Jaipur Rugs has been on a mission to help train underprivileged rural and tribal women so that they could earn a living
- Yogesh Chaudhary, Director, Jaipur Rugs shares his plans on spending the earmarked Rs 4.5 crore on marketing.
- He further shares with us how the organisation has supported underprivileged women and helped them become self-reliant since 1978.
However, a systemic practice of oppression through caste discrimination has been followed in our country for a very long time. Rugs and woven carpets are made by local artisans in rural India, who often do not get their due credit or even the right remuneration for their art and work.
Jaipur Rug, a handwoven carpet brand, was founded by Nand Kishore Chaudhary at a time when the practices of the Indian caste system were extremely rigid and upper-class men working with Dalit women was frowned upon (openly). He was on a mission to help rural and tribal women become independent and get recognised for their talent.
He started his business with two looms and nine artisans. It is now a social business that connects rural craftsmanship with global markets. He has impacted the lives of 40,000 rural artisans spread across villages in North and West India. Over 80% of the artisans are women and about 7,000 tribals. He successfully built a profitable business by exporting handmade carpets by these artisans and its biggest market today is the US.
Sharing how it all started, Yogesh Chaudhary, Director of Jaipur Rugs said, “ Back then, the practices of the Indian caste system were rigid, and the weaving community was considered ‘untouchable.’ Nand Kishore Chaudhar had to work against the system to realise his dream. His family frowned, while he enjoyed working with the weavers and sharing daily meals with them. Through his effortless connection with the rural communities, he quickly gained trust and began bringing livelihood opportunities to more and more underprivileged households. In a few years, he moved to Gujarat and spent nine years training more than 2500 people from the tribal community. Today, the modern and eclectic collection of rugs are retailed across three stores in India and exported to more than 65 countries.”
Jaipur Rugs clocked an export revenue of about ₹5 crore in the first year of its operations. The company today works with a number of ethnically diverse communities spread across 600 villages in five states that lie in some of the most impoverished regions of India.
|Revenue/profit (In INR crore)|
|FY20 (till Dec)||125|
Due to COVID, people have been stuck at home and the carpet market is picking up again.
Jaipur Rugs has earmarked Rs 4.5 crore for marketing this year. It would spend most of its marketing monnies on digital media.
“We are bullish because Covid has led to an increase in homeownership and renovations. People are spending a lot more time at home and they want it to reflect their personality and positivity. We plan to spend a lot of it on social media and several digital and physical exhibitions and events. We have a number of unique collaborations in the coming year,” said Chaudhary.
According to IBEF, India is responsible for around 40% of worldwide export of handmade carpets. Export of carpets from India stood at US$ 1.37 billion in FY20, while that of handicrafts excluding handmade carpets reached US$ 1.79 billion during the same period.
The total carpet export was $ 893.99 million between April and November 2020 and for handicrafts excluding handmade carpets, it was US$ 989.92 million.
The Indian carpets and rugs market is highly competitive and fragmented in nature. There are over 2000 manufacturers present in the market.
On what helps Jaipur Rugs stand out in this huge market, Chaudhary said, “We have a powerful story as a brand. In addition to that, we also offer the largest variety in terms of designs and price points to our clientele making it convenient for them to shop at one place.”
This year, it would focus on digital marketing and opening a physical store in Bengaluru and an experience centre in Jaipur. Based on this strong marketing and expansion plan, the company is aiming to grow by 15%.
“We are looking at a growth of about 15% for FY22. We retail out of four stores in Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai and have a significant digital audience. We are looking to expand both physically and digitally to take our existing audience base up by 10X. Apart from that, our focus this year is to do a lot of internal improvements in the business. We are taking a hard look at the underlying philosophy of your business and not just its mechanics. There is a clear purpose that our business has. A gap in the market that we fill. We are focusing on that to make informed changes for the next phase of growth,” said Chaudhary.