Davos 2023: Ikea Bets On Low-Cost Model For Pan-India Presence, Says CFO Juvencio Maeztu
Ikea's Juvencio Maeztu highlighted the need for a low-cost model to cater to homes and living spaces in India.
Ikea Ltd.'s growth story in India revolves around its determination to connect to more people by strengthening its presence pan-India with sustainable and affordable products.
"For us, the most important thing is how many people we connect with," Juvencio Maeztu, the deputy chief executive officer and chief financial officer at Ikea's parent firm, Ingka Holding BV, told BQ Prime on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
"I am more happy with connecting with people than in the growth figures. But the growth is coming and will be more in the future."
Maeztu highlighted the need for a low-cost model to cater to homes and living spaces in India. The question of how to create products for smaller living spaces and also for such a diverse society is something that he is in the process of learning, he said.
There is also a "fantastic" opportunity in India in terms of an open economy, which paves the way for free trade and cooperation leading to peace and stability, according to Maeztu.
The furniture major, which was founded in Sweden, set foot in India with its first-ever store in Hyderabad.
After dropping anchor in Hyderabad, Ikea has expanded to cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai. It has a large store in Gurugram and Noida under construction, establishing its presence in the National Capital Region region. Ikea is also conducting online operations in Gujarat and Pune, Maeztu said.
It had committed to an investment of over Rs 10,000 crore for India expansion and has completed that. The next phase would be expanding its footprint to more Indian cities, he said.
Sustainability And Affordability In 2023
Highlighting the core principles of Ikea, Maeztu emphasised the need for sustainability as well as affordability amid the climate crisis.
"We are more determined to work in that direction," he said.
People need a better life at home despite the economic challenges, Maeztu said.
Supply Chain—A Challenge Or Opportunity?
Last year, the furniture major traversed through some global supply-chain disruptions, but Maeztu considers it an opportunity to "fastrack" into business transformation.
He highlighted the business' transformation to omnichannel retailing and investments in digitisation, which commenced after the coronavirus outbreak.
The company has invested over 3 billion euros (Rs 26,491 crore) last year and plans to double it in renewable energy, he said.
Maeztu sees an opportunity for business transforming to a more circular economy where it can "de-risk the supply chain and find an opportunity to have lower costs".