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Patriotic tunes but no bed-lam for Ikea's Indian debut

09 August 2018

It's the first of 25 stores Ikea plans to open across the country by 2025.

Six years after Swedish furniture maker IKEA got FDI approval to set up shop in India, it has opened its first store in Hyderabad.

Ikea has now invested Rs 10,500 crore in India and has spent half that amount - one of the single biggest investments in the country since Future Group, Reliance Retail, and Aditya Birla More announced similar investments in 2006.

This is a significant boost for IKEA - which remains the single largest single brand FDI proposal to have come to India, waiting in the wings till the sourcing norms were tweaked to its advantage.

"It's incredible, and I'm so glad that they are here", said Shalini Shandilya, another first-time visitor who said she was familiar with Ikea but had never been inside one of its stores. The showroom has some 7,500 products, of which about 1,000 will sell for less than ₹200 each.

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The 400,000 square feet (37,160 square metre) store in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad will offer 1,000 products including cutlery, stuffed toys, hangers and container boxes priced under 200 Indian rupees (US$2.91) - cheaper than in most countries. The second store would be in Mumbai next year, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR.

Its plan to open retail stores in 40+ cities across the country reinforces its long-term commitment and deep connection with India.

"I was excited and happy that Ikea is coming to India for the first time, and that too in Hyderabad", said Abhishek Chapalamadugu, a tech worker who was introduced to Ikea when he lived in the United States a few years ago.

Speaking to India Today, Peter Betzel, CEO, IKEA India said that the company thanked the Telangana government for its tremendous support. "For us, the community is a very important priority".

Ikea's competitors in India include Godrej Group's Godrej Interio, Future Group's HomeTown, Nilkamal Ltd's @Home, and Durian Industries Pvt.

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Plot size of 8-11 acres for store to be set up. 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.

The store was opened amidst cheerful Ikea management and staff with the ribbon cutting by a customer. What is interesting is to study the pricing and how Indians will take to the format. The company plans to increase its investment in the country faster than it would usually do elsewhere. These startups have also started brick-and-mortar stores. But Brodin admitted having to give Ikea's business model a local twist of Indian spice to try to attract a vast middle class not used to a company which expects them to assemble products themselves.

IKEA is harping on affordability to capture the Indian market, which is known to be price sensitive.

According to consulting firm Technopak, India has a burgeoning middle class and 1.3 billion people buy about $30 billion of furniture, lighting, and household items (bed linen and cookware) every year.

According to GlobalData, a data and insights solution provider, rising disposable incomes and improving living conditions of urbanites present vast opportunities in India.

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Patriotic tunes but no bed-lam for Ikea's Indian debut