If an outsider were to come to my small village when I was a child and predict that I would one day be at the helm of an internationally recognized company, I doubt few people would believe it.
When I was young, I had no idea that my journey would take me to this stage. I went to college, graduated and was offered a job at a bank. This was a very good opportunity for someone like me living in a small village but life had other plans. I would have undoubtedly made a good and stable living working at a bank and would have probably retired a while ago. But my heart was not in it.
This thinking did not come from ego or arrogance. I just had a feeling that I was meant to do something that would make a difference in the world. Many thought I was naive in my thinking and maybe I was. But what is so bad about being naïve? We usually equate success with vast experience. While this is often the case, I think my lack of experience actually helped me.
I grew up in a simple environment, which made me operate my business with honesty and authenticity at its heart. It is these two factors that led to the growth of Jaipur Rugs. Those with much more experience in business and management have told me this is what sets my business apart from the others.
Over the years, I have had the privilege to meet some very notable people in the business world. What has attracted these people to my organization is my integrity in business. Entrepreneurs/Employers need to rethink how they care for their customer and employee. One of my earliest supporters and influencers is Ilay Cooper, writer and photographer from England. I met Ilay during my formative period and it was he who inspired me to take my first step in the carpet business.
Ilay encouraged my dreams and inspired me at a time when others thought I was being silly. He was the first person who made me realize that I could dream on a global level like other experienced businessmen.
The late C.K. Prahalad was an influential management consultant who encouraged businesses to seek opportunities from the lowest levels of society so that everyone could benefit. Jaipur Rugs is honoured to be profiled in Prahalad’s book, “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” as a business that is working towards this goal. This recognition was deeply meaningful to me because it gave special importance to our unique business model –alongside other organizations.
Other business leaders, including Unilever CEO Paul Polman and Hero Corporate Services chairman Sunil Kant Munjal, have visited our organization to learn about how we operate. Having such business leaders visit Jaipur Rugs is humbling and certainly an understatement.
While my foray into the international market may not have been intentional, I think it was destined to be. Transformational leadership and empathetic leaders, thankfully, is an idea that is catching up. Customers have always preferred companies that do good and that is why a company that forms organically and is operated with honest and authentic people will have no trouble finding continuous success.
In the frame above: The WordArt was made by one of our interns (Divya) who recently joined our Research&Design dept.