Things changed in 2008 when Eastern Home Industries a 67-year-old carpet-making firm started producing for the 29.3-billion (Rs 1,80,929 crore) retailing giant IKEA Group. The Rs 100-crore Indian firm was already supplying to the biggest of American retailers such as Macy’s and JC Penney. "But carpets was mostly a cottage industry. Weavers picked up the raw materials from us, we guided and monitored them but they weaved at home and got the finished product to us," says Zafar Iqbal Ansari, chairman, Eastern Home Industries. Challenges were aplenty. Weavers did not want to work in factories. The work ethic was below-par. Women here never worked, which IKEA was keen on. Many worried about automation. Few appreciated the benefits of things like bank accounts, gratuities, provident fund, statutory leaves and medical facility. "Workers had many apprehensions," Ansari adds.