The IKEA case provides an excellent opportunity to apply strategic management concepts to a large privately-held company that is expanding into India. IKEA is a Netherlands-based Swedish company with a presence in 44 countries around the world, including the US, the UK, Russia, the EU region, Japan, China, and Australia. It is the largest furniture retailer in the world but did not enter India until 2013, despite the fact that it has been sourcing from India since the 1980s.
The purpose of this case study is to examine the factors that are crucial to IKEAs continued success and to propose strategic actions to sustain its competitive advantage. The case opens with a review of the companys humble beginning. IKEA was founded by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden in 1943. By the 2000s, IKEA has become the worlds largest furniture retailer. The corporate structure was constructed to prevent any takeover and to protect the family from taxes. Thus, the structure is a complicated arrangement of not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. The IKEA stores provide customers with a unique shopping experience with low prices, solid quality, modern designs, and most importantly, the concept of do-it-yourself (DIY) products.
The extensive discussion is followed by a description of the furniture industry in India and what IKEA had to overcome in order to enter the Indian market. IKEA first met with regulatory and political roadblocks, and then had to work with suppliers in order to meet the Indian governments requirement for sourcing. Finally, there are several challenges that IKEA faces.
This case is ideal for demonstrating the importance of the general environment, international corporate-level strategy, and type of entry. The following points are to guide a review and discussion of these important concepts.