First customer throws open IKEA store in Hyderabad

First customer throws open IKEA store in Hyderabad

IKEA's first customer at its first store in India, Rajni Venugopal, inaugurates the facility by cutting the ribbon, in Hyderabad on Thursday. (DH Photo/JBS Umanadh)

The first customer of India’s first IKEA store in Hyderabad was given the honour of inaugurating the facility on Thursday morning to cheers from hundreds of staff.

Rajni Venugopal cut the ribbon, marking the launch of operations, along with Telangana Information Technology Minister K Taraka Rama Rao.

“IKEA has been sourcing from local manufacturers in the country from the past 30 years. Now they will be sourcing from manufacturers from Telangana, giving an opportunity to local talent to go global. It is said that 20% of the products are locally sourced,” Rao said.

Thanking IKEA for choosing Hyderabad as their first destination, Rao said the city has become a favourite destination for foreign investors.

“Telangana is the gateway to India now. The efforts of our chief minister to make Telangana as the number one state in ease of doing business has fructified in a very short time. I even asked IKEA to set up one more store in Hyderabad,” Rao added.

With the formal handing over of the Hyderabad store by the construction team to the Hyderabad store manager John Achillea, the store was officially declared open for the general public at 9.30 am.

“I am excited to throw open the doors of the first IKEA India store. Telangana has given us a lot of love over the last few years. The biggest value that we bring is to the many people who have big aspirations for their homes and thin wallets,” he said.

The construction of the store, according to John, was completed in a record time without a single mishap.

“We have clocked 7.8 million safe working hours so far and the construction team members only had a 2.1-year average work experience with the Swedish major,” he said.

A 1000 seater restaurant, IKEA’s largest so far, and a children's play area called "Smaland", where customers can leave their children in safety while they shop, were also inaugurated. The restaurant will offer both Swedish and Indian cuisine.