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Nand Kishore Chaudhary grew up in Churu, Marwar, and started off his carpet business with weavers from the ‘chamar’ caste, regarded as untouchables. Today, Jaipur Rugs is India’s biggest exporter of hand-knotted carpets. The company connects woven products directly to global markets, and employs a range of weavers, including tribal women. A focus on local inclusion and global trends led the company to be profiled as a case study by the late great Prof. C.K. Prahalad.
Each chapter in the book ends with advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Learn how to dream, then make it come true. Create your own destiny; you have just one life. Creation gives the best fulfillment and gratification. Do not get distracted by comforts and easy money. To best understand the value of money, earn it with your own sweat. Startup life is full of ups and downs – learn to love a challenge.
Do not be blinded just by passion alone, keep an eye on the reality of the business. Always be in the self-learning mode, and think global as well as local. Be ready to learn as well as unlearn. Look for inspiration in all that is happening around you.
Do not underestimate the challenges of doing business in India – red-tapism, corruption, chalta-hai attitudes, non-paying corporate customers, slow and erratic government decision-making. But do not give in to corruption or bribery, they will only suck away your time, energy and reputation. Every place in India has its ups and downs, learn how to find the balance.
Act responsibly because the future of this country is on your shoulders. Employ, encourage and empower women – look at how countries like China are also progressing because of how many women are in the workforce.
Some of the advice differs from one entrepreneur to another, of course. Some say it is best to start up in college itself when energy and risk-taking behaviour is at its peak. Others say it is best to first work for a few years before taking the plunge, and build a base of experience and financial resources.
Many entrepreneur learnings are also drawn from India’s rich spiritual traditions. Do your duty but also learn to detach yourself from the outcome. God has given you the biggest boon – life as a human being. Do your best and leave the rest to God’s grace. When you die, you can’t take your bank account with you – so it is better to leave a mark on society and make the world a better place.
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