The word family business is as old as time. Most businesses around the world started off as family-owned but transitioned later. However in India we still have quite a number of family businesses that are flourishing considerably. I didn’t know the underlying concept and strategies of running family businesses until I started Jaipur Rugs and unless my children joined me.
My dream became more meaningful when I decided to preserve the age-old art of weaving. Today Jaipur Rugs focuses on nurturing the creative capacity of artisan’s and empower them to fulfil their aspirations and give them a chance to lead a dignified life. Built on the bedrock of values that combines kindness, compassion and humility, Jaipur Rugs is also known to have nurtured a creative caste.
A dream turns into reality only when you have a set of people who share the same passion and purpose. While artisans turned my dream into reality, with the help of my employees including my children I could only give them back earning opportunities and dignified life.
My years in family business taught me unity, loyalty, love and innocence can create a huge impact on communities. Every family is different but the factors that contribute to its strength is more or less the same. Similarly family owned businesses too can succeed if their values and vision reflects their purpose. My business is an extension of my family. I’m glad to have my children onboard.
I often tell my team that at Jaipur Rugs we do not sell a carpet, we offer a family’s blessing and we mean it. The process of making one single carpet from the beginning till the end may take anything from 3-8 months. This is a long time.
The people involved in this, especially the weavers, go through so many emotions may it be happiness, sadness, anger; they go through so many seasons. Each knot has a story behind it. Each knot carries the warmth and the dreams of the weavers and their family in it.
Through this art, the women are now self-dependent and lead a sustainable livelihood. All of this put together is why we say we offer a family’s blessing and not just a carpet.
Jaipur Rugs is one big family with its branches spreading in various directions but the roots stay intact.
Running a family business taught me that more than performance, resilience matters. This helps a lot during a crisis.
Suvarna from the Design department is a classic example of that. During our conversation I remember she mentioning and I quote- “I have a family here too. Jaipur Rugs is my extended family.” During the pandemic Suvarna became a master in balancing her work and went on pushing her limitations.
The one thing that pushed her forward was her resilience. She said that the work must not stop as the company could not afford to lose a single customer especially in these hard times. Employees like Survana are the reason why family businesses flourish.
Another significant take away from family businesses is to retain talent. Employees want to feel appreciated, and they want to be a part of the day-to-day direction of the operations. Motivation, recognition and incentive are the three basic factors involved in talent retention.
One of our employees from the foundation team, Molly during her initial days of work felt clueless about handling content since she came from a political science background. However with help of her team leader she not only learnt the art of storytelling but has also transformed from being shy to taking up responsibilities at work.
Suvarna and Molly are two of the many ambassadors of family businesses. Their achievements are not individualistic in nature but community bound. I feel proud to say they are a part of my family.
Bonds are precious when they are naturally tied but bonds are priceless if they are bound by a purpose.