Dhiraj Arora is a pretty big deal, though outside the food industry you might not know his name. He’s a bootstrap success story: turning $10 spice packet mixes made in his mother’s house in New Jersey into Arora Creations Inc., the only USDA-certified Organic Indian Grocery product line (according to its website). He was named one of Crain’s Top Entrepreneur in 2007.
He also allegedly likes to run around the Four Seasons Midtown gym naked, screaming at people “suck my million-dollar cock,” or “suck my $57 million dollar dick,” depending on who you ask.
Witnesses to the September 23rd standoff–where police had to negotiate Mr. Arora out from his 15th story room where he had locked himself after getting drunk on tequila in a steam room–say it’s the former. Mr. Arora, like any good entrepreneur, claimed to The New York Post that it’s the latter. (It’s always good to sneak in a mention of how much money you’re worth in an article regarding your latest trip to a psych ward.) He also told the Post that he was running for mayor, doesn’t cut his hair, is a millionaire many times over, and is “going to be running for mayor one day.” He also claims that he was naked in the steam room of the Four Seasons, but at no point was he drunk and naked outside the steam room.
Mr. Arora said he was surprised by the police showing up as he was getting ready for his salt bath and reheating dinner from the previous night:
“I was in my underwear with the music playing, ready to rock, and the next thing I know I’m being escorted out by two female officers.”
The most interesting part of this story (besides the whole naked thing) is that “getting ready to rock” for Mr. Arora involves leftovers and a bath.
There have been signs that Mr. Arora was a loose cannon:
a Hindustan Times article from June which mentions his “disconcerting” persona and obsession with self-help books, a Trace magazine article in which he called himself “the definition of passion,” and told Crain’s that he doesn’t have a business plan.
Sure, Mr. Arora sounds eccentric-bordering-on-crazy, but come on, what good visionary isn’t? Just call him the Howard Hughes of Indian spice.