I am often asked why I am so enthusiastic about my work. My response has always remained the same, I have the opportunity to meet extraordinary people each day. These are people who have influence in our community, people who put their thoughts and words into action and people who support those around them.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Arun Bhrumitra, CEO, Arjay Plaza. Arriving at Arjay Plaza, I was welcomed by Arun and his daughter, Jaya. As we sat down, the conversation quickly flowed from one topic to the next. Bhrumitra is a person who has had so many life experiences that I simply enjoyed listening to him.
Throughout his office are photographs of himself with several individuals he has established political relationships with including President Joe Biden; Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump; Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of United States Representatives and United States Senator Howard Baker.
Born in Jaipur in northern India, Bhrumitra came to the United States in November 1975. “I had $3.00 in my pocket and for the first week I slept in Central Park,” he stated. At the conclusion of his first week in New York, he landed three part-time jobs: one at a wire manufacturing plant, one at a sheet metal factory and one at a machine shop.
Bhrumitra was recruited by Northrop Grumman in California in 1980 where he became a project engineer and worked on the fabrication and assembly of various aircraft including Boeing 747s, and the fighter F-18 Hornets and B-2 Stealth Bombers. In the mid-1980s, he became an associate professor of manufacturing engineering at UCLA.
In 1987 he stepped back from teaching and emersed himself to learning about the newly emerging cell phone technology. Bhrumitra continued to work at Northrop Grumman while accepting a position at Motorola to learn the business. He opened his first cell phone store in 1987 and joined LA Cellular as a dealer.
As with any new business there were challenges. There were not many cell towers, the phones were big, and they were pricey. In 1993 the prices and sizes of phones dropped, and coverage improved. Bhrumitra and his brother opened 150 stores in twelve states in the following ten years.
Today, Bhrumitra focuses on real estate development in the South Bay, philanthropy, and politics. He was appointed by President Donald Trump to the Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Digital Economy to help develop trade policy and pursue agreements that assist the economy, business, and workers.
Additionally, he was the district-level delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention from California, he served on President Bill Clinton’s trade delegation to Ireland and ran for a United States Senate seat in 2018.
Bhrumitra is an extraordinary person who makes a difference, acts, and supports those around him. The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce thanks Arjay Plaza for thirty consecutive years of chamber membership and extends best wishes for continued success.