Society

Ikea Magnate Ingvar Kamprad Lives Modest Lifestyle, Flies Economy Class and Calls Bungalow Home

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You wouldn't know it, but one of the richest business owners in the world actually doesn't live like a wealthy person at all, calling a modest bungalow home and only flying economy class.

The wealthy business owner is Ikea Magnate Ingvar Kamprad. He lives such a modest lifestyle that he favors his company's meatballs over anything and often shops at local markets towards the end of the day for bargains.

Kamprad, who turns 87 tomorrow, was once said to have been turned away from a business awards ceremony after he arrived on a bus. He also is said to take home packets of salt and pepper from cafes and restaurants he dines in.

Though he dresses, lives, eats and acts like a middle class man, he is incredibly wealthy. Ikea has grown into one of the largest companies in the world, recording an annual net profit of £3.2 billion and sales of £27.6 billion in 44 countries.

It is the planets third largest consumer of wood and there are more Ikea catalogues printed per year than bibles.

In the UK, where it set up its first store, Ikea was voted the country's most popular shop. The average size of its stores is 300,000 square feet.

What's even more astonishing is that one in 10 Europeans are now conceived on an Ikea bed.

Though his frugal nature is genuine, many believe it is part of an effort to manage the company's image. 

"He wanted to appear a man of the people, one of us," Johan Stenebo, a former executive assistant, said about Kaprad.

Kaprad does splurge occasionally. He owns a vineyard in Provence and drove a Porsche in the 1960s. 

But he is otherwise a very humble person.

"Ingvar casts himself as the underdog, presenting himself to the world as a somewhat dim, alcoholic dyslexic. He tells people he has many shortcomings, that he is slightly stupid. Yet he remains incredibly sharp and knowledgeable down to the smallest detail," Stenebo said.

"He will tell you in seconds how much Russian pine sawn on the spot, glued and then refined in Poland would cost in a Swedish store."

Sources: Daily Mail