In conversation with N K Chaudhary, Chairman and Managing Director, Jaipur Rugs
Mr. Nand Kishore Chaudhary is a social entrepreneur and founder of Jaipur Rugs, one of India’s largest manufacturers of hand knotted rugs. He is often referred to as the ‘Gandhi of the Carpet Industry’.
Starting his journey with just two looms and nine artisans in 1978, he has successfully built Jaipur Rugs into a global social enterprise, exporting to over 60 countries while providing sustainable livelihood to 40,000 artisans, in 600 remote villages across five states in India.
In this Interview, Mr Chaudhary answered the following questions:
- How did the journey of Jaipur Rugs Foundation begin? Was the foundation always meant to be a socio-economic initiative that combines business with wellbeing and betterment?
- Jaipur Rugs Foundation works on creating a dialogue with local, often marginalised communities instead of having a top down approach. What are some of the challenges you've faced in developing this dialogic relationship and how have you overcome them?
- Women artisans play a key role within your foundation. How do you think women's engagement with Jaipur Rugs Foundation has helped them bend and navigate through traditional gender roles?
- Your initiative Manchaha boosts creativity and artist expression through sustainable means. What was the impetus behind Manchaha and what has been its impact?
- 'Innocence' is a keyword for Jaipur Rugs Foundation. A word that is not often associated with businesses. Why this emphasis on innocence and how does this translate into the way you envision your business?
- What, according to you, are some of the challenges for businesses that grow from local to global? How did you manage to keep a steady perspective during your transformational years?
- As a sustainable entrepreneur, what impact has the global pandemic had on both your personal and professional vision?