As the countdown begins for Swedish retailer IKEA to launch its first store in Hyderabad, IKEA’s global design head Marcus Engman has maintained that the world’s fvaourite home appliance brand will customize their products to suit the cooking needs of the Indian households. In an interview with a daily, Engman said from a pressure cooker to DIY (do-it-yourelf) furniture, IKEA will make its products to meet the demands of its Indian customers.
“Our people visited hundreds of homes in India to understand how Indians live, and the design solutions they need. So, customisation is not so much in style but in the way of living. Solutions have been designed keeping your cooking methods and cleaning in mind. You use plenty of spices in cooking and a lot of water in cleaning. And I love the way you decorate. You embrace so many festivals, there are so many reasons to party in India. Personally, I like that. And this is something we can learn from you,” Engman is quoted as saying.
Further, IKEA has expressed concerns about the price-conscious buyers in India and Engman maintained that pricing could be a major challenge here. He said, “We want to be affordable to many people, and that’s going to be a struggle in India. But we see it as a challenge. If we are affordable in India then we’ll be even more affordable in the rest of the world. It’s a learning for us in IKEA. It’s hard, and it will take lot of innovation to succeed, but we are going to do it.”
Commenting about the contrast in its global customers, who fix their own furniture to Indian consumers who rely on carpenters for every small need, Engman revealed that the firm is strategically adopting both methods of DIY furniture and provide assistance in fixing furniture.
Interestingly, IKEA highlighted the need for sustainability and how the brand has instilled it in their ethos. “Sustainability is one of the five pillars of our democratic design ethos. We have announced that we are going circular. We’ll reuse materials, recycle materials. We are only working with sustainable wood sources. One of the ways of being sustainable is not creating waste. And waste has always been our biggest foe. Because if you want to create truly affordable products, then you cannot afford to waste. So being affordable and sustainable go hand in hand,” Engman said.