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Jesper Brodin, CEO of Holland-based Ingka Group, started his 25-year career working for Ikea in Karachi, Pakistan in 1995. Ikea does not operate its stores in Pakistan but the company sources home textiles from the South Asian country. Today, Ikea is a major global retailer of home furnishings with worldwide sales of over $40 billion. Like any other major retailer, it is responding to its customers' demand for products produced in a sustainable way in terms of their impact on the environment and the people involved in the supply chain.
|Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin. Source: Financial Times|
Who is Jesper Brodin?
Jesper Brodin is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Ingka Group that owns IKEA, a global retail sores chain with worldwide revenue of over $40 billion. He was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Brodin started his career as IKEA's purchasing manager in Karachi, Pakistan in 1995. Speaking to Bloomberg TV recently, he said he learned after being hired that he was the only applicant for the job. He attributes it to the fact that the mid-1990s was a turbulent period in Karachi. He was soon promoted to the position of the regional manager for Southeast Asia region. In 1999, he assumed the role of assistant to Ikea founders Ingvar Kamprad and Anders Dahlvig, who served as CEO at that time. Before being appointed CEO of Ingka Group, he was a managing director at IKEA of Sweden/Range and Supply, which is responsible for the development of the product range and supply chain of the IKEA brand.
Ikea Supply Chain:
Ikea sources home textiles from Pakistan. Home textile products range from bedsheets and towels to draperies and rugs. Ikea is actively managing its global supply chain in response to its customers' demand for sustainable products both in terms of their impact on the environment and the lives of the people involved.
The top six Pakistani suppliers to Ikea are Al-Karam, Yunus, Gul Ahmad, Mustaqim Dying and Printing, Indus Home and Nishat Textiles. In addition to these manufacturers, Ikea also manages the production of organic non-GMO cotton produced in Pakistan and supplied to these mills. Organic cotton makes up less than 1% of global cotton production, and concerns continue over the integrity of its certification.
In 2017, World Wildlife Fund (WWWF) Pakistan, in collaboration with C&A Foundation and Agriculture Extension Department (AED), started the organic cotton project under the National Organic Program (NOP) in two major phases: Certification for the validation of using no pesticides and approval of the land for cultivation of organic cotton Investment in the training of more than 4,000 farmers to cope with the essence of organic cotton production standards.
In recent years, Pakistan has started exploring the use of hemp as a more sustainable fiber for use in textiles. At last year's Kingpin Show online, Karachi-based Artistic Milliners presented its Bio Vision 2.0 collection that is based on guidelines set by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign, featuring biodegradable fibers that provide optimal recovery, according to Sourcing Journal. The mill’s circular focus is also displayed in its Circular Blue New collection, which is made of 100 percent recycled cotton and uses post-consumer, pre-consumer and industrial waste. Lahore-based US Denim’s latest collections also focus on sustainability and feature recycled and biodegradable fibers. Its