Forbes India featured a social enterprise model for carpet weavers - Jaipur Rugs. The company, founded by Nand Kishore Chaudhary, works in 10 states throughout India and has 40,000 employed weavers.
With a full-fledged quality assurance process called Zero Defect and Quality Circles (volunteer groups that discuss solutions to organizational challenges), Jaipur Rugs also earned Social Accountability International's SA 8000 Workplace and Human Rights Standards. Beyond quality business standards, however, Jaipur Rugs also creates a quality work environment by treating employees like family.
Chaudhary believes that everyone working for the company is part of a family. The Jaipur Rugs Foundation (JRF), a welfare foundation for weavers, fits in perfectly with this belief. Says Devendra Shukla, director, JRF, "The foundation aims to take weavers to the next level and make them stakeholders in the business.â€ It provides skill training, skill upgradation, computer-aided design training and entrepreneurship development. It also gets the weavers Artisan Cards, a government initiative that allows artisans several benefits, helps them get health insurance, and forms self-help groups (SHGs) of weavers.
JRF is also trying out a new experiment where it will form SHGs of weavers, bring them together as a company or a trust, and produce carpets under the new company's own brand. A pilot for this is on in Thanagazi in Rajasthan. The ownership of the brand will lie with the weavers and Jaipur Rugs will don the role of a mentor.
The vertically integrated business model allows for both a quality product and employee empowerment. To check out some of the rugs, see their catalog here.