N.K Chaudhary, M.D, Jaipur Rugs, is one of the most unassuming and modest persons I have met. But, his dreams for rural artisans have been anything but small.
From modest beginnings in the late-90s, his ‘Jaipur Rugs Company’ has built its entire business model around having village artisans work as entrepreneurs. Today, 25000 artisans- mainly women- engage in weaving or reeling as a home-based occupation. Jaipur Rugs Co provides ‘door service’ to these artisans by delivering raw materials, providing training and quality checks, arranging financing for looms, and picking up the semi-finished carpets and rugs.
The scale and efficiency of this outsourced manufacturing model is astounding, and clearly a win-win arrangement for the company as well as artisans. Weavers across eight states( Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Jharkand, Orissa, West Bengal and Nagaland) earn 80/- to 100/- per day. Before Jaipur Rugs Co came into the picture, they could typically earn just about 30/- with middlemen pocketing most of the margins.
With his belief that “enabling is more important than charity”, N.K Chaudhary is committed to adding 5000 looms and engaging 30,000 more artisans in the near future.
An important outcome of my trip was that we got his agreement to try out the same model with urban poor, by working with us in Delhi.