BUS2235 Organizational Dynamics
Critical Analysis #4
Ingvar Kamprad: Wealthy Man, Frugal Man, Entrepreneur Extraordinaire Although octogenarian Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish-based IKEA, is one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, he nonetheless lives quite frugally. Kamprad avoids wearing suits, flies economy class, takes the subway to work, drives a ten-year-old Volvo and frequents inexpensive restaurants. “It has long been rumored in Sweden that when his self-discipline fails and he drinks an overpriced Coke out of a hotel minibar, he will go to a grocery store to buy a replacement.” Kamprad was “born in Småland in the south of Sweden a region known as home to many entrepreneurs and hard-working people, who are adept at using efficiently what limited resources they have.” Kamprad developed an entrepreneurial spirit in his youth. As a youngster, Kamprad rode his bicycle throughout the neighborhood, selling matches, pens, and Christmas cards to the local residents. Then in 1943 when he was only 17 years old, Kamprad used a cash gift from his father to form a company called IKEA. The name IKEA was derived from Ingvar Kamprad’s initials plus the first letters of the farm and village where he grew up (Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd). Initially, IKEA was a catalog company that sold pens, picture frames, wallets, and other bargain goods. “Kamprad used his village’s milk van to deliver his products when he first started the business. In 1951, IKEA began selling furniture made by local carpenters; six years later Kamprad opened the first IKEA store in Sweden. In 1985 the first U.S. IKEA which measured three football fields long opened in a Philadelphia suburb called Plymouth Meeting.” By 2010, IKEA had grown to 316 stores around the world with 699 million visitors, in-person and online. IKEA “has stores in thirty-three countries, while continuing to expand markets in China and Russia.” As stated on the company’s Web site, “[t]he IKEA vision...
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