First Prize in the Social Entrepreneurship Track in the oikos Case Writing Competition 2018

Jaipur Rugs – Empowering Communities at the Bottom of the Pyramid through Social Innovation

Jaipur Rugs – Empowering Communities at the Bottom of the Pyramid through Social Innovation
Case Code: LDEN133
Case Length: 15 Pages
Period: 1978 - 2017
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Jaipur Rugs
Industry: Carpet Weaving Industry
Countries: India; Global
Themes: Social Entrepreneurship
Jaipur Rugs – Empowering Communities at the Bottom of the Pyramid through Social Innovation
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


This case discusses how social innovator Nand Kishore Chaudhary (NKC) revolutionized the concept of the traditional carpet industry in India and empowered 40,000+ rural artisans by providing them with a sustainable livelihood. In 1978, NKC started a small social enterprise under the name Jaipur Carpets (later on renamed Jaipur Rugs). The startup worked with poor artisans and trained and educated them. It offered Doorstep Entrepreneurship under which the artisans received all the raw materials required and wove carpets from their homes. Jaipur Rugs also offered services like healthcare, programs of financial inclusion, and leadership training. Apart from this, its biggest achievement was eliminating the middlemen and providing a sustainable livelihood to communities at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP). However, NKC’s journey was not without its challenges. Among some sections of society in India, it is considered taboo to interact with people belonging to the lower castes and NKC faced hatred and resistance from his family and society for working with so-called untouchable castes. Further, retaining artisans in the job of carpet weaving and attracting others were becoming tough tasks when these weavers starting migrating to other places in search of better job offers. Another challenge was to scale up the operations of Jaipur Rugs globally. Analysts wondered how NKC could make Jaipur Rugs sustainable in the long run. What could he do to preserve the dying art of weaving?


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • The inception of a social enterprise by social entrepreneurs and the various problems and challenges faced by social entrepreneurs and their businesses
  • The choices made by a social entrepreneur to build the organization to pursue aggressive goals and decide the business model — to go in for a non-profit or a for profit setup or a hybrid model
  • The business model developed by the company to address its dual goal – of uplifting the poor and earning profits
  • Application of social enterprise models and their impact on certain section of society in particular or on society as a whole
  • Different sources of funds to run the business and ensure sustainable development in the long run
  • Importance of a social enterprise for society and the economy of a country
  • Sustainable development goals



Social Entrepreneurship, Inclusive Business Model, Social Innovation, Sustainable Development, Social Enterprise, Bottom of the Pyramid, Social Development

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