A fiery determination to do something unique and a passion for the vision an ordinary man dares to dream of can not only change his own life but also can transform the lives of millions of others. And, when the dream takes shape, in reality, it sounds like a fairy-tale.
The story of Jaipur Rugs is one such tale of hard work, passion, determination and love.
I have heard of Jaipur Rugs, the finest rugs producing company in India which is the global leader in hand-knotted rugs category. The quality, colour and the designs have left me awestruck, but never I had an iota of an idea about the man who has single-handedly built up this company till I read Santosh Avvannavar’s book, He Who Dreams: Transforming Lives…. Creating Smiles!
The man behind Jaipur Rugs is Nand Kishore Chaudhury (NKC) popularly known as Bhaisaab. He founded the social business model in 1978 with only 2 looms and 9 weavers. At that time, the condition of women, especially from the lower castes, were hapless in Rajasthan and many other states. Nand Kishore Chaudhury showed them the way to financial empowerment through carpet weaving. Carpet business was a lucrative one at that time too, but the original artisans were often deprived of their rights and offered much less price for their products because of the presence of middlemen. As a strong man believing in equality, NKC not only gave employment opportunities to people whom society ostracized but also was able to make the business free of those middlemen.
The life of NKC clearly shows that a perfect concoction of willpower, determination, passion and knowledge could take one to the pinnacle of leadership and success. When he was in his college, his Management professor asked him to define ‘Business’. Let me quote him verbatim, business is next to love, it is the creator and preserver of the civilization. His visionary thoughts manifested themselves through these words.
Today, the company runs its business in six states and 600 villages. Over 40,000 artisans and 7,000 looms are associated with Jaipur Rugs. Truly, Nand Kishore Chaudhury is called the Gandhi of the Carpet Industry!
Management Guru, C.K. Prahalad released a case study of Jaipur Rugs in his globally acclaimed tome, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. NKC’s phenomenal story of social leadership has also been featured in Rashmi Bansal’s book Take me Home. His social business model is a matter of dissertation in renowned universities like Harvard, Wharton and Stanford.
Santosh’s book, however, doesn’t only tell us about the man himself. It also tells us the incredible stories of the women working in the company. Their social condition, their hardship of life and how they have dared to step outside. And, how from ‘nothingness’ they discovered their identities as human beings.
An inspirational book in every way. A book which encourages us and makes us determined enough to realize our dreams.
About The Author: Santosh Avvannavar started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at the University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISC, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly written articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for different organisations.