Swedish home furnishings major IKEA opened its first store in India at Hyderabad on Thursday and said that it has a “long-term commitment to India, which is an important market” to it.
“We have a long-term commitment to India, which is an important market for us,” IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin told media at the launch of the IKEA store in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The company has employed 950 people directly and another 1,500 indirectly at its Hyderabad store. The store would have a range of around 7,500 products and is spread over 13 acres of land.
It plans to expand operations in India with 25 such outlets to be set up by 2025. It also plans to hire 15,000 more in the coming years.
“As we see big opportunities in India, we believe that we will increase this investment as we continue expansion in India in future,” the company said.
IKEA journey in India began over three decades ago and in 2013, IKEA received approval from the government to invest Rs 10,500 crore in its single-brand retail. It has so far invested Rs 1,000 crore on the Hyderabad store. Altogether, it has invested Rs 4,500 crore in its several projects in India so far, the company said.
Initially, IKEA planned to open its first store in India by 2017. It was rescheduled for July 19, 2018 launch. But it was postponed to August 9.
Ikea plans to open its second store in Mumbai in 2019, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR. The company has also identified four more cities in India where it plans to set up its stores.
IKEA said it has adopted a “non-negotiable” approach to hire 50 per cent women at all levels in India, even “including forklift drivers and assembling co-workers”. It will offer delivery and assembly service to its customers who are not familiar with the DIY (do it yourself) concept, it said.
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Telangana Minister for IT Industries & Commerce KT Rama Rao said, “IKEA is a brand which has a great deal of following specially among the youngsters. In fact, when I was a youngster back in the United States about 25 years ago, my studio apartment was full of IKEA furniture.”
Rao was speaking to reporters after the launch of the IKEA store in Hyderabad.
“So, I am delighted that the same global experience is now being offered to youngsters in India and that too in Hyderabad,” he added.