SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Why did the chicken cross the street? To get to the other side.

Why did the Sunnyvale showroom of PNG Jewelers cross the street? To get to a much larger and better location on the other side.

When Chase Bank moved out of their premises, young Saurabh Gadgil, the current managing director of Dajikaka Gadgil Enterprises, sized on the opportunity to take over the premises.

Not only is the new location, at 5,000 sq. ft., more than twice the size of the previous location, but an ex-bank location always has the added benefit of having a huge built-in vault. Retailers of expensive jewelry typically put away all their jewelry in a vault and empty out all the display shelves before closing up for the day in order to discourage break-ins and burglaries.

There was also another reason to open the new showroom on April 28. Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri, who happened to be in Los Angeles, had been waiting to hear from Gadgil as to when the new showroom would be ready.

As soon as construction of the new showroom, designed by architect Arvind Iyer, was completed, Fakhri was asked to come to the Bay Area to formally declare it open.

Shortly before 11:30 a.m. that Saturday, the tall and elegant movie star took a pair of scissors and cut the ribbon to loud applause and even louder sounds of two Dhol players.

Just prior to the ribbon-cutting, a priest had conducted a brief aarti and a diya-lighting ceremony. With the ribbon having been cut, the huge glass doors were thrown open and the several hundred guests who had gathered outside, began streaming in.

They were greeted by several women, bedecked in shimmering gold jewelry and wearing the traditional nine-yard Maharastrian-style saris. They gracefully handed out pedas (sweets) as prasad to the guests.

Meanwhile, a swarm of TV cameras and photographers gathered around the small stage that had been set up in the left corner of the showroom. Against a huge backdrop of a screen bearing the PNG logo, the guests were allowed to have their photographs taken with the Bollywood starlet.

Fakhri is described as an American model, actress, humanitarian and a former rapper who mainly appears in Bollywood movies, according to her Wikipedia page. She has also appeared as a contestant on the TV series, “America’s Next Top Model.”

The actress made her debut in 2011 with a lead role in “Rockstar.” Since then, Fakhri has appeared in “Madras Café,” “Phata Poster Nikla Hero,” “Main Tera Hero,” and also one Tamil movie.

She has also performed an item number with Salman Khan in “Kick” and that same year, she appeared in her first Hollywood film, “Spy,” in which she co-starred with Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law.

Her forthcoming films include “Race 3,” “5 Weddings,” and “Torbaaz.”

Following her interactions with the guests, Fakhri was given a brief tour of the showroom, following which she returned to the mini-stage to be interviewed by members of the media, often eliciting warm smiles and hearty laughter from the young star.

After the actress departed, MD Gadgil took the opportunity to thank several vendors who had helped in the creation of the new showroom and presented them with a small memento, which was a glass paperweight bearing the company logo.

Earlier, state Assemblyman Ash Kalra had presented Gadgil with a proclamation from the city of Sunnyvale welcoming the new addition to their city.

HISTORY OF PNG

PNG Jewelers had opened their first jewelry store in the city of Sangli in Maharashtra in 1832.

One hundred and twenty-five years later, Saurabh Gadgil’s grandfather decided to move to Pune to open a showroom on Laxmi Road in Kunte Chowk. This 20,000 sq.ft. showroom still remains the largest and the flagship store of the Gadgil enterprise.

In the years that followed, PNG opened 23 more branches in India (in Maharashtra, Goa and Madhya Pradesh), two in Dubai, and three in the U.S.

Besides the new Sunnyvale store, PNG has branches in Fremont in California, and one in New Jersey. For future growth, Saurabh Gadgil is currently looking at the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Atlanta.

Gadgil, who has an Executive MBA degree from Harvard, attributes the success of his 186-year-old company to one thing and one thing only: honesty and purity. “We believe in complete honesty and purity in all our thoughts and actions, which is also why we only use pure gold in all our jewelry,” Gadgil told India-West.

“Our unique designs are all created by craftsmen based in Pune,” the CEO continued. “However, we do have some of our light-weight jewelry made in Turkey and Dubai. Since we cater to the entire world market, we do create modern style jewelry which is popular in Europe and is also sought by our own younger generation,” he added.

“However, our most popular jewelry still remains our traditional designs from Rajasthan, South India and Calcutta,” said Gadgil.

The sparkling new showroom, thanks to the judicious selection of LED lights and chandeliers chosen by architect Iyer, is located at 791 East El Camino Real in the city of Sunnyvale.

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