Episode 1: The Gandhi of Carpet Industry (Part 1)
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In this episode, Rahul is in conversation with Mr. Nand Kishore Chaudhary, a globally acclaimed social entrepreneur and the founder of Jaipur Rugs, one of India’s largest manufacturers of hand-knotted rugs who is often referred to as the ‘Gandhi of the Carpet Industry’. If you are someone driven by the need to create a social impact and feel limited by challenges and lack of resources, listen to Mr Chaudhary’s inspiring story and his habits that led him to success.
In NK Chaudhary’s words….
Make a habit to be inquisitive. Ask questions, and aim to become better at asking questions. “I was very inquisitive in my early life. Even though I was in a small town called Churu, in Rajasthan, I used to read books and attend gatherings of spiritual leaders like Shankaracharya. I wanted to know about myself, wanted to get enlightened. Upon asking myself further, I realised that to be enlightened I need not go to a temple or to the Himalayas. Business and my actions are the means to discover myself and get enlightened.”
Dreams don’t work unless you do, so design your life such that you spend more time doing what you love. This has higher chances of creating success and fulfillment. “When I was in college, all the students were asked ‘What is business?’ in one class. My response was that business is next to love, it is the creator and preserver of civilisations. This belief about business, made me aware early in life that my love is in doing business. It is that love and awareness, that helped me in overcoming all the obstacles on the way
Gratitude is a superpower. Few people realise it early in their career. Practice it and make it a habit as early as possible. “I was really fortunate early in my business to get the love of people who worked for me. I used to be grateful to every villager, to every tribe that I met as part of expanding my workforce. That feeling of love and gratitude for them rewarded me with their support and trust.” Often, we begrudge because we believe we are entitled to something. “In my case, I used to keep a placard on my table that stated ‘God, please do not give me what I want. Instead, give me what is right.’ I didn’t even know what is right for me”
Become aware of your identity and limiting beliefs and progress through your personal as well as entrepreneurial leadership journey to go beyond the identity. “After earning money, success and recognition, I enquired if this was the purpose of starting the business. I realised that there was an identity which had these markers of success. Beyond that identity, there is a path for further realisation of the self (and fulfillment). That keeps driving me even today.”
Creative problem solving is not an art, it’s a habit that needs to be developed. Reflect on the day before sleep, and problem solve on areas for improvement in the morning. “I used to prioritise the most important issues, people to talk to and areas for improvement for the first 2 hours in the morning. And after dinner, before sleeping I used to always reflect on how the day went, how I performed. That helped in connecting the dots in the morning with fresh eyes.” Powerful morning and evening routines are common across most of the successful leaders, executives and entrepreneurs.