Weaving Tales With N.K. Chaudhary: The Gandhi Of the Carpet Industry
“My life’s purpose is to create a business that is all about innocence: serving innocents, employing innocents, led by innocents.”- Nand Kishore Chaudhary
People often misinterpret profitability as the success of a business. However, the unerring success of a business lies in compassion, uplifting its subordinates and working cohesively as a team.
N.K. Chaudhary has been reigning in the carpet industry living by this philosophy for the past four decades. He is the founder of Jaipur Rugs, a global social enterprise, exporting to over 60 countries while providing sustainable livelihood to 40,000 artisans, out of which 85% of them are women.
Mr Chaudhary takes us on a walk through the journey of India’s skilled population, and explains his interpretation of fine qualities like empathy, humility , simplicity, and integrity. Acuver Consulting had the privilege of hosting him and understanding the nuances of his revolutionary entrepreneurial journey.
Businesses must be community-driven. This motive ensures its existence is lucrative for society. The words which interweave together to define a startup ecosystem are collaboration, growth, learning, and companionship. Realising the gravity of the sentiment, Mr Chaudhary focused on alleviating the scarcity of employment opportunities for the tribals and women in India.
Based on his experience, N.K. cognises that women are much more efficient and receptive than men. Perhaps, this explains the success behind Jaipur Rugs and its widely acclaimed feat of employing 85% women in the workforce.
A business is not about equipping existing employees but generations to come. Mr Chaudhary has made a remarkable distinction by entitling the tribal community to a dignified life. He has hired 10000 tribals who work and live together in harmony.
Key Lessons from an Enthralling Journey
Mistakes and challenges are opportunities to create rational and prudent decisions in business.When you face an obstacle, take a pause, and introspect. His motto is “Don’t settle for the good. Strive for achieving the best. Abide by the mantra “Good is the enemy of best”. NK Chaudhary’s mantra on striving for perfection makes him stand out in the crowd.
NK Chaudhary further emphasizes on the need for bringing together practical and theoretical aspects of learning under one umbrella. It is imperative to find a deeper meaning and comprehend your education through experiential learning.
Mr Chaudhary’s core life philosophy is ‘Finding yourself through losing yourself’. This led to the birth of “Higher School of Unlearning ’which is an initiative by Jaipur Rugs, where the professionals work with the older uneducated people in different domains to develop an understanding of various business realms.
Who is a leader? What is the primary focus of a leader? What is the ultimate goal of a leader? To answer these common questions, Mr CK Prahlad, the celebrated management guru, author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, wrote a detailed case study on N.K. Chaudhary in his book. The book, which Bill Gates called the “blueprint for how to fight poverty with profitability.”
Prahlad focuses on Mr Chaudhary’s leadership style. He commends the fact that Chaudhary doesn’t differentiate people based on their gender, caste, creed, sex, etc. Employees must utilise their abilities and traverse new horizons. A company should never undermine the value of its frontline workers.
This has been supported by a study conducted by Mckinsey wherein it has been statistically proven that for companies looking to boost their performance, personal interaction between customer and frontline employee is the most vital link. The customer experiences the connection between the creation and the creator, which enhances the utility experience.
The Sphere of Totality
In rural India, the rug is emblematic of eliminating social discrimination. It is the source of providing sustainable income and a creative outlet to the community. Rug is symbolic of beautifying an urban home space and it blends with the cultural and rural roots of the country.
The sphere of totality is the personification of this process which inculcates all socio-economic groups, no matter how imperfect. Making rugs is an alluring practice which acts as a bridge to connect different social classes in society.
Approaches for Upcoming Businesses
For a person running a successful business venture, the state of euphoria can be destructive. How can one overcome this? By deciphering that “Business is next to love, it is the creator and preserver of civilisation.” An entrepreneur/businessman should head towards making profitable solutions to solve societal issues. This is called social entrepreneurship in layman’s language.
In the end, Mr Chaudhary elaborates upon his notion of ‘University of Hard Rocks of my life’. It emerges from the education that begins after we pass University/College. As we manage the ups and downs in life, we find our true purpose. A business is not just a profit minting activity. It can elevate a person’s intent and give true meaning to his life. Subsequently, this transforms society and generations to come.