IKEA, the largest furniture retailer, finally launched their showroom in India after a fair amount of struggle. The opening was initially intercepted in 2006 due to the Indian restrictions on foreign investment. The rules were later relaxed.
When it finally opened on 9 August, a staggering number of 40,000 customers visited the store on the first day.
— ANI (@ANI) August 10, 2018
The Swedish Ambassador, Klas Molin, attended the opening ceremony along with the Information Technology, Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD,) Textiles and NRI Affairs Minister of Telengana, K Taraka Rama Rao.
Situated on a 13 acre land on the outskirts of Hyderabad with over 7,500 products on sale, IKEA expects over six million consumers to visit the store every year. By employing over 950 people at its Hyderabad store, IKEA aims at creating over 1,500 additional jobs.
Ikea’s first India store looks like this.
— BloombergQuint (@BloombergQuint) August 8, 2018
To suit the Indian market, the Swedish brand has made various alterations as the average annual salary in India is less than $2000. The changes include the sale of idli making appliances, as well as spice boxes for people who, according to John Achillea, Store Manager, have “big aspirations for their homes and small wallets.” For example, a cutlery set for kids costs only Rs. 131. There are over 1,000 items on sale for less than Rs. 200.
— BBC Business (@BBCBusiness) August 9, 2018
The store includes a 1,000-seat cafeteria that is among the largest in India. There have been changes made to the classic IKEA menu. For example, the Swedish meatballs have been replaced by Samosas, Biryani, and Dal Makhani.
The lack of “Do It Yourself” (DIY) culture and the abundant amount of cheap labour available, the company has partnered with UrbanClap, an application that connects handymen with customers, to provide more services.
IKEA plans to expand in India over the next few years with stores in Bangalore, Mumbai and a suburb of New Delhi. It has invested over Rs. 10 billion and plans to hire over 15,000 employees in the country by 2025. IKEA said half of its Indian team of workers would be women.
IKEA is going to revolutionise the furniture industry as most of the Indian consumers buy non-brand furniture. Its major competitors currently range from Godrej Interio, Future Group’s HomeTown to Durian Furnitures.
Spotted this morning on the conveyor belt at Hyderabad airport: lots of #Ikea cartons. All empty. Just announcing that the first Ikea store in India opens today! How cool is that. Take a bow – whoever thought of this innovation. And welcome to India @IKEAIndia pic.twitter.com/9YkrTgdZtq
— Prakash Iyer (@prakashiyer) August 9, 2018
The Rise And Fall Of Nokia
Nokia, a mobile manufacturing company with a Finnish origin, was at the top of its game. Their phones were affordable, made for people of all age groups and were easy to use. With so much going for them, it came as a major shocker to see the Company failing so miserably, Here’s taking a look at the rise and fall of Nokia, a company which started off not as an electronics and telecommunications company, but as a paper mill!
The beginning of Nokia
The beginning of Nokia can be traced back to the year 1865. Back then, this Finnish company was into paper making. The first paper mill was a massive success and by 1960, the Company branched out to electronics. From developing a special radio phone for the Army to creating a new range of electronics, Nokia grew steadily and quickly. Over the next few years, the Company kept adapting to change and by the dawn of the 20th century, Nokia started moving away from the pulp industry and created the first ever car phone! Nokia’s foray into the world of mobile phones started when Jorma Nieminen, fondly known as the Father of the Finnish Mobile Industry, decided to change the course of the company.
Jorma created the need of carrying phones outside their house, a thing which wasn’t considered feasible till the idea was presented. The first phone was manufactured at the meager cost of a 100 pounds and over the years, the Company kept adapting to a point where people slowly got convinced they needed a new version every few years.
The growth of Nokia in the world of phones
By the year 1979, Nokia entered a joint partnership with Salora (a leading Scandinavian colour TV manufacturer) to create a radio telephone company called Mobira Oy. Together with Salora, Nokia launched the first ever international cellular system called the Nordic Mobile Telephone network. Creating a link between Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, this network enabled international conversations and increased communication between people.
