A new type of social venture allows rural artisans to make rugs at home for export to foreign markets.
Jaipur Rugs is the type of social venture Gandhi might have set up. Nand Kishor Chaudhary, who started the weaving business in the late 70s, was more interested in working with poor, relegated, and tribal communities than setting up a massive factory.
Jaipur Rugs is a social business with a for-profit mission. "I cannot get help other people get out of poverty if I don't address my own poverty," Chaudhary says. He explains that while a business approach is key, the workers come first. Jaipur Rugs has also set up a foundation that helps the families of the weavers get medical care and access to education for their children.
"I got in this business to get rid of the middleman who ate up all the profits for these people, and I got in this business to give people a way of life and means to making a living."
As someone who lived, slept and worked with his employees, Chaudhary says more comfortable in a rural setting than at the conferences in Delhi he's asked to attend.