The Iconic Social Entrepreneur, NKC : Rugs as Vehicle to Spread Riches

Nand Kishore Chaudhary

Nand Kishore Chaudhary (NKC) hails from a non-descript  town of Churu in Rajasthan where his father ran a retail shop selling branded shoes. After graduation, he did not accept  a comfortable public sector bank job as he was aspiring to be on his own. His chance meeting with Ilay Cooper, a young British photographer paved his way to enter woolen carpet weaving activity. He borrowed a royal sum of Rs 5000 from his father to set up 2 carpet weaving looms in the courtyard of his family residence. He employed 9 trained weavers belonging to a backward community, bravely facing resentment from the family members and neighbors. His social enterprise is named Jaipur Rugs.

NKC devised and implemented innovative approaches at Jaipur Rugs ranging from procurement of raw wool, training of weavers, decentralized manufacturing operations, hiring master craftsmen from far away Varanasi, cultivating export houses as well as discerning overseas buyers and implementing strict quality assurance measures. With determination, dedication and consistent efforts, Jaipur Rugs has attained outstanding reputation with buyers from USA and Europe.

Currently, Jaipur Rugs clocks a sales turnover of more than Rs 150 Crs, with 40,000 trained ‘weaver-partners’ spread over several decentralized locations and 400+ employees. This ‘Jaipur Rugs Community’ adores NKC and fondly addresses him as ‘Bhai Saheb’. He is decorated with recognition and awards from the Government and other reputed bodies. Late CK Prahlad included Jaipur Rugs experiment in his famous book ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’.

NKC symbolizes the power of positive enterprise. His creative ideation of decentralized carpet weaving and its effective execution; negotiating hurdles and near-extinction challenges on the way makes a unique master class entrepreneurial tale. His ability to unite numerous micro-enterprises into an integrated and cohesive whole is an experiment that is worth emulating. NKC has vision of creating, training and embracing a mega ‘weaver community’ comprising of 100,000 members by 2020!

To my mind, NKC is God-sent. An occasion of face to face meeting and interacting with such legendary personality is a life-time opportunity. Inspirational vibrations received during such interface offers phenomenal potential of enriching entrepreneurial journey.

Author: 17f9fcfProf. Dilip Patel, Dean – Nalanda International Management School, Mumbai, is a Management Advisor – Counseling, Training, Consulting, and Research.

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