(Image source from: Business Standard)
Ikea, a Swedish-founded home furnishings giant on Thursday opened its introductory store in India, after five years receiving the nod to invest in the country's single-brand retail sector.
The company plans to hire 15,000 employees in the following years, which has currently employed 950 people directly and another 1,500 indirectly at its Hyderabad store.
IKEA Group Chief Executive Officer Jesper Brodin said the opening of the first store in India marks a milestone in the company's journey here which began over three decades ago through sourcing of products.
"We have a long-term commitment to India, which is an important market for us," he added.
The store at the location is the first of 25 such outlets planned to be established in India by the year 2025. IKEA in 2013 received a gesture from the government to invest Rs. 105 billion in single-brand retail.
IKEA had originally planned to open its first store in India by 2017, but it was delayed.
The opening of its first store here was scheduled for July 19 this year but the company again pushed it back by almost 20 days to August 9, citing quality commitments.
Out of the total outlay of Rs 105 billion, the company has thus far invested Rs. 45 billion in its different projects in India.
It has invested Rs. 10 billion on the Hyderabad store alone, which would have a range of around 7,500 products. The store is spread over 13 acres of land and has a built-up area of 400,000 sq ft.
The company said it would increase its investments in India as it looks to accelerate expansion in the country faster than it would usually go elsewhere.
"As we see big opportunities in India, we believe that we will increase this investment as we continue expansion in India in future," it said.
Besides retail, IKEA said it will also enter e-commerce segment in India by next year, besides exploring small format stores as part of its India expansion plans.
"We want to be accessible... we will try our best to speed up our expansion to move quicker than normally we do in IKEA," Brodin stated.
Followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR, after Hyderabad, Ikea's second store would be in Mumbai next year.
By Sowmya Sangam