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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

IKEA official meets Sharma, discusses business plans

PTI  New Delhi, October 11, 2012
First Published: 15:05 IST(11/10/2012) | Last Updated: 15:06 IST(11/10/2012)

Swedish furniture major IKEA's senior official Jessica Anderen, who is responsible for South Asia, today met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and is understood to have discussed the company's business plans in India.

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IKEA, which had earlier this year announced an investment of Rs. 10,500 crore for opening 25 stores in India, filed the final document on Monday seeking permission to open its own stores in the country after the relaxation of sourcing norms for FDI in single brand retail.

While both Sharma and Anderen, who is IKEA's Trading Area Manager for South Asia, declined to comment, official sources said the two discussed the company's plans for India.

Yesterday in Mumbai, Ikea India Country Manager Juvencio Maeztu had said that the company would take a long term holistic approach for the Indian market.

"Our goal is to have a long-term approach here and that too in a holistic way. Combining the trend and the sourcing, so we need time," he had said.

Maeztu had also said IKAE would consider creating a new product range for the Indian customers.

"India is an excellent place for us to develop a good product with our approach...May be we need to develop new functions and a product range which we don't have yet, for this market. Maybe we need to tweak the style but will never compromise with price. We will make affordable products," he had said.

Last month, the government had tweaked sourcing norms for FDI exceeding 51 per cent in single-brand retail and diluted the previous condition of sourcing 30 per cent of requirements "mandatorily" from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India by stating that sourcing should be done "preferably from MSMEs".

This was one of the major issues raised by IKEA while approaching the government in June with its plans to invest 1.5 billion euro (Rs 10,500 crore) in India to set up 25 stores.

Without specifying a timeline for opening its first store in India, IKEA has said that once its application is approved, it will develop a solid plan for the establishment of IKEA stores for many years to come, generating investments and new employment.


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