The Gandhi of the Carpet Industry
NK Chaudhary founded the idea of Jaipur Rugs in 1978, working beside nine artisans on two looms. He started his business on the principles of dignity. Today, he is the entrepreneur behind the one of the largest manufacturers of hand-knotted rugs and is often referred to as the ‘Gandhi of the Carpet Industry’.
Raised in a traditional family in Churu, Rajasthan, NK Chaudhary took a loan from his father after college to buy a bicycle and some raw material to set up two looms for nine artisans in Churu. The first carpets were identical twins of 24 square meters and were exported under the name ‘Bharat Carpet Enterprise’.
“Let goodness, fairness and most importantly,
love prevail in business; profits will inevitably follow.”
NK Chaudhary’s greatest achievement was subverting century old practices that shunned women, artists and the poor. In the company’s early days, he removed middlemen to connect directly with tribal artisans. He treated them with dignity, empathy and respect who were considered untouchables.
“When I first started working with carpets, the struggles of the weavers became mine. By embracing this, I could use my strengths to find ways to make it better as a companion. I was and will always
be a weaver first, businessman later.”
“When we become ourselves, we are simple.
It is when this simplicity combines with the simplicity of another that comes together and creates a beautiful story.”
“Integrity means to be who we really are, only then we can find our purpose. While working with our weavers, I learned that simplicity brings integrity. Our artisans are simple people, who are honest to themselves and their work.”
“A qualified professional may have all the technical information on rug weaving but by embracing this I could use my strengths to find an artisan who has the experience.
Combining the two, experience comes together with the knowledge and becomes complete.”
“Humility is in realizing that all are important to the whole. Without the artisan or the customer, there would be no Jaipur Rugs.
If all are important, there is none greater or smaller than the
Today, NK Chaudhary is a widely celebrated social entrepreneur. His incredible life story has been featured in dozens of articles, essays, books and conferences across the world and stands as an example of how profit and
kindness can go together in business.