Swedish retailers Ikea and H&M have set up global technology centres in Bengaluru. Each plans to hire about 1,000 employees initially. A host of US retailers including Target, Saks Fifth Avenue, JCPenney and Lowe’s already have tech centres in the city. The UK-based Tesco has had a big centre here for many years. Continental European retailers are now treading the same path.
Interestingly, both the Swedish retailers are neighbours in the Karle Town Centre SEZ in the city. Ikea’s centre in Bengaluru is expected to become bigger than its three other global business operations in Poland, China, and the US that together employ about 1,000 employees. These other centres are largely regional hubs for shared services, focused on finance, procurement and HR operations. The India centre will handle shared services, but it will also be a digital hub for Ikea. It will do work around data and analytics and it will support SAP implementation across the 30 countries Ikea has operations in.
Ikea, which designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, has appointed former Cargill Business Services India MD Lalitha Indrakanti as head of global operations at Ingka Group, the holding company of Ikea.
Ingka Group consists of three businesses — the core Ikea retail business, the Ingka Centres, which create spaces for people to meet and which are anchored by an Ikea store, and Ikea Investments, which partners with firms to grow the retail business. Indrakanti will have responsibility for the Bengaluru centre too.