Jaipur Touts Growth Trajectory
Cecile Corral -- Home Textiles Today, 4/15/2013 2:00:00 AM
ATLANTA - Back in 2006, when Jaipur Rugs founder Nand Kishore Chaudhary asked his eldest daughter for a big favor, she didn't hesitate to oblige him.
"My father really needed help running the business here in the U.S., and he asked me to come here to run it for him," Asha Chaudhary told HTT. "So, as a nice, humble daughter who listens to her father, I accepted the challenge."
Chaudhary, a 2001 graduate from Emory University with a degree in finance, "had no idea what I was getting myself into," but knew the move would turn out to be "a good fit for me."
Armed with confidence, she packed her things and relocated her office from the Jaipur region of India, where her family business is based, to Jaipur Rugs U.S.'s headquarters, which were in Dalton, Ga. at the time.
One of the few female top executives in the North American rug industry, Chaudhary quickly realized she had her work cut out for her.
"My first three years were very tough for me. We were positioned in a very specific niche market, and we had a lot of legal issues at the time, and we also had a lot of bad inventory we were sitting on. It was just multiple issues, and I knew what I had to do was take the company on a 360-degree turn for us to survive in this business."
That entailed many steps, including the relocation of company offices to Atlanta, expanding the product offering to include more kinds of rugs as well as more coordinating product category offerings, reaching new segments of customers via untapped retail channels and deeper ranges of price points, and setting up smarter showroom sites to showcase its wares, among other efforts.
"We've made numerous changes, and diversifying our products and customer bases has been a huge part of what we have done," she noted.
Now, seven years later, her labor has paid off. Since 2010, Jaipur Rugs U.S. has experienced double-digit sales growth, averaging about 35% annually, and is expected to post a more than 40% increase by the end of this year, Chaudhary noted.
Heading into High Point Market this month, Chaudhary is eager to share her story and Jaipur's growing products and services.
"I think it is the most excited I've ever been in terms of the new product we are bringing in to market this year," she said. "We have a very curated collection for market."
Among the highlights is Jaipur's new High Point showroom, located in a 9,500-square-foot space at 3300 Showplace. There, the company will be introducing its biggest offering of new products to date: more than 400 decorative pillows and poufs plus more than 500 new rug designs in a broad range of constructions and varieties, "with a focus on textures, solids, flat weaves, all trendy and beautiful, casual and usable," Chaudhary said.
To celebrate its growth as well as its new showroom, the company - which this year celebrates its 13th anniversary in the United States - is hosting a party April 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. Guests will be given a "market survivor kit" stocked with several goodies for staying relaxed during the week's events, and will be invited to enjoy free massages, live music and hors d'oeuvres at the fete.
"We feel we are on a great path of growth that will continue for the next several years, and it will make us a big, major player in this marketplace," summed Chaudhary.
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