For the 25th anniversary of Care & Fair, Carpet! Magazine introduces some of the organisation’s important supporters and donors to our readers. This time we talk to Richard Auchter and Ross Page. The long-term business partners and rug experts operate The Rug Establishment in Queensland. The company with showrooms in several Australian cities and offices in Shanghai and San Francisco specialises in high-quality handmade designer rugs and works closely with interior designers and architects in Australia, Asia and the US. Most carpets are made in India, in the Bhadohi area.
The Rug Establishment specialises in handmade custom-design rugs for the interior design industry. At what points in your business does Corporate Social Responsibility come into the picture?
Apart from wanting to do the right thing and be good corporate citizens, we recognised that our own staff would be motivated if they knew they were part of doing good things for our communities. Being a generous company definitely helps the staff psychologically and they are very proud to be part of the work that Care & Fair provides. Making them part of the giving process just makes them happy. Happy staff are motivated staff. Motivated staff generate positive business results, so everyone wins.
You have a long-term cooperation with the aid organisation Care & Fair. What convinced you to support this organisation?
At the Varanasi ICE fair in 2012 – Peter Fliegner took the time to really explain the work that the organisation was doing – and convinced us to go and meet the children at the school in Bhadohi. That school was needing a sponsor to pick up the running costs, as it had already been built. It took just 10 minutes on site to work out that we wanted to be the sponsor. The children are so proud and grateful of their place at the school, and we wanted to be part of that. We are particularly motivated knowing so much of the actual funding that we provide goes directly to the children’s education and is not used for administration and marketing purposes.
In what ways have you been supporting Care & Fair, and how has the cooperation influenced your business?
Apart from the funding that we provide – we have created programs that involve our own children, including a pen pal program between the school children in Bhadohi and the children in Australia. This was invaluable for our children as it helped them understand more about India, and how different their lives were compared to their peers in Bhadohi. We sent the kids in Bhadohi some gifts and school hats – which gave our kids such pride seeing their school uniform being used in the countryside of Uttar Pradesh.
We are really proud of our involvement and we share images of the school along with our team members that have visited the school throughout our showrooms.
Ross Page: We are hoping to work with Care & Fair to develop more ways of assisting the continued education of young women specially – and would be keen to develop long-term bursaries that enable the bright minds to flourish into opportunities that otherwise might be lost due to financial limitations.