Launched with two looms, this company is now one of the leading manufacturers of rugs in India

Mahesh Choudhary started Saraswati Global Pvt. Ltd in 1978 in Churu, Rajasthan. With exports to 20 countries, the company is recognised as one of the leading manufacturers of rugs in India. Leveraging online channels, Saraswati expects to further strengthen its business in India.
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Made-in-India rugs and carpets are popular across the world. According to an IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation) report, India exports about 85-90 percent of the total carpets it produces. In March 2022, the carpet export of the country was $155 million, higher than $130.56 million in February 2022. 

Carpet weaving has a long history in India, with Rajasthan being a prominent hub. In the 1970s, Mahesh Choudhary, Founder and Chairman of Saraswati Global Pvt. Ltd capitalised on this opportunity. The company, which is now recognised as one of the leading manufacturers of carpets in India, exports to around 20 countries. 

In an interaction with SMBStory, Mahesh talks about building the business and how it feels to work with 10,000 artisans. 

From 2 looms to now a leading manufacturer

Mahesh was in his twenties when he decided to explore the rugs market. Hailing from a business background where he was already helping his father, Mahesh knew the ropes. In 1978, he started working as a contract manufacturer for other export firms located in Rajasthan that were selling rugs to countries outside India.

He started with a handful of artisans and worked in contract manufacturing for about eight years. By this time, Mahesh had developed an understanding of the industry which led him to start his own venture, Saraswati Global

“We started with the German market as starting an export business from India to Germany was easy. Then gradually we expanded to other countries and today the US is our biggest market followed by the UK, Europe, and the Middle East,” Mahesh tells SMBStory

Mahesh says that Saraswati has artisans from across India, especially from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat and Rajasthan. 

In a span of around 44 years, Saraswati Global has established itself as a prominent player in the Indian rugs market and sells around 1 lakh square feet of rugs every month. About 10,000 in-house artisans work with the company. 

As per Registrar of Companies, Saraswati Global Private Ltd recorded a revenue of Rs 22 crore in FY 20-21. 

New horizons

The company’s business model worked for four decades until COVID-19 disrupted the supply chain. Saraswati Global then focussed on growing its India footprint. 

“The market was behaving in this manner that all our peers were making their presence in India and we as well last year started out operations in India after opening up two retail stores, one each in Delhi and Rajasthan. We also started listing out our brand in ecommerce portals where in the last one year, we have seen a lot of traction,” Mahesh says.

Saraswati Global has recently been listed on ecommerce sites such asUrban Ladder and Pepperfry, among others. Mahesh says that online sales have added an advantage to the business. Although he didn’t disclose any sales numbers, he asserted that the sales in the online medium are growing each month and he is planning to explore more opportunities in the online market. 

Mahesh has worked with interior designers and architects in the B2B (business-to-business) model in the past. After the pandemic struck India, the company enhanced it B2B and B2C presence in India and is now trying to develop a strong retail brand.

Rugs range by Saraswati Global

Skilling the artisans

Mahesh has been very vocal about the contribution of the artisan community towards making Saraswati Global a successful venture. The company claims that all its rugs are handmade. 

In 2012, the company launched Saraswati Foundation which is working towards improving the lives of the marginalised and deprived communities in rural areas.

Under this foundation, the company provides upskilling to the artisans on new weaving techniques and designs. 

The foundation has also established schools and also provides scholarships to the deserving children of artisans to pursue higher studies.

“This foundation helps artisans to upskill themselves and help in achieving sustainable livelihoods. Our programmes are successful in nurturing the dreams of thousands of weavers and artisans. The employment opportunities offered by the company not only help weavers earn their livelihood but also give them a platform to showcase their talent,” Mahesh says. 

Mahesh says the company expects to increase its online presence and also aims to launch more offline stores in the next two to three years. 

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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