A young graduate from a small town in Rajasthan, NKC declined a job offer from a bank because he wanted to do something on his own, something big. Today, NKC’s Jaipur Rugs Co. is India’s largest manufacturer of hand-knotted rugs, with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 122 crore.
The story of Jaipur Rugs begins in 1978 when NKC borrowed Rs. 5000 from his father to start his own business. With two looms and nine weavers, he set out on his journey to give to those people who were mired in extreme poverty a fighting chance.
NKC’s idea was and is to improve lives through personal, economic, educational and social empowerment rather than just giving away charity. That initial vision has blossomed into a unique vertically- integrated global organization that includes an extensive network of artisan weavers, an educational and social foundation, and an end-to-end supply chain including product concept, design, production and delivery.
The three aspects of Jaipur Rugs work together as a single mission-driven entity focused on the empowerment of women and rural communities in India. For example, NKC initiated the elimination of the exploitative chain of middlemen that exists at the grassroots of the rug industry. He helped the weavers establish direct contact with the global markets, ensuring that they get fair and timely wages.
NKC’s business philosophy is featured in management guru C.K. Prahalad’s globally acclaimed book, “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.” In 2014, a well-known Indian author, Rashmi Bansal featured NKC’s journey in “Take Me Home,” a collection of inspiring stories of 20 entrepreneurs who have built remarkable enterprises, while remaining true to their roots. In addition, Jaipur Rugs’ social business model is a matter of dissertation at renowned institutions such as Harvard University, the Wharton School and Stanford University.
The company has also garnered prestigious accolades such as the Social Impact Award 2012 by Times of India in partnership with J.P Morgan, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2010 and NASSCOM Social Innovation Honors 2014.
Thanks to this business vision and life philosophy of selflessness, 40,000 artisans are now supported by Jaipur Rugs. They work on 7,000 looms in 600 villages across six states in India. NKC believes that personal empowerment and economic self-determination can be achieved when empathy, love, respect and integrity are nurtured and valued by a business whose goal is that all may prosper.