London, Oct 11 (ANI): The founder of furniture chain Ikea and one of the world's richest men, Ingvar Kamprad, has been branded as a tight-fisted former neo-Nazi in a new book.
Kamprad, 84, founded the company as a teenager in his hometown of Älmhult, in southern Sweden, and he managed to build the flat-pack furniture company from a single store into a multibillion-pound empire, the Daily Mail reported.
To admirers, the Ikea founder is a hero, a charming man with a simple, homespun attitude to business, but the sunny image did not entirely correspond to reality reveals the book, 'The Truth About Ikea: A Director Unpacks The Flatpack Giant's Secrets', by Johan Stenebo.
The author, who was Kamprad's executive assistant before becoming head of the storage, media and dining room furniture division and final director of the company, revealed how nothing happens in the company without the founder's approval.
In the book he writes that Kamprad, who is always known by his Christian name Ingvar, directed his staff with understated precision laced with sarcasm.
And any Ikea team member trying to wriggle out of Ingvar's demand for quick delivery was invariably admonished.
Ikea needs profit to survive and grow, but the company ethos says profit should never be allowed to become a goal in itself, only a means to develop poorly performing stores in other countries.
Ingvar only allowed himself little luxuries, wearing basic clothes, and at one time he drove around in an old Volvo until his staff convinced him it was dangerous.
The house where he and his wife Margaretha live in Switzerland (he moved there for tax reasons) is ordinary. He even fills his pockets with salt and pepper sachets from self-service restaurants.
Ingvar is driven by an enormous need for validation, to show the world around him, and himself, that the impossible is possible.
Today it is the world's biggest furniture retailer, employing 127,000 people in 280 shops in 26 countries. (ANI)