• By focusing on the trajectories of some of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of our time, Andrews and Wood remind us of the immense transformative power of individuals relative to governments and other institutions.

    Yves Tiberghien

Übercast: Big Business

Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in the Swedish province of Småland when he was just 17 years old. Using his bicycle as a mobile convenience store, he peddled Christmas cards and other small luxury items that thrifty Smålanders could not previously afford. And his timing was perfect: Sweden’s post-war economy was just beginning to boom.

Seventy years later, IKEA is the largest furniture retailer in the world, with 150,000 employees in 42 countries, and a corporate culture that remains loyal to Kamprad’s creed of frugality and self-sufficiency.

As the IKEA catalogue puts it: “Because thin soils can’t be farmed in the same way as a fertile field, Smålanders have always had to work harder, adapt their ideas and do things differently”.

"Why would I buy anything my customers could not afford?"

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