People Who Kick Buts: Ingvar Kamprad
Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.
- Born on March 30, 1926
- A Swedish business magnate and the founder of IKEA, a retail company.
- According to Forbes magazine, as of 2011 he is the 162nd wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of around US$6 billion in 2011. According to Swedish business weekly Veckans Affärer, he is the wealthiest person in the world with an estimated wealth of between $50bn and $90bn, owning the IKEA franchise through Interogo Foundation and Stichting INGKA Foundation.
- Ingvar Kamprad was born in Pjätteryd, now part of Älmhult Municipality, and grew up on a farm called Elmtaryd (now spelled Älmtaryd), near the small village of Agunnaryd in Ljungby Municipality in the province of Småland, Sweden.
He is a second generation Swede of German descent, his grandfather having moved the family to Sweden from Germany.
- Kamprad began to develop a business as a young boy, selling matches to neighbors from his bicycle. He found that he could buy matches in bulk very cheaply from Stockholm, sell them individually at a low price, and still make a good profit. From matches, he expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds, and later ballpoint pens and pencils. When Kamprad was 17, his father gave him a cash reward for succeeding in his studies.
- IKEA was founded in 1943 at his uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. In 1948, Kamprad diversified his portfolio, adding furniture. His business was mostly-mail order.
- The acronym IKEA is made up of the initials of his name (Ingvar Kamprad) plus those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd.
- Kamprad has lived in Epalinges, Switzerland since 1976. According to an interview with TSR, the French language Swiss TV broadcaster, Kamprad drives a 15-year-old Volvo 240, flies only economy class, and encourages IKEA employees always to write on both sides of a paper. He reportedly recycles tea bags and is known to pocket the salt and pepper packets at restaurants.” In addition, Kamprad has been known to visit IKEA for a “cheap meal.” He is also known to buy Christmas paper and presents in post-Christmas sales.