with a limited handful of people and the never say die spirit is an outcome of those days. As a young arrogant youth, I recall an instance from my initial shipping days when the very first vessel I had sailed on, met with a life threatening accident. Those few days when the ship was drifting fast towards an iceberg near Sweden, we were stranded without food, power, fresh water and fuel, I realized what gratitude and humility are all about.

What advice would you give to your 18-year old self? 
Life is a journey – enjoy every moment of it. Don’t worry since your passion will find the best for you. Humility and values make all the difference.

What was the last thing that made you genuinely laugh? 
The innocence of a baby laughing to itself in its own sweet world. Oblivious of the terror, the pollution, the stress and routine pressures on us grown ups, the baby laughs and lightens the atmosphere all around.

What is the most exciting part of your work day? The most tedious? 
I enjoy the eager enthusiasm when I walk into a class room and engage with my students. Their hunger for knowledge, their innocent curiosity, their harmless pranks on each other and their raw energy makes me all charged up, driven and ready to go.

The most tedious part is the commute to work, surrounded by traffic, honking cars, pollution and impatient drivers all around.

How do you decompress? 
My morning yoga and meditation are perhaps the best stress busters and chargers to start the day well. A small power nap after an intense yoga session helps to freshen up the body after the soul. A family chat at the dinner table ends the day well for all of us.

Abhay Gupta Luxury in IndiaWhat was the first thing you thought about this morning? 
These answers are long overdue and must be completed today!

What is the last thing you do before going to bed? 
Thank the almighty for all that he has given me.

What is the one luxury item or service you can’t live without? 
I guess without hesitation it has to be my I-phone. But is it really luxury anymore or just another necessity as of now?

What is the meaning of life? 
Life is a beautiful journey, a story, a commitment, a boon and gift of God. Each day is a surprise and a further boon to fulfill your goals.

What’s love? 
Love is perhaps the most beautiful emotion, a feeling, a thought and expression of joy.

What are you most afraid of? 
I guess loneliness?! Although I prefer solitude to a crowd, peace against a lot of noise, genuine against hypocrisy, I hate to be alone. The feeling of having someone for you is perhaps the most secure thought that one can have.

What is one existential, difficult-to-answer question you wished you knew the right response to? 
The birth and death cycles. Is there life after death? Does your past life affect your current life? Is re-incarnation a myth? Does karma define us? Is Dharma bigger than Karma? Who chooses our parents and who chooses our kids?