Ingvar Kamprad Biography

(Founder of IKEA)

Birthday: March 30, 1926 (Aries)

Born In: Pjätteryd, Sweden

One of the best known entrepreneurs of today’s world is Ingvar Kamprad who has turned his startup venture ‘IKEA’ into one of the largest furniture company of the world. This innovative personality is often regarded as a child prodigy as he had dabbled with business from his early childhood. His grandmother has been his inspiration and role model as she is said to have revived her husband’s business from a state of bankruptcy. He actively participated with his grandmother in her endeavours. As a child he could figure out the business system and knew that by buying commodities in bulk amount, and selling them individually he could generate profits. He was engaged in a few miniature business ventures and by the time he was seventeen, Ingvar started his mail-order business ‘IKEA’. He put all his efforts in expanding the business and came up with unique ideas which had dual benefits – for the customer as well as the entrepreneur. Though he suffers from dyslexia he did not allow this challenge to prove a hindrance in the path of his success. He is credited with heralding in the concept of flat-boxed furniture, which has revolutionized the modern world as it is style incorporated with ease. Read on to know more about him and his entrepreneurial accomplishments
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Feodor Ingvar Kamprad

Died At Age: 91


Spouse/Ex-: Margaretha Kamprad

father: Feodor Kamprad

mother: Berta Kamprad

children: Annika Kihlbom, Jonas Kamprad, Mathias Kamprad, Peter Kamprad

Swedish Men Aries Entrepreneurs

Died on: January 27, 2018

place of death: Småland, Sweden

Ancestry: German Swedish

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Founder/Co-Founder: Stichting INGKA Foundation, IKEA, Ikano Bank, Interogo Foundation

Childhood & Early Life
Kamprad was born on 30th March, 1926, in Pjätteryd, Sweden, and grew up in the Älmtaryd (formerly known as Elmtaryd) region of Ljungby Municipality.
He had a good sense of trading from a very childhood and as a young boy, he calculated that he could make a profit by purchasing matches in huge amount and vending them individually. This was his first business venture and later, he traded in fish, seeds, pencils, pens and even decorative pieces.
He was also good at studies and as a prize for getting good scores Ingvar’s father presented him with a sum of money. Soon after, he came up with the idea of establishing a startup company.
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In 1943, the venture was launched with the name ‘IKEA’ which was coined with the initials of his name, his family’s farm Elmtaryd and the neighbouring village Agunnaryd.
Starting off with a mail-order mode of business dealing in small stuffs like wallets, photo frames, stockings and pens, this company is the largest furniture retailer of the world in present day.
During the same time, he was engaged with the group ‘New Swedish Movement’ (Nysvenska Rörelsen), which was led by fascist leader Per Engdahl. Later, in his life Kamprad said that his political involvement in his teenage was owing to his grandmother’s and father’s influences.
He expanded his startup company ‘IKEA’ in 1948, by including furniture in its assortment. From small order deliveries, the company then transported their goods through trucks and through cargoes in train.
The company earned good name in the furniture trade and by 1950, ‘IKEA’ was transformed into a company which dealt only in furniture.
With the immense success of the mail-ordering business, the founder realized the need of a showroom and following this decision, an ‘IKEA’ showroom was inaugurated in Almhult in and around 1953.
In the following years, he tried to cater to the needs of the customers and at the same time, moulded his business in such a way which would earn him profits.
With the rising popularity which the company gained, infuriated the rival companies and they made tried to stop the supply of materials to the company by Swedish traders. Ingvar then bought materials from other countries and also built their own commodities.
In 1956, this accomplished entrepreneur came up the idea of ‘ready-to-assemble furniture’ also known as the ‘flat pack furniture’ which became a benchmark in the world of furniture. This furniture is sold in a dissembled package with instructions on its assembling.
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These furniture guaranteed to reduce storage area as well as shipping charges and did not require expertise to assemble them. This helped him reduce the financial input in the business and even made it easy for the customers to arrange the goods themselves.
In 1965, the company started its first customer retail warehouse in Stockholm, and ever since the company has been expanding its business far and wide.
In 1982, he founded the charitable organization ‘Stichting INGKA Foundation’ and Ingvar is presently, the chairman of the foundation.
Over the next fifty decades the company encountered huge expansion in business and till date has around 300 showrooms all over the world.
The company launched into a new business venture in the year 2000, by making their commodities available for sale on the internet. This means they now have an online store and this has boundless prospects for the expansion of business.
The catalogue of the ‘IKEA’ furniture are printed in bulk quantities and by 2009, they had their catalogue had to be published in over twenty languages. This shows that the company has customers who belong to varied regions of the world.
He resigned from his position as a board member of the ‘Inter IKEA Holding SA’ in 2013
Major Works
He is the founder of the company ‘IKEA’ and the success of the company is owing to the innovative ideas of this astute entrepreneur. His most significant gift to the world is the concept of ‘Ready-to-assemble furniture’, which created a milestone in the making of furniture.
Personal Life & Legacy
His married Margaretha Kamprad-Stennert in 1963, and reportedly she was his second. However, details about his first wife are unavailable.
He is the father of four children named Jonas Kamprad, Peter Kamprad, Annika KIhlbom and Mathias Kamprad.
During his business venture in Poland, he developed an addiction to alcohol. However, in 2004, he was quoted saying that he has controlled his drinking habits.
He is the author of the book ‘A Testament of a Furniture Dealer’, and the co-author of ‘Leading by Design: The IKEA Story’ along with journalist Bertil Torekull.

See the events in life of Ingvar Kamprad in Chronological Order

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