Oakridger Vileena Valasareddy of grade 8B shares her learning journey from recent IKEA visit as part of the field trip. Let’s read through.
“IKEA a.k.a. Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad; his vision was to create a better everyday life for many people. The business idea was to make a wide range of products at a low price.
There are 367 stores in 30 countries with a 230% growth of home solar and a 39 billion euros total retail sales. I learned that IKEA is strong on sustainability; they reuse and recycle wood for furniture and LED light to conserve energy. The store uses as many sensors as possible and while creating IKEA India, they visited around 800 homes conducting surveys to see what people love. They use a machine called a bio digester, a machine that turns food and waste into compost, and saved over 437,000 kg of food was saved along with owning approximately 180,000 hectares of responsibly managed forests. IKEA is partners with UNDP and UNICEF, they are completely against child labor and have 49.4% female managers, and they have been doing business in India for 40 years and want to spread to Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra. They are present in 18 states and aiming at reaching 80 million children and 10 million women. Their focus is on raw materials and in India since 2000, started with the battle against child labor and IKEA has a skill development project DISHA with focus on store states.
We learned that they turn reusable items into fibers and then into products, for example, the rug which we felt was like wool or cotton but was actually made from plastic bottles(I was surprised), they also use a water treatment plant and design recycling bins as well. Their furniture is eco-friendly and allergy-free. The 1st showroom is set like Indian homes and gives the customers an idea of what IKEA has to offer. There was a table with paper filling, which is cardboard inside which makes the product lightweight, eco-friendly but still sturdy and unbreakable with a different finish on the outside layer. The layout of the price tag is different than the ones in other stores, the reason is to make it as simple as possible as well as give the customer an instant idea about the product (a psychological reason). There is a lot of extendable furniture for the conservation of space, also for small space living. The products aren’t given already assembled so that shipping is easier and installing is done at home, whether by someone else or an employee at IKEA. The experience was wonderful and I enjoyed it a lot, while some people may find it boring I found it to be interesting. I hope my next field trip is just as exciting as this one.”