The Success Story of IKEA and Its Founder Ingvar Kamprad

IKEA is a Swedish furniture retailer that has become a global brand, renowned for its unique design, functionality, and affordability. The company was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, who was just 17 years old at the time.

In the world of home furnishings, IKEA is a household name that has become synonymous with modern design, functionality, and affordability. With over 450 stores in more than 60 countries, IKEA has revolutionized the way people shop for furniture, accessories, and home decor. But behind this global success story is a man named Ingvar Kamprad, who founded IKEA in 1943 and turned it into the multinational corporation it is today.

Early Life and Career of Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad was born on March 30, 1926, in a small village in the Swedish province of Småland. He grew up on a farm, and his parents were very frugal, instilling in him a sense of discipline and hard work from a young age. His entrepreneurial spirit was evident from an early age when he began selling matches to his neighbors. Kamprad’s business savvy and drive would continue throughout his life.

In 1943, at the age of 17, Kamprad founded IKEA. Initially, the company sold pens, wallets, and picture frames. It wasn’t until 1947 that IKEA began selling furniture. Kamprad’s vision was to create stylish furniture that was affordable for everyone. To achieve this goal, he came up with the idea of using flat-pack furniture, which would reduce production and distribution costs.

The Success of IKEA

The success of IKEA can be attributed to several factors. One of the most important is the company’s focus on providing affordable and functional furniture. IKEA has always been committed to making good design accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy. By cutting costs on production and distribution, IKEA is able to keep its prices low.

Another key factor in IKEA’s success is its emphasis on sustainability. The company is committed to reducing its environmental impact and has set ambitious goals to become a circular business by 2030. IKEA has also been a leader in promoting sustainable living and has launched several initiatives to help people live more sustainably.

In addition to affordability and sustainability, IKEA’s success can also be attributed to its focus on good design. The company’s products are known for their clean lines, functionality, and modern aesthetic.

The Birth of Flatpack Furniture

One of Kamprad’s most significant contributions to the furniture industry was the creation of flatpack furniture. By packaging furniture in flat boxes with all the necessary parts and instructions, IKEA was able to reduce shipping costs and make it easier for customers to transport and assemble the furniture at home.

This innovation not only made IKEA’s products more affordable, but it also made them more accessible to people around the world. Today, flatpack furniture is a ubiquitous feature of the furniture industry, and IKEA remains at the forefront of this trend.

Corporate Philosophy

Another factor that has contributed to IKEA’s success is the company’s unique corporate philosophy. Kamprad believed that good design should be accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy, and this philosophy has been at the heart of IKEA’s business model from the beginning.

IKEA’s commitment to sustainability, ethical business practices, and social responsibility has also contributed to its popularity with consumers. By offering high-quality, affordable products that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible, IKEA has earned a loyal customer base around the world.

Ingvar Kamprad’s Leadership Style

Ingvar Kamprad’s leadership style was unique and is often cited as one of the reasons for IKEA’s success. He believed in creating a family-like atmosphere in the workplace and was known for his frugality. Despite his immense wealth, Kamprad was known to drive an old Volvo and fly economy class. He was also very hands-on, often personally testing and inspecting the products before they were released to the market.

Kamprad’s commitment to his employees was also a significant factor in his leadership style. He believed that a happy and motivated workforce was essential for the success of the company. As a result, he offered his employees generous benefits and opportunities for advancement.


Ingvar Kamprad passed away in 2018, He was 91 years old, leaving behind a legacy that continues to shape the furniture industry and inspire entrepreneurs around the world. Today, IKEA remains one of the most successful and influential home furnishings companies in the world, with a commitment to innovation, design, and sustainability that reflects Kamprad’s vision.

In conclusion, the success of IKEA is a testament to its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, and his vision for creating affordable and functional furniture with good design. His commitment to sustainability and his unique leadership style are also important factors that have contributed to the company's success. Today, IKEA continues to innovate and inspire, and its success story serves as a model for other businesses to follow.