Ingvar Kamprad Story - The Founder Of IKEA Brand

Full Name : Ingvar Kamprad
Born : 30th- Mar - 1926
Birth Place : Agunnaryd
Country : Sweden
Occupation : Businessman
Industry : Business
Networth : 3.4 billion USD

Ingvar Feodor Kampard is a Swedish business magnate. He is the founder and owner of the furniture giant IKEA. He was born in 1926 in a small farm by the name of Elmtaryd near the village of Agunnaryd in Sweden. The region is famous for its rural agrarian society, it is the embodiment of harsher times when Sweden was poor and its only industry was agriculture. The villagers are no stranger to hard work, egalitarianism and frugal lifestyles. They had been indoctrinated in these values through their shared poverty. These values have also been adopted by IKEA.

Childhood and Early Life

ingvar kamprad as a boy

Kampard had a sense for business since he was a mere boy of 6 years old. He began a small business of selling matches to the villagers and his neighbours from his bicycle. He bought matches in bulk from Stockholm at a very cheap price. He sold them at a relatively low price and still managed to make a decent profit. He slowly expanded to selling fish, seeds, Christmas decorations and stationary items such as pencils and ballpoint pens.

ikea opening

In 1943 when he was 17 years old he received a cash prize from his father for doing well in his studies, despite suffering from mild dyslexia. He used this money to set up a business named IKEA- I for Ingvard, K for Kamprad, E for his family farm Elmtaryd and A for his village Agunnaryd.

By 1948 Kamprad had expanded his portfolio to include locally manufactured furniture, but trouble soon cropped up. By 1955 manufacturers had begun to shun IKEA, protesting Kamprad’s low prices. Kamprad, not a stranger to hard work and possessing an indomitable desire for success came up with the simple yet game changing innovation called the flat-pack. The basic concept of IKEA- simple, affordable and modern furniture was completed with the invention of the flat-pack.

Later Career

Kamprad introduced the flat-pack in 1953 and soon after he moved the production plant to Soviet occupied Poland to cut down labour costs. As he was building up his home furnishings empire he published a book titled the Furniture Dealer’s Testament. Popularly known as the IKEA Bible, which includes messages such as “wasting resources is a mortal sin at IKEA.”

the first ikea catalog is published  1951

The motivating idea behind IKEA is that one and all should be able to afford modern stylish furniture. Kamprad was not concerned with cutting costs and making profits, he served the people through his affordable furniture.

His business grew in leaps and bounds. IKEA spread throughout Sweden then Norway and Denmark and finally arrived at continental Europe and then spread like wildfire across the globe. At present there are 300 IKEA stores all over the world.

Personal Life

kamprads family

Kamprad has always displayed little or no interest in wealth. As one of the richest men in the world he leads a very frugal lifestyle. In his late 80s, Kamprad still travels the world visiting new IKEA stores. He flies in economy class, calls his employees his ‘co-workers’, stays in cheap hotels and drives an old Volvo. He is the bastion of frugal living. In his young days he was a regular in the pro-fascist meetings held by the New Swedish Movement. However in his later years he repented his association with fascists and refers to those days as his “greatest mistake.” He spent nearly four decades in Switzerland to avoid the punitive taxes in Sweden but recently moved back to Agunnaryd after his wife passed away.

Achievements

ingvar kamprad

A self made man Ingvard Kamprad is the owner of the IKEA, he relinquished the post of the Chairman in 2013 giving his son Mathias the post, and has a net worth of $3.4 billion. This makes him one of the richest men in Sweden as well as the world.
 

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