The Strategist

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, died at 91

01/29/2018 - 13:34

91-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the world's largest network for the sale of furniture and household goods, IKEA, died on Saturday after a short illness.

Haparanda Midnight Ministerial June 2010 via flickr
Haparanda Midnight Ministerial June 2010 via flickr
As reported on the IKEA website, one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century Ingvar Feodor Kamprad peacefully died at home in Småland in the south of Sweden at the age of 91 after a short illness. His family and friends were with him.

He died as a man who for decades formed a taste for the cozy design of the house. All his life he lived sparingly and taught everyone around him to take care of things. According to the people who knew him, he was a stubborn workaholic who never gave up and always believed that he had not done much yet.

Ingvar Kamprad discovered a knack for business at the age of five when he started his first business - buying matches at a low price in Stockholm and selling them at a higher price to residents of neighboring farms in Kronoberg County. Inspired by success, he expanded his business operations and began selling pencils, pens, jewelry, purses, fish. Ingvar Kamprad created his first company, which became the work of his whole life, at the age of 17 in 1943. He came up with the name for it by having combined his initials with the first letters of the name of their family farm Elttaryud and the neighboring village of Agunnaryud, and so IKEA was born. He came up with a world-famous flat package for the sale of furniture in disassembled form.

In 1973, Ingvar Kamprad left Sweden and, in search of lower taxes, went first to Denmark and then to Switzerland, where he lived almost 40 years, becoming the richest man in this country. In 2007, he ranked fourth in the list of the richest people in the world according to Forbes magazine with a fortune of $ 33 billion. However, the possession of such a state had no effect on the way of life of Ingvar Kamprad, who spent his whole life buying clothes on flea markets and trying to teach his relatives to protect things. He usually used public transport, and if he had to go somewhere by car, he used his old Volvo, which served him for 30 years. He always flew in economy class and in an interview confessed that he prefers to get a haircut only when he leaves for developing countries - there it is much cheaper.

He explained his frugality by roots: everyone in Smoland is like this, they say.

Since 2010, Ingvar Kamprad began to gradually move away from the management of IKEA and in 2012 transferred the business to three of his sons - Peter, Jonas and Mathias, who, in accordance with their inclinations, led three different areas of the company's work - finance, design and innovation. In 2014, Ingvar Kamprad returned to his native Sweden, to be closer to the rest of the kin after the death of his wife Margareta.

For a long life, he not only got a big family, friends, useful habits, great fortune and respect in the business world, but also numerous titles and prestigious prizes. So, in 1983 he received the title of Honorary Doctor at Lund University, the second oldest university in Sweden, and in 1989 the businessman was named "Swede of the Year". Despite the fact that Ingvar Kamprad walked away from the direct management of IKEA long ago, he still continued to work until the last day and helped his sons with advice.

During his lifetime Ingvar Kamprad repeatedly strongly refused to make IKEA a public company and stated that IKEA would never enter the IPO. In his opinion, this would only complicate and slow down the decision-making process, and the speed in this matter is one of the pledges of successful business performance. The correctness of this and many other decisions can be judged from the history of the company's development, which since 2008 remains the largest furniture retailer: the network has more than 410 stores in almost 50 countries.



< >

Thursday, May 16th 2024 - 03:10 HSBC starts looking for new CEO