Småland (Sweden), January 30 2018: We are saddened to announce that the founder of IKEA and Ikano, and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Ingvar Kamprad, has passed away.
Mr. Kamprad created IKEA when he was 17, peddling matches, fish and Christmas cards by bicycle. He opened his first furniture store in 1947 and built it into one of the world's most successful retailers, with fiscal 2017 revenues of nearly $46 billion.
Prof. Dr. Danica Purg had an opportunity to meet him in person when receiving a special award for their contributions to the development of management in central and Eastern Europe at the Kozminski University in Poland.
“Mr. Ingvar Kamprad was not only a European manager of the year but a true legend all over the world. He was successful due to unique concept that made furniture affordable and by that allowed that the vast majority of people could buy a fashionable furniture. This was his main goal, even when he was still a young man.
He was a very modest person. He didn’t use a driver and he fixed the tables at the dinner parties if they were broken. He insisted on employees traveling during weekends when the airline tickets are cheaper and allowed them to invite family members to the business trip.
I met Mr. Kamprad in 2013 in Poland, when we received awards for the development of management in Central and Eastern Europe and for the contribution to the development of Kozminski University. After receiving the prize, we had a lunch, where I asked my protest question why Ikea was not present in Slovenia and he made a promise that we shall get one.
The graduates of IEDC-Bled School of Management hold leading positions in several Ikea branches around the world, including a financial director of a branch in Romania, who previously worked in Ikea, Indonesia.” These were the words of Prof. Purg when remembering Mr. Kamprad.
Our thoughts are with Mr. Kamprad’s family.