Ikea woos India’s rising consumer class, tapping new markets

Six months after Ikea opened its first store in Hyderabad, the 400,000-square-foot cornucopia of furniture, linens, kitchenware and other goodies is drawing between 10,000 and 30,000 visitors per day. (AP)
Updated 15 February 2019
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Ikea woos India’s rising consumer class, tapping new markets

  • Ikea hopes to win over India’s growing consumer class with its clean, air-conditioned stores and unique offerings
  • It says India is a test case for whether to keep shifting resources toward emerging economies

HYDERABAD, India: Swedish giant Ikea is tackling the $40 billion Indian market for home furnishings, taking on local furniture makers in places like Hyderabad’s bustling Nampally market.
Ikea hopes to win over India’s growing consumer class with its clean, air-conditioned stores and unique offerings. It says India is a test case for whether to keep shifting resources toward emerging economies, including Latin America and China, given the saturation of markets in Europe and the United States — and the possibility of another global recession.
Six months after its first store opened in Hyderabad, Ikea’s 400,000-square-foot cornucopia of furniture, kitchenware and other goodies is drawing between 10,000 and 30,000 visitors.
But it’s unclear if all that foot traffic translates to big sales. So far the best sellers are priced below 300 rupees ($4.20).


Hyundai invests $300 million to help India’s Ola battle Uber

Ola was launched in 2011 and is engaged in an aggressive battle with Uber in India’s ride-hailing market. (Reuters)
Updated 20 min 17 sec ago
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Hyundai invests $300 million to help India’s Ola battle Uber

  • Ola was launched in 2011 and is engaged in an aggressive battle with Uber in India’s ride-hailing market
  • Ola says it handles around a billion rides a year across India’s major centers

MUMBAI: Indian taxi-hailing company Ola has secured a $300-million investment from South Korean car giant Hyundai, the firms said Tuesday, providing a major boost in its fight against US giant Uber.
Ola was launched in 2011 and is engaged in an aggressive battle with Uber in India’s ride-hailing market, which is estimated to be worth around $10 billion and growing fast.
The new money, from Hyundai’s subsidiary Kia Motors, will largely be used to help Ola increase its electric vehicle fleet, the companies said in a joint statement.
“Our partnership with Ola will certainly accelerate our efforts to transform into a smart mobility solutions provider,” Hyundai executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said in the statement.
Bangalore-based Ola announced last year that it planned to put a million electric vehicles on India roads by 2021.
Ride-hailing apps are booming in the country despite stiff opposition from traditional taxi firms and some initial concerns about passenger safety.
Ola says it handles around a billion rides a year across India’s major centers, as well as seven cities in Australia.
In 2018, Ola also announced operations in Britain as part of a drive into other markets as competition with Uber intensifies on home turf.