Ingvar Kamprad is one of the most popular business mogul and self-made billionaire who have a Swedish background. He is the founder and chief executive officer of the popular furniture retail company, IKEA. He is one of the perfect examples of what it takes to be a successful person with little to start with. His life is the perfect example of what rags to riches should be.
Although there is not much information about his life following his success, it is the struggles that he faced as a child and in the primary years of his life which has led him to the position that he has today. The business gene ran through his blood because the furniture business ran through the generations in his family.
Early life and education
Ingvar Kamprad was born on March 30, 1926 in Pjätteryd which is located in Sweden. He was brought up in a modest family on a farm located in Elmtaryd. His grandfather was an immigrant from Germany and later moved to Sweden with the entire family. The very first set back in his life was witnessing the death of his grandfather who committed suicide after the bankruptcy of their business.
Kamprad has time and time said that it was his grandmother and her spirits that made him realise what hard work can pay off. She gathered all the pieces after her husband’s death and pulled the business back into action and took it to heights of success. It was Francis who has been the source of inspiration for Kamprad right from his childhood.
Kamprad doesn’t have any formal educational qualifications because the teachers were never able to “make him sit and learn” but that didn’t act as a setback in the path of his success story. He started off his business skills right from his school days when he bought pencils and matches in bulk amounts and later sold them to his classmates with a profit. He soon started trading fishes and Christmas cards as well.
While most of his classmates talked and discusses about the latest technology and gadgets, Kamprad kept saving up money from his allowance to start his own business later. And that was exactly what he did. He later started his own furniture business and named it as IKEA when he was 17 years old.
Wife/s and children
- Kamprad married Kersting Wadling and the couple adopted a daughter together, Annika.
- Kamprad remarried Margaretha Kamprad-Senneth in the 1960s and the couple have three children together, Peter, Jonas and Matthias who are the sole heirs of the parent company of IKEA, the Ikano group.
IKEA and its formation
IKEA was founded in the year 1943 after Kamprad realised he had enough money to start his own retail line and even borrowed some from his father. The business started off as a mail order business initially. The entire name of IKEA stands for Ingvar Kamprad and Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd which are the two farms that he grew up in.
The business didn’t start off as furniture retail but was initially a different prospect. He started with selling stockings and matches at a discounted rate and later switched to pens. He came to know that pens were a luxury back in the late 1940s but was still in a lot of demand back then. That was when he imported 500 pens from Paris after getting a loan of 500 SEK from the bank.
Kamprad started to spread his business by promising all the customers coffee and buns to whoever visited his store. While a lot of people crowded the store, not many people actually bought the products. The setbacks didn’t stop then because he later realised that he was dyslexic as well which he was not aware of in the primary years of his life.
The business that he started as mail-order only started kicking off and the brand name was gradually spreading and becoming popular. It was then that he realised that he couldn’t remember and decipher the codes that he gave the products that he manufactured.
Kamprad didn’t let the disability come in his way and rather found ways to cope with the setback. He started naming his furniture under several familiar names. Like, he named the big furniture under Swedish places and the different garden furniture under names of Swedish islands.
His entire business career witnessed a lot of setbacks in the primary stage which Kamprad turned around and solved easily. Yet another problem was when the delivery of the furniture became a problem and he later made the furniture in such a well so that they could be assembled which made the transport a lot easier.
Ingvar Kamprad – Net worth, house and car
Ingvar Kamprad has an estimated net worth of $23 billion. The billionaire is one of the most down-to-earth people and lived in Switzerland till 2014 in their family home. He drives a 1993 Volvo 240 and only flies economy class.