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The company veteran Jasper Brodin has been appointed as the new CEO of IKEA Group and served for developing the supply chin and the retail product wing of the Swedish furniture of IKEA. Brodin follows the transformative style of work, which the company feels that is more relevant for the present situations of IKEA. Extensive experience and his passion towards the work and retailing have enabled Brodin to succeed and serve 100% and do justice to the position as CEO. He himself is one of the greatest fans of IKEA and wishes to continue to be the fan.

Early years ...

Prior to joining, IKEA, Jasper Brodin served as a manager for Best Western Supply, Sweden.

Brodin career with IKEA started in 1995 as purchase manager in Pakistan, and within short time has become the regional purchase manager for Southeast Asia. Later Brodin was serving as assistant to CEO. From 2003, for about five years, Brodin was serving as Business Area Manager in the field of kitchen and dining for IKEA Sweden. Later served as regional purchase manager and IKEA and was associated with responsibilities such as purchasing, product range, logistics, group management and development. He was looking after all these activities spread across Pakistan, China to Denmark and Sweden. As a CEO of IKEA Group, Swedish furniture, Brodin is responsible for 348 stores, which are spread across 28 different countries, including 45 shopping centers. Around 1,40,000 employees work under Jasper Brodin. Having a history of 74 years long, the Swedish flatpack furniture giant, IKEA has only six CEOs.

The spark ...

IKEA expects to become one of the leading multinational retailers in home furnishing, and has given Brodin the responsibility of the same as the company is confident in the talent and commitment of Brodin. As the new CEO, Jasper Brodin will take over the entire spectrum of IKEA. As a CEO, Brodin was given a target of achieving $56bn sales by the year 2020, as against $35bn for the year 2016, and also expansion in countries like US and china, which seems to be very tough and ambitious. IKEA announces that even under the leadership of Brodin, the strategic direction of IKEA, will remain the same with regard to a starting of a store in India and expansion in China and South Korea.

Brodin believes that development of long-term perspective is required along with some ample of time to form a view of the manner in which IKEA respond. For Brodin, his experience with IKEA which made him work in almost nine different countries has helped him in developing his talent and being a part of the international community.

Jasper Brodin, as the CEO of IKEA, is planning to shift the focus and emphasis more on e-commerce and city-center stores. After reviewing the portfolio of the warehouses that are considered out-of-town, some of them will be identified and converted into city-center formats. His new strategy is to make investments in development of the new sales channels. The main aim of Brodin is to roll out the new order orchestration and provide a web platform to all the markets by next year.

As a successful leader ...

The main intention behind announcing the new CEO is to oversee the growth strategy of IKEA. Brodin always admire diversity of approaches and love to play in tough competition.

Under the leadership of Brodin, the company is planning to step into online expansion by streamlining the manufacturing, and in order to meet and satisfy the changing expectations of the shoppers, and to challenge the new competition, IKEA is planning to come a way forward and try out different store formats. After starting the online purchase, a double-digit percentage increase is observed in the sales of IKEA.

Brodin feels that a country like China has always taught about the spirit of entrepreneurship, being dare, overcoming from the fear of failure. The culture of China is more adaptive than any other country and efficiency being lean and agile.

Challenges faced and leadership strategies...

One of the strategies of Brodin is that always spent time on understanding the customers rather than the competitors. Some strategies that are being taken up by IKEA include expansion of presence in the Asian market and streamline the strategies for start-up in India and offer online facility, will not change even under the leadership of Brodin.

The business expansion in China and start-up in India has made Brodin to face many challenges and many obstacles such as identification of the talented labour, and the products that best suits with these emerging markets standards. All these challenges were successfully overcome by Brodin.

Brodin believes that the main drivers behind the consumers’ furniture demand tends to be universal which includes consumption of more storage space. As time passes, the specific spaces that are being used in houses may slightly change due to development of technology. Great inspiration is gained by organizing the Tech Festival and the first of suck kind was organized by IKEA in Shanghai, China being the fastest-developing digital market in the world. This strategy has helped in opening more number of stores in China thus leveraging the economic growth of the middle-income people.

Brodin opines that the Tech festival would definitely help the customers in the buying process. The digital tools are made available to the customers, which help in decision making through the process of interaction.

Under the leadership of Jasper Brodin, IKEA has also announced dramatic “transformation” plans. Brodin planned to increase the furniture giant agility by departing it from its five-year strategy for the first time and driving towards decrease the response time to the needs of the customers. Brodin believes that the initial three years will be exceptional as some time is required to change, entrepreneurship, explore and to expand.

Moving out from the traditional big-box outlets, Brodin strived hard for the change that will drive towards online sales, that aims at complete digital solution and providing affordable home delivery services in all the countries in which IKEA operates. Brodin insist on the point that the speed at which the change is happening and is going to happen in future should be very high and incredible.

Strategy shift...

Brodin expects that the strategy shift will be founded by the healthy growth of IKEA and the existing capital for the next three years as the company has adopted to change with the shopping habits of the people at a much faster rate. The new strategy taken up by Brodin is to focus on developing more of the full-range city centre showrooms accompanied by online stores and services, replacing classic out-of the town warehouse style stores.

Brodin is very clear about this strategy shift and laid out a detailed strategy plan for the next three years and for this to happen, Brodin feels that IKEA should prioritize and should be ambitious about the growth aspect. Brodin focused on the growth of IKEA in the existing markets like China and US and focus particularly on India, where the first store is opened very recently.

By going digital and with the help of artificial intelligence, Brodin could find massive opportunities and easier ways to connect with people and virtual reality. Therefore Brodin concentrated more of exploring how best the artificial intelligence and virtual reality can be used.

Investment in India...

According to Brodin, investments made in India, are long-term investments, and would turn out to be one of the biggest markets for IKEA. Brodin believes that in order to leverage the economies of scale for IKEA, in India, they should start at least 8 to 10 stores in India. For which offensive strategy is being adopted by the company by offering very low prices.

Five years after the approval, Brodin could finally open the first store of IKEA in India on August 9, 2018, kicking off the retail journey. This is considered as a milestone in the journey of IKEA. This step is taken up as Brodin considers India as an important market and hence would like to develop a long term commitment with India. Brodin has planned for 25 such stores to be set up in India by 2025. Brodin is keener in accelerating expansion in India at a much faster rate than it would usually do. The next store in India would be in Mumbai, followed by Bangalore and Delhi.

Personal life...

Brodin has completed in Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg. Brodin is a resident of Helsingborg. Brodin feels that the time he spent with IKEA meant a lot to him. The period changed his personal and professional life.

His two cents...

Be brave enough to set the directions and always believe in them
Try to be committed during the tough days
Feel confident in yourself and strength
Sometimes it is good to rely on other’s strength

Hope readers caught up the spark...