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India Is a Long-term Bet for Us: Ikea CEO
India Is a Long-term Bet for Us: Ikea CEO

Swedish furniture retailing giant IKEA – which announced its India foray in 2012 – is yet to see its first store to start operations. In an exclusive interaction with Payal Gulati, IKEA India’s CEO Juvencio Maeztu shared his long-term vision and plans for the country.

It’s been five years since you announced your plans to enter India, and your first store is yet to take off. What caused this delay?

IKEA is led by the long-term approach. And long-term for us is not 10 years but 100 years’ horizon or even more. For us, it’s important to do things right than to do them fast.

IKEA is a production-oriented retailing company. A normal retailing company can go fast in expansion, rent locations in shopping malls, and you buy and sell. For IKEA, this is the last point. The first point is ensuring right preconditions from the legal frame point of view, securing the supply chain, scout for right location etc. Also, long-term partnerships with suppliers are extremely important for us, this take time since they have to do investments and we have to support them. Then we buy the land and begin the construction.

We are here for the next 100, 200 or 300 years and when you plan for that, 4-5 years look very small. Now, after spending time on legal framework and land acquisition in Hyderabad and Mumbai, we are in the process of hiring people for operations.

What are the constraints for global retailers like IKEA in India?

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October 2016