Through the years, Nokia acquired not only Salora, but other companies as well, giving the manufacturing company the edge it needed to push toward something bigger and better. The first ever mobile handset by Nokia, called Mobira Cityman 900, was brought to life in the early 1990s. Despite weighing over 800 grams and costing close to $ 5,456, this mobile phone sold like crazy!
The change in Nokia’s strategy
Despite the massive success of the first handheld phone by Nokia, the company saw a lull in its profits. By the 1990s, the Nokia team realised the time had come to change the course of their plan by creating phones which blended with the times. In 1992, the first GSM Nokia phone, called Nokia 1011, was launched and immediately, the Company realised they had made it to the big leagues!
While the 1990s saw the rise of a new series of phones (the most popular one being the Nokia 6100,) the initially years of the next decade saw Nokia branch out into a new world. Making the most of the wireless technology boom at the time, Nokia won people all over the world by promising them an amazing experience. Perhaps the phone which propelled Nokia to the top was the Nokia 7650. Released in the year 2001, this was the first ever phone in the world with a built in camera!
The gradual decline from fame
Within the first few years, Nokia’s profits started sky rocketing and the company kept expanding its services to a whole new place. At its heart, Nokia was always a hardware company and despite all its efforts to stay ahead of the game, it didn’t realise the growing effect the touchscreen phenomenon was having on the rest of the world! To add to the bag of ever growing troubles, faulty batteries made Nokia recall an entire shipment of phones, a move which resulted in a 30 % dip in sales!
Although the 90’s were Nokia’s rise to fame, the year 2007 saw a steep decline in Nokia’s profits. In 2009, the Company posted its first ever quarterly losses. With other companies like Apple and HTC upping their game in the face of competition, Nokia wasn’t sticking to the trends which were being followed by other people at the time.
By 2011, Nokia was struggling to make its presence felt in a market being taken over by other big wigs. The first partnership between Nokia and Microsoft saw the team give the world the Lumia series, a feeble attempt of overpowering the Android and the iOS trend. However, the Lumia series failed take make a mark.
With no other way out, Nokia decided the time had come to sell. In the year 2013, the hardware department of Nokia was acquired by Microsoft, a move which did not help Nokia regain its foothold in the market. Soon, Nokia faded into the background. However, the Company’s contribution to the mobile phone industry remains unforgettable.
Big Basket Founding Story And Its Recipe For Success
Much before Flipkart tapped into the retail industry, a group of people (V.S. Sudhakar, Hari Menon, V.S. Ramesh, Vipul Parekh and Abhinay Choudhary,) fuelled with passion and experience on failure post the dot com bubble founded Big Basket, the country’s first online shopping platform which revolutionised the way people bought groceries. Just like how this platform is unique in every way, the story of how Big Basket came to be is also quite a tale.
When you hear of startups being created by people below the age of 30 and with no experience, your heart usually goes out to them. However, when you look at people on the other side of 50, with more experience in failing than succeeding, trying to start something new, you wonder what the future looks like for them. When the dot com bubble bust, a lot of people struggled hard to find their footing in an increasingly competitive world.
The founders of Big Basket, on the other hand, decided to use the experience they got post the failure and decided to create a website that hasn’t been done before. The five founders of this platform had their first experience in the e commerce side when they created Fabmart.com (an online platform to sell books, toys and groceries) in the year 1999. Very quickly, however, they realised not just India, but the rest of the world wasn’t ready for the online world yet.
Very soon, Fabmart merged with a brick and mortar grocery chain and by 2006, the founders sold Fabmart for a lump sum. By 2011, the team thought of revaluating and trying their hand at something new again and despite all the criticism they received for this idea, the founders decided if they had to do anything, the time was now. It was a good thing they made this call because it was exactly at this time that the smartphone boom was happening and literally everything was available with the click of a button (except for groceries, of course!)
