“Businesses will become whole through what they are missing: love, compassion, and healing. They are whole when the artisan and customer are connected, completing the ecosystem.”
In honor of Father’s Day, we sit down with N. K. Chaudhary, founder of the Chaudhary Family of Brands and world-renowned social entrepreneur, to get his words of infinite wisdom on Enkay, Jaipur Living and Jaipur Rugs business practices, giving back to artisan communities through the Jaipur Rugs Foundation, and his hopes for the future for his five children.
Enkay: You founded the idea for the Chaudhary Family of Brands—which encompasses Enkay, Jaipur Rugs, Jaipur Living, and the Jaipur Rugs Foundation—more than four decades ago. What started as a humble operation with nine artisans on two looms in your family home has become an award-winning business with worldwide reach. What does that immense growth mean to you?
N. K.: I started this business based on my passion. I didn’t do it for anybody but myself. It has helped me find the meaning of my existence. The growth, the revenues that we have achieved are a part of the business, but not the whole purpose. The purpose has always been to be happy and satisfied with whatever life brings along. The objective is to discover my inner self. Therefore, for me, the growth is just the byproduct of me living my journey wholeheartedly.
Enkay: Jaipur Living and Jaipur Rugs were built on the principles of dignity, fairness, and love, and that same ethos continues to drive the Chaudhary Family of Brands. How did your unique business model achieve such global success?
N. K.: There are two kinds of businesses: One is driven by insecurity and inferiority complex and another is driven by compassion. The business that is driven by the insecurity of losing power, money, or profits gives rise to an environment full of commands and control. On the other hand, a business driven by compassion creates a collaborative and nurturing environment. All the success we have achieved is the result of this positive environment that we have built in our office and for our weavers in the villages in which we function.
Enkay: Was there ever a time when you feared your business model would not be well received?
N. K.: I have never feared anything that’s outside me. I have a strong belief that the only thing that can lead you to failure is yourself. All the strength and failures that I have come across in my life have been within me. When you are going through something, how you’re feeling inside matters much more than things that are happening in the outside world. So, honestly, how anybody would respond to my business model has always been the least of my concerns.
N. K.: Numbers don’t really matter to me. What matters is the value that is being added to an individual’s life through this business. Be it a weaver, an employee, or a customer for that matter, my aim is to offer something meaningful enough for them to add to their existence.
N. K.: Titles are something that pull you back in life. All the talk around brand names, titles, and the data about our impact puts me on a pedestal that I see as a barrier in life. These kinds of identities tend to create a false image inside a person’s mind that eventually leads toward self destruction. I try to save myself from it and work exactly the way I did in my initial days. I don’t see myself as some social entrepreneur or an industry leader, but just as a human being who wants to give back what he has earned from society. This is what makes me happy
N. K.: I am extremely proud of each one of them. Business skills can be acquired easily, but the values that they have acquired from me is what makes me the happiest. They are as grounded and connected to the grassroots as I am. They have been able to recognize and acknowledge my understanding of the grassroots and the people. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing them taking this legacy forward.