The charismatic founder of IKEA,
the multinational furniture company that currently generates over 15 billion
in sales, has always had a keen sense of business. At the age of five, he was
already selling matches to his friends. In 1950, Ingvar Kamprad developed the
concept of foldable furniture, the secret to IKEA's success. The Swedish businessman patiently built his empire of inexpensive contemporary furniture
that now extends to the far corners of the world.
The Kamprad family has lived in Switzerland since 1976 at Epalinges, in Upper Lausanne. Kamprad's three sons learned French, a language already spoken by Ingvar's wife, Margaretha. In keeping with his style, the founder of IKEA lives in a discreet home and drives an old Volvo. His wife presides over the Lausanne parish of the Swedish Church, where they get together with the many other Swedes who have settled in Switzerland. When not on business trips or gazing over the shores of Lake Geneva, the Kamprad family lead a happy life in Upper Lausanne.
Living in Switzerland allows this businessman to travel quickly throughout Europe and to enjoy an exceptional standard of living in the Lake Geneva Arc. And yet the head of IKEA still lives life at the same old pace. In reality, he is thrifty and waits until the end of the village market to take advantage of the best prices and travels by train in second class. The billionaire feels so safe in Switzerland that he rides public transportation to travel incognito throughout Switzerland.