The journey to success
Post securing the first round of investment ($ 10 million from Ascent Capital,) the Big Basket team decided the time had come to expand its reach. In a country as diverse as India, perhaps the biggest challenges an online delivery platform like this faces is to ensure they sustain the model despite all adversities. After putting in dedicated research for five years, the Big Basket team realised the best way to make their presence felt was by providing personalised service to people across all cities.
With shopping habits varying from city to city, one of the major reasons for the success rates of Big Basket is the amount of attention to detail the founders paid. From increasing the leafy greens numbers in Mumbai to supplying a special kind of rice (called Sona Masoori) in Bangalore to going so far as to provide eight different kinds of eggplants to picky customers, Big Basket ensured their quality was nothing short of perfection. To improve the customers experience, the team ensures near time perfect deliveries in most of its orders and if by chance the delivery has been delayed, customers get a discount depending on the delay.
Despite growing as well as they had, Big Basket still had a lot of tough competition in the forms of other startups like LocalBanya, Sequoia backed PepperTap and SoftBank funded Grofers. The time had come for the team to up its game by securing more than double the amount of funding that it got during the initial rounds, Big Basket crushed all its competition.
The next few years saw Big Basket grow from just an idea to being present in 25 cities with a combination of 150 million and looking at the size of the growth, the founders decided the time had come to bring in a partner. By zeroing in on Alibaba (China based e commerce platform,) the team worked on mapping a growth chart for the next two years!
Big Basket is not just a dream but a well thought out plan that attracted and made its presence felt in the larger cities and went on to grow in the smaller cities by on boarding Shah Rukh Khan as a brand ambassador. By investing money into getting warehouses and increasing the delivery output, Big Basket plans on not only retaining its post as the largest grocery delivery platform in India but all over the world as well!
Airbnb Unknown Facts
Airbnb, which started off as a way to find a means to pay rent by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, is now one of the most valued startups in the world. An ingenious idea for solving the rent paying gaps, Airbnb now has more than three million listings, with a strong presence in over 65,000 cities and 191 countries. While the growth of this particular startup has been quite clearly mapped, there are still more than just a few things one doesn’t know about Airbnb. Check out the facts here!
1. The cities in which Airbnb is popular
According to a recent survey, with more than 78,000 rentals on Airbnb’s platform, Paris ranks number one on the list of people using Airbnb in the world. The next on the list of the largest users is the U.K. (47,000) and following closely after, is New York, with 46,000 users. Interestingly, the top 6 out of the ten cities which use Airbnb the most are located out of Europe!
2. The founding story
The initial funds for Airbnb were raised by selling breakfast foods based on creating special breakfast cereals called Obama O’s’ and ‘Cap’n McCain’s. At the time Airbnb was launched, the breakfast foods were created based on the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections (when Obama and John McCain contested against each other for the first time.) Selling each box for $ 40, the marketing plan was so successful, they raised close to $ 30,000!
3. The smallest house was listed on Airbnb
Did you know, the smallest house in the world was not a privately owned house, but was listed on Airbnb? Located in Berlin, Germany, the one square meter house was waterproof and built for housing just one person. A rental on wheels, the house included a bed, a desk and a chair and cost one euro a night! This house format became so popular, it was recreated for users in Boston and Massachusetts as well!
4. The history behind the logo
While to the casual observer, the signature Airbnb logo may look like an upside down heart, the truth behind the logo is quite different. Officially named the Bélo, the name of the logo origins from the word ‘belong’ and is designed to resemble the pin used on a map. With a theme of connecting people from all over the world and creating a global community, the logo of Airbnb signifies community building.
5. Celebrities listed on Airbnb
If you ever wondered what it would feel like to live in the house of a celebrity, then find your favourite celebrity’s home on Airbnb! From Elizabeth Taylor to Kevin Jonas and to Frank Sinatra’s hold house, Airbnb has a large number of really cool people’s homes on its website! Interestingly, despite being the largest provider of online listings, Airbnb has no official office to its name!
With over a decade of being present in the hospitality industry, Airbnb really changed the way people travel and live. If you think we missed out on any other points about Airbnb, comment and let us know!
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