Swedish business magnet Ingvar Kamprad, who introduced the world to flat-pack furniture through his very popular brand Ikea, died on Saturday, January 27. He was 91.
The Ikea founder passed away at his home in the southern Swedish region of Smaland, according to the Agence France-Presse and Ikea, in a statement, said: "Kamprad passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones following a brief illness."
Speaking of the businessman Jesper Brodin, CEO and president of the Ikea Group, added: "His legacy will be admired for many years to come and his vision — to create a better everyday life for the many people — will continue to guide and inspire us."
Who is Ingvar Kamprad and how did Ikea become one of the most loved furniture brands?
- Feodor Ingvar Kamprad, more commonly called just Ingvar Kamprad, was born on March 30, 1926, in a farming family.
- He founded Ikea in 1943 when he was just 17 years old. However, he is said to have struck his first business deal at the age of five.
- As part of the deal, Krampad bought matchboxes in bulk from his aunt who lived in Stockholm and sold them in Smaland for a huge profit.
- Even though he was Swedish, he lived in Switzerland from the year 1976 to 2014.
- Kamprad was the second richest person in Europe after Zara's Amancio Ortega.
- Kamprad is also the world's eighth richest person, according to Quartz, with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimating his wealth at $59 billion.
- Even though he built a huge empire through Ikea, Kamprad is known to have often shopped at flea markets and spoke of his love for a modest life. "It's in the nature of Småland to be thrifty," he had said in a 2016 documentary.
- Kamprad was said to be dyslexic and came up with the name Ikea using his initials and the name of his hometown.
- The name Ikea is derived from Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland).
- Since 2010, the important affairs at Ikea are being overseen by Kamprad's three sons and the 91-year-old also stepped down from the board of the firm in 2013.
- Ikea has also grabbed headlines numerous times on allegations of tax evasion, but the firm has often insisted that it complies with taxation policies.
- Kamprad married Kerstin Wadling and adopted a daughter, Annika.
- In the 1960s, the Ikea founder married his second wife Margaretha Kamprad-Stennert. He met her when she was just 20 and the couple has three sons Peter, Jonas and Mathias.
- Kamprad and Stennert were married from 1940–2011.
- Ikea became extremely popular with buyers due to its easy to assemble furniture and now has about 411 stores worldwide.