Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer seems to have taken up prime minister’s Make in India campaign quite seriously and, ahead of its scheduled store launch in 2017, it is also beefing up its manufacturing base in the country. The IKEA Group which had 315 stores in 27 countries as on August 31, 2014. With total sales of EUR 28.7 billion the group employs some 147,000 co-workers and 1,002 suppliers of home furnishing suppliers.
While 59% of its manufacturing is in Europe, here in India, Ikea’s operation team is working on strengthening its supplier network in the country. Last month, the company organised two ‘Make More in India’ seminars in Mumbai and Bengaluru, which witnessed the presence of hundreds of potential suppliers.
The retailer organised a workshop called Future Search late last year, bringing together over 200 supplier representatives, IKEA senior management, government, media, NGOs and the like to understand the need and consumption pattern of Indian consumers.
Indicating the growing importance of India, it is planning to soon set up a product development unit here, one of the three such units in the world. Sweden and China have the other two.
The retailer is mentoring suppliers to achieve scale by upgrading and accustoming them to bigger and better automated factories. Ikea is also working towards emancipating Indian women by training and hiring them.
Ikea and its suppliers stringently follow the global norms in India. Recycling water, renewable energy, no child labour are amongst the few of the many global standards that they focus on to achieve sustainable growth.