We want to double the value of goods we source from India: IKEA's Maeztu

Juvencio Maeztu, CEO, IKEA India
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA on Thursday held the ground-breaking ceremony for its store in Navi Mumbai where it would invest Rs 1,000 crore. The store, spread across 430,000 sq ft, will come up in early 2019. Juvencio Maeztu, chief executive of IKEA India, tells Raghavendra Kamath they will not target a particular class of customers to sell its products in Indian stores. Excerpts:

You were planning to open your first store in Hyderabad this year. Now, you are looking to open it next year. Why the delay?
There is no delay as such. We have all the approvals. We have worked on getting the right contractors, right construction company and so on. Everything is in place. Construction is on at full swing.

You said you were interested in the bottom of the pyramid because the less-affluent today will be more affluent tomorrow.
We do not believe in this classification (of SEC A, B, C customers). We want to be relevant to all customers. We are inclusive as a brand. We would like to see you, your boss and your help shopping at the same store, though the three of you would buy differently.

How much does IKEA source from India and where do you want to see that by 2020?
We work with 50 suppliers and source goods worth about 300 million euros (a year). We want to at least double that.

You had issues with the labelling in the country and had raised concerns. What is the status?
We’re working with the government. We work in 40 countries, and if we put an additional maximum retail price label for India, we cannot sell the same product in other countries.

How will your Mumbai store be different from others?
In Mumbai, the type of housing is different. You have high-rises, where the sizes (of flats) are smaller and a lot of people live in these. So, we have to provide solutions for small-space living. For instance, we have to offer sofa-cum-beds, which work as a sofa during the day and a bed at nights, and tables with wheels, which can be moved around. Basically, these should be nice-looking rooms in the day and practically bedrooms in the night.

Where are the other stores coming up?
We plan to open in the National Capital Region, Pune, Bengaluru and others, but I can’t give details now.

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