A micro Google in making - Nand Kishore Chaudhary

March 12, 2015 | 5 Comments
Mr. Arun Singh the General Manager – Human Resource at TATA Bluescope Steel visited Jaipur Rugs Company in December 2014 and was pleased to see the functionality of the organization about which he posted on his official Linkedin page, which i would like share here-
It was a cold, foggy, overcast and windy morning in the pink city of Jaipur. Not the best way to begin the New Year 2015. The cold was biting and even in the day time, with there being no sun to dispel the mist and clouds, it needed some efforts to venture out of home.
But we had to go. The anticipation of meeting Mr. N K Chaudhary, the owner of Jaipur Rugs Company, triumphed over the misery of weather. Dr Nagendra Neeraj, who is one of the most prominent practitioners of naturopathy in the country and the CMO of probably the country’s largest naturopathy and yoga centre ie ‘Yog Gram’ in Haridwar (also my father in law) had been invited to deliver a talk on ‘health and rejuvenation’ at Jaipur Rugs Company at Mansarovar, Jaipur. I was holidaying in Jaipur (during my long distance driving from Pune to Jaipur) and accompanied him in the anticipation of listening to the health talks and also to meet Mr. Chaudhary. I must admit, I had not heard of him or the company before that. However, as the day unfurled, I was in for some remarkably pleasant surprises.
It was obvious on reaching the premises that this talk had been organized by Mr. Chaudhary for all the employees of Jaipur Rugs Company of which he is the Chairman cum Managing Director (CMD). It was heartening to see that the entire talk was hosted and attended by Mr. Chaudhary and his family. I started wondering even while Dr Neeraj’s talk was still on. How often does one see the head of a company organizing a health related programme for his employees and becoming a part of it whole heartedly. Being in HR profession, I was intrigued to see the genuine interest and passion of Mr Chaudhary for the health and well-being of his people. Needless to say, the employees were happy and looked extremely motivated and engaged. There was a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork in the air. There was some interesting discussion with Mr Chaudhary over the lunch that followed. We had paucity of time and could not interact for long. But I could not help being influenced by his extreme humility, care for his global team and clarity of thoughts on how to create a great company and team. Later on I discovered on my smart phone that Jaipur Rugs Co involves 40,000 weavers across 6 states of the country and connects them with the western world with a distribution network in 40 countries. C K Prahlad wrote a case story on the company in his book ‘The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid’. Mr Chaudhary has found a mention in New York Times, Economic Times, Forbes India, Times of India and just so many national and international journals.
He has got so many awards that it will fill up a complete paragraph here. Interested readers may google and find more. Amazing success story indeed.
As I knew more about Mr. Chaudhary through numerous blogs, interviews and articles on the net, I got intrigued more and more. Having been in Tata group for more than 17 years, I have been exposed to a certain way of engagement with people and society based on a set of values. I have seen a growing emphasis on culture within the group companies. Mr. Chaudhary’s belief that a strong value system and love for people form the cornerstone of any successful business, rang a familiar bell in my mind. It was truly heartening to know that an empire involving more than 40,000 weavers and spread across a host of countries (making it the largest exporter of hand knotted rugs in India), has been built on such strong foundations of ‘love’, ‘culture’, ‘teamwork, ‘people engagement’, ‘motivation’ and ‘trust’. A few thoughts of Mr. Chaudhary on how to create a happy and productive work place are worth reproducing based on his blogs and presence on social media (shows his remarkably contemporary thinking)
“The first point involves communication. Employees often think they can quietly do their work independently. Working in independent silos is not possible in a company, which is made up of many people. These people collectively contribute to its success. And this success is only possible if there is open, effective and constant communication. Even if something seems trivial, speak and let others on the team know. There is no such thing as too much information.
Secondly, while communication should always be encouraged, gossip should not be. Gossip is useless chatter that distracts employees from daily tasks and the overall mission at hand. While idle office talk is hard to control, it should be made very clear that gossip will not be tolerated at the organization.
Thirdly, the company’s mission should be clearly stated, understood and deeply felt by employees. Too often, employees just slog away the day, working as if they are machines. Workers should feel proud and energized by the mission, which will, in turn, make them more productive.
Fourthly, while communication among employees is crucial, individual thoughts and opinions should be openly encouraged. Employees should not be afraid to speak out. In fact, they should be encouraged to express opinions and ideas. Too often, we are afraid that we will be ridiculed or chastised if we speak up. This is wrong because everyone has individual and unique experiences that can provide valuable insight to an organization.
Lastly, leaders should work cooperatively not competitively amongst fellow leaders. This is again where the feeling of belonging to a team is very important. Individual ambition is good but it should not stand in the way of an organization’s overall goal. Cooperation amongst team leaders should be of the utmost importance.
That was 2nd January 2015 at Jaipur and I had a sense of déj{ vu…
It reminded me of my recent meeting with a senior Google HR manager and I could correlate the thoughts of Mr. Chaudhary with what Google had discovered out of ‘Project Oxygen’ and its 8 findings to be a great manager (project oxygen was conducted in the year 2012 and is worth knowing for every manager). For the uninitiated, following are the excerpts of the findings of ‘Project Oxygen’. However, I have highlighted the words which I could recollect while talking to Mr Chaudhary or while reading about him on the internet:

  • Be a good coach
  • Empower your team and don’t micromanage
  • Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being
  • Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented
  • Be a good communicator and listen to your team
  • Help your employees with career development
  • Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
  • Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team
Truly and inspiring Indian story. A family owned company having grown internationally with a highly motivated, engaged and energized global team on the foundations of ‘love’, ‘care’ and ‘trust’. This is similar to what Google discovered through a structured process of survey and analytics.
As the company philosophy says “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
Great going Jaipur Rugs Company. Keep weaving a greater team and company. All the very best!
Did I see a micro Google in making…?

Nand Kishore Chaudhary (NKC)

Weaver, Thinker, Doer


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