One of my previous article on Jaipur Rugs, talked about Social Entrepreneurship and how the company was making a difference in the life of the rural artisans. I had the humble experience of meeting Mr.N.K.Chaudhary who despite his busy schedule entertained us and answered our questions patiently. I requested him to share his impressive rise from a humble background to a successful social entrepreneur, and as always he was kind enough to share his life experiences so to benefit others. So here I present before you, N K Chaudhary (NKC) is the Founder-Chairman & Managing Director of Jaipur Rugs Company Private Limited. The legendary to many, NKC has received the 'Best SME Corporate Social Responsibility' by Business Today & Yes Bank, 'Indian Achievers Award for Business Excellence' by Indian Achievers Forum and many more. "University of Michigan" invited him to share his thoughts on his groundbreaking concept of empowering the bottom of the pyramid. His company ‘Jaipur Rugs’ has been making a huge difference in the lives of rural villagers by empowering them to earn a livelihood and live a better life. To know more about Jaipur Rugs, click here
Over to the Perfect Show now.
Guest: Mr.N.K.Chaudhary (NKC)
Host: Prashant Sree (PS)
PS: Welcome to the Perfect Show, Sir. It’s great having you in the Show.
NKC: Thank You Prashant. It’s my pleasure.
PS: Your success across 3 decades is really impressive and inspirational, both as a entrepreneur and as a person. So, what are you passionate about in Life?
NKC: I am passionate about social entrepreneurship. It gives an opportunity to achieve social change - one that could transform the lives of grassroots level people. Though I believe social entrepreneurship is not just about addressing the social change. It is meant for the benefit of every stakeholder that you have or you work for, and whatever you do should be realized and taken as fair and equitable by every stakeholder.
PS: Rightly said Sir. One can go ahead in his life only when he has a bigger concern at heart. Could you share your life lessons which have changed you completely?
NKC: I spent my entire youth with underprivileged people. I realised the impact of poverty while working in the remotest areas of India. Poverty is more than a curse. If you can help or empower one person in eradicating his or her poverty, there can’t be any bigger success than this.
PS: That’s a noble thought Sir. If you want to change one thing in world, what would you change?
NKC: If I have to change one thing in the world, I will change the way the money is used. Economic reforms have not reached to their essence just because the key flow of money is still directionless across the world.
PS: Well said. Money has the power to bestow financial independence. Hopefully things will change, with people becoming empowered soon. Moving on to something mythical, who is your favourite Mythological Hero and why?
NKC: I admire Karna for his commitment to himself. He lived his spirit of giving throughout his life which he took it as his karma. Moreover, he followed it while he was just going to die after getting defeated by Arjuna. It is said that while he was on a deathbed, Lord Indra and Surya disguised themselves by becoming beggars to take his generosity test further, since Lord Indra had questioned his generosity. They asked for something, for which Karna replied that he had nothing left to give. They informed Karna that he had some gold in his tooth which could be very useful for them. He immediately picked a stone and broke his tooth, and gave that tooth to the beggars. This is something which an extremely great soul can only do.
PS: I agree completely. Moving on, what would you like to evangelize in your life?
NKC: I believe in true education - one that makes you understand what you want to do. Unless you know what you want to do, you can’t deliver your 100%, besides you won’t take learning positively. Education helps you to know yourself for work. We shouldn’t forget we take education for work, not money. However, we all know wealth always follows the great work. When it comes to work everyone needs to be clear and committed. It should be part of one’s aptitude and attitude.
PS: Well said Sir. I also believe strongly in that. What do you consider as your charm, which attracts people to you?
NKC: People appreciate me for what I have done and what I am doing. They also find me extremely simple and down-to-earth.
PS: I certainly can vouch out for that, since I have interacted with you personally. Could you share your Thumb Rule for Life?
NKC: Put special and practical efforts and integrate them, results will definitely come. I have been following this rule since past 33 years when I started from scratch with just 2 looms and 9 weavers. Now Jaipur Rugs has a base of 40000 artisans. Remember, something becomes failure when you stop putting efforts on it.
PS: So, in your words, Persistence is the Key to success. Who have been your role models in your life and the reasons?
NKC: Any inspirational story or work becomes my role model. There are many people who do something which needs to be told or which has something to be learnt from. How you deal with ordinary things makes you extraordinary. One needs to be a good observer and analyzer to find out what is interesting and motivating for one. There is an unlimited scope for learning, improvement and inspiration. I don’t think one or few role models could completely help you for them.
PS: True. It is said that knowledge is everywhere; it is up to us to decide where we want to look and learn from. Name few books which have had a profound influence on you .
NKC: There have been many, yet I would name these three books:
I. Good To Great by Jim Collins
II. The 8th Habit from effectiveness to greatness by Stephen R. Covey
III. Maverick by Ricardo Semler
PS: You recently received the Entrepreneurship for the year 2010. Could you share your story of how you started in this entrepreneurial path.
NKC: I started with 2 looms and 9 weavers in 1978. I kept on adding and developing artisans, and delivering high quality carpets. I realized that this industry has potential to eradicate poverty. I made the production of hand-knotted carpets completely meant for grassroots level people. Jaipur Rugs delivered work at their homes for yarn production and weaving, in spite of wherever they were residing across the country. Our supply chain extended from procurement of raw wool to exporting the finished carpets. Over the years, our turnover increased and Jaipur Rugs evolved 40000 underprivileged people into artisans. Now, we have about 300 customers and we export to over 20 countries. While managing this supply chain and growth, I realized people have started discerning me a social entrepreneur. They were the first to recognize me as an entrepreneur. It was not me.
PS: That’s good to hear Sir. Could you share few words on Jaipur rugs and your plans for the future.
NKC: We want all our stakeholders to value Jaipur Rugs for what it makes, how it makes and why it makes.
a) What it makes – the widest, newest and most exquisite range of handmade carpets
b) How it makes – a) Standardizing and reinventing the process cycle comprises of over 60 processes and b) Setting up in-house R&D department for design, colour and texture development
c) Why it makes – a) to offer the globe - the ultimate luxury of a carpet world b) to change the lives of grassroots level people. Our future plans mean to better, innovate and expand Jaipur Rugs for above mentioned points.
PS: What do you think are the main success ingredients for being an entrepreneur?
NKC: According to me, the main success ingredients for being an entrepreneur are:
a) Entrepreneurship spirit should be a drive-cum-commitment
b) Understand your work domain completely and be open for learning always
c) The good leadership is about converting key people into specialists/experts
d) Give importance to work than people to avoid favoritism and preconception
e) Be supportive and systematic
PS: Your advice to the first generation entrepreneur.
NKC: Work for the cause. It is also destined for great markets and profits.
PS: Iam sure that aspiring entrepreneurs will remember that. Coming to Corporate business ethics, it is believed that it is hard to be honest and become successful. What is your view on this? Can one make a mark in-spite of being honest and truthful?
NKC: I can’t say about other corporate businesses, but a social entrepreneur can’t achieve success if he is not honest and trustworthy. Social entrepreneurship is about working with and for grassroots level people to ensure social change. You can’t grow without evolving them, and to evolve them, you have to follow the best practices. We all know - honesty and trustworthiness are in-built traits of best practices.
PS: Now deviating a little bit from business ethics. And moving on to the million dollar question, do you believe in destiny... Do we have a destiny? Or do we create our own destiny.
NKC: Yes, I believe in the omnipresence of destiny. We all have destinies. But the best thing about destiny is that you can control or determine or take charge of your own destiny. I always feel destiny do not make you, you make the destiny.
PS: A profound thought, Sir! It’s been a real pleasure having you in the Show and interacting with you. Iam sure your life lessons would have been inspiring and motivating to young readers like me. On behalf of my show readers and myself, I thank you for being a guest in the Perfect Show and sharing your life lessons. I hope that Jaipur rugs continues its journey of empowering people’s life and goes on to empower a lot many more people in coming days.
NKC: It was nice to be a part of the show. Thank you for your wishes and I wish you the very best too…
That's all we have for this edition. I had visited Jaipur Rugs and have shared my experiences in this article Jaipur rugs