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13 Questions with Arun Dhaddha

As part of our “13 Questions” series, LuxuryFacts talks to Arun Dhaddha, head of Indian jewelry brand Gem Plaza, about the matter – the habits, the memories, the aspirations and the advice – that makes up life

Arun Dhaddha Gem Plaza JaipurArun Dhaddha has business running through his veins.

Entrepreneurial from an early age, Mr Dhaddha entered his family’s company – Indian jewelry house Gem Plaza – when he was still at school. Today, some 30 years, a gemology certification and a management degree later, he heads the brand that his late father Gyan Chand Dhaddha entrusted him with in 2003.

A man who naturally wears many hats, Mr Dhaddha also oversees the Sitapura Factory, Gem Plaza’s jewelry design venture he launched and grew from 60 to 200 talented artisans, and serves as vice-president at the Sitapura Gems and Jewellery Industry Association. He is to join the board of directors of the soon-to-open Gems and Jewellery Museum in Jaipur, as well.

Among the many roles Mr Dhaddha occupies, the closest to his heart is, perhaps, of gallery director at the Gyan Museum. Mr Dhaddha opened the museum together with his brother Suresh to celebrate the legacy of the Dhaddha family patriarch. It is home to Gyan Chand Dhaddha’s treasure trove of antique jewelry, exquisite silverware, rare textiles, ancient manuscripts, miniatures and the world’s largest collection of Hookah mouthpieces.

This unique repository informs and inspires the special Gyan Jewels line that lends time-tested techniques to the conceptualization and execution of modern, highly detailed designs. More than a gleaming, heart-felt display of a man’s life and interests, the museum gushes Mr Dhaddha’s love, nostalgia and gratitude to his late father.

As part of our “13 Questions” series, LuxuryFacts talks with Mr Dhaddha to glean the small, the significant and the sentimental stuff that make up life.

Gyan Museum India

LuxuryFacts: What did you want to become as a child?
Arun Dhaddha: Childhood is the time when you have ‘n’ number of ambitions. I too had a lot of them but the two serious ones were that of becoming a cricketer as I had deep interest in sports or to open up a resort as it was in vogue that time.

LF: What kind of a kid were you?
AD: I was a notorious child and was quiet, shy and introvert. Since the very beginning I had a creative bent of mind and I loved to do my work with perfection, keeping the minute details in mind.

LF: What was the life experience that impacted you the most? How and why?
AD: The demise of my father left a great impact on me. He loved me a lot and I was deeply attached to him. Being the youngest of all, I found myself completely out of track and lost. I felt that in a fraction of seconds, a boy became a man that day!

Textiles at Gyan Museum India

LF: What advice would you give to your 18-year old self?
AD: To spend more time with my childhood friends, which I actually started when I turned 40. Also, to start planning about the museum a little earlier so that my father could see it.

LF: What was the last thing that made you genuinely laugh?
AD: My ecstasy is on another level whenever I am with my extended family and friends, which happens almost twice in a week. We crack insane jokes and laugh our heart out.

Hookah mouthpieces at Gyan Museum India

LF: What is the most exciting part of your work day? The most tedious?
AD: I am always excited to go to my work place. After all, that’s where I spend most of my time. Giving a tour of the museum to others also interests me a lot. The most tedious part for me would definitely be handling the HR of the company and using the computer!

LF: How do you decompress?
AD: I think that the biggest stress buster is travelling. So I take six holidays yearly – short or long; near or far – with my family and one vacation alone to another country. Others would be to go for a walk, play cards with my friends and watch comedy movies with my wife.

LF: What was the first thing you thought about this morning?
AD: What all are the new pieces coming out of production today, my To-do-list and my meeting schedule.

LF: What is the last thing you do before going to bed?
AD: Most of the times I watch comedy TV series or an entertaining movie.

LF: What is the meaning of life?
AD: To me, life is all about staying active, happy, healthy and to keep working ahead. It is a beautiful cycle of innate enjoyment and happiness.

Carpets at Gyan Museum IndiaLF: What’s love?
AD: Love is a blissful feeling of security and comfort with the other person or place. It’s the synergy between two people or objects. For me, it’s talking to someone or going to some place I love.

LF: What are you most afraid of?
AD: Losing my loyalty towards my work, family and friends scares me a lot.

LF: What is one existential, difficult-to-answer question you wished you knew the right response to?
AD: Probably the questions put up by my wife and children are the ones which I can’t answer but wish that I could.