Introducing The Radical Contemporary Podcast x Alserkal Avenue podcast mini-series in collaboration with Alserkal Avenue and hosted by Radical Contemporary founder Nour Hassan. This series of 6 episodes spotlights the risk-taking entrepreneurs who have molded and shaped the culture and community at Alserkal Avenue, across the MENA region and beyond. We share the unique stories of 6 founders from multidisciplinary backgrounds who chose Alserkal as their home, and through challenging convention and pioneering in their respective fields, have shifted the status quo.
Episode 4: JAIPUR RUGS
NK Chaudhary founded the idea of Jaipur Rugs in 1978, working beside nine artisans on two looms. He started his business on the principles of dignity. Today, he is the entrepreneur behind the one of the largest manufacturers of hand-knotted rugs and is often referred to as the ‘Gandhi of the Carpet Industry’.
Raised in a traditional family in Churu, Rajasthan, NK Chaudhary took a loan from his father after college to buy a bicycle and some raw material to set up two looms for nine artisans in Churu. The first carpets were identical twins of 24 square meters and were exported under the name ‘Bharat Carpet Enterprise’.
NK Chaudhary’s greatest achievement was subverting century old practices that shunned women, artists and the poor. In the company’s early days, he removed middlemen to connect directly with tribal artisans. He treated them with dignity, empathy and respect who were considered untouchables.
Jaipur Rugs is an Indian company that combines the pursuit of profit with the spreading of kindness, with the aim of benefiting all the people sitting around its rugs; customers, artisans, local communities, employees, suppliers, buyers and partners.
Jaipur Rugs is a family business. The founder NK Chaudhary is the company’s president, while each of his children have their own responsibilities and areas of expertise. The eldest daughters Asha and Archana are CEO and COO of Jaipur Living in the US. In India, Kavita the middle-child is the Design Director with her own label 'Kavi', while his son Yogesh is the Director of Sales & Marketing. The youngest, Nitesh is the Director of Supply Chain & IT working with both the US and India team.