Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Hej, Hyderabad! Ikea is finally in India

At Ikea Hyderabad's 1000 Seat Restaurant Samosas Biryani And Dal Makhni Hej, Hyderabad! Ikea is finally in India
Russell Knight | 09 August, 2018, 20:52

The second store would be in Mumbai next year, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR. It sells a wide range of home furnishing products. On its website though, the Indian arm of IKEA proudly talks of its presence in the country for 30 years, sourcing many different products for IKEA stores worldwide.

It also has brought its global classics like the BILLY bookcase, KLIPPAN sofa, LACK table and POäNG armchair among others. Not only that, 20% of their products will be locally-sourced as well and will be in tandem with Indian choices. "One is the Swedish unique range and one is the local range", the company said.

Based on feedback from its home visits, Ikea expects a majority of sales in India to come from the living room and kitchen categories, the company's country sales manager, Christian Kampe, said.

As cautiously as they may be approaching the Indian market, it is unlike the other markets they cater to.

Ikea hopes that its walk-in stores and famed restaurants, selling a mixture of Indian favourites like biryani and samosas along with vegetarian versions of its famous meatballs, will give it an edge over its rivals.

IKEA has definitely realised that the way to the Indian buyer's heart and stomach is by providing sasta (cheap) and tikaao (durable) furniture and food. For assistance in this, it will be offering in-house and outsourced assembly, an option to pick up and avail a delivery service as well. IKEA will contribute in the training of carpenters on UrbanClap's platform, skilling them to become professional IKEA assemblers. The café will offer coffee, bakes, frozen yogurt and many more for purchase. An added attraction to the visitors would be the 1,000-seater restaurant dishing out both Swedish and Indian delicacies. The food will also be at affordable prices.

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It also offers a kids' play area named Smaland where customers can leave their children as they shop for things.

According to analysts, Ikea will have a tough competition in India as people are not used to putting assemble furniture together by themselves. So far, IKEA has spent around half the amount.

In 2012, the world's largest furniture retailer first announced its India plans with an initial investment of Rs 10,500 crore.

U.S. retail giant Walmart is betting big on the rise of India's middle class too. IKEA had originally planned to open its first store in India by 2017, but it was delayed.

IKEA at the launch shared that 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".

At the Hyderabad store, it now has 8 female forklift drivers and has recruited around 100 girls from the DISHA pilot project. The opening of its first store here was scheduled for July 19 but the company pushed it to August 9, citing quality commitments.

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