Nand Kishore Chaudhary, an Indian social entrepreneur, is considered as the Gandhi of India’s carpet industry because of his passionate dedication for uplifting the art of carpet weaving and, thus, of society. His commitment continues to be evident in his work as the founder as well as current Managing Director and Chairman of Jaipur Rugs, a social enterprise.
Instead of following his father’s footsteps in the shoemaking industry, he entered the carpet business with just two looms in 1978. He observed that middlemen exploited the carpet artisans by underpaying them for their work, which encouraged him to establish Jaipur Rugs.
Chaudhary used a social business model for Jaipur Rugs, which connected the poor artisans/weavers with international markets mainly through establishing a global supply chain. The chain itself was designed to develop human knowledge, skills and capability at the grassroots level; to provide rural men and women with steady income; and to connect the weavers to markets in the United States.
Today, Jaipur Rugs has grown to become one of the strongest networks in the Indian carpet industry. It has a network of over 40,000 artisans across six Indian states as well as manufacturing capability that has made it India’s leading producer and exporter of world-class hand-knotted rugs. The rugs are exported to over 40 countries worldwide.
Chaudhary has a clear vision: To promote the development of the Indian hand-knotted rug and carpet industry to compete with the international industry. He is thus constantly working on facilitating research especially on technology inclusion and product development, which has resulted in several quality improvements.
For his achievements, Chaudhary has been recognized with several awards including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 for the Best Start-Up; the 2010 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award by the PHD Chamber of Commerce; and the 2015 Game Changer Award by The HR Club as well as the 2011 India Pride Award 2011 – Social Change Agents and the 2012 Karmaveer Puraskaar 2012 award.