Ikea India launches with Hyderabad megastore

Sofas And Spoons In Demand As IKEA Opens First Store In India

Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao, the IKEA leadership team led by Group CEO Jesper Brodin and the first customer Rajani Venugopal cut the ribbon thus formally throwing open the doors of the first store, on which the company had invested Rs. 1,000 crore.

At a news conference on the eve of the store's grand opening, Mr Brodin said: "We bring an inspiring, affordable and convenient home furnishing offer". It plans to recruit 15,000 people in the country in the next few years. According to the company 936 million customers visited its stores in FY17 and more than 2.3 billion people visited IKEA online.

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.

IKEA's first store in India in Hyderabad store has a 1,000-seater restaurant, and the menu includes vegetarian options such as biryani for Rs 99 a plate, chicken and vegetarian meatballs, for Rs 129, replacing the traditional Swedish meatballs made with beef and pork.

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Meanwhile, IKEA's food manager for India, Henrik Osterstrom, said, "I am super delighted that finally, the store has opened, we were working on it since 2013".

"We have a total of 1,69,500 members till date, pan India, and approximately 1,45,000 only in Hyderabad", an IKEA spokesperson said, but did not share the total amount billed on day one.

Founded in 1943 by late Swedish entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA now has 403 IKEA stores in 49 countries with a sales volume of 38.3 billion euros.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them.

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Construction continues at IKEA Live Oak, the company says.

The traffic jam in Hyderabad was so huge that people started talking about it on Twitter and shared photos of the jam. Take a look at some of them. "We have decided that food is important for IKEA and it is important for India as well, so that's why we have the biggest restaurant in the Hyderabad store".

But Mohammad Noor, a city businessman, told AFP that while he would "watch and wait", he thinks Indian products are better quality.

"I will certainly visit the store soon, probably at the weekend". I don't think it will give us much competition.

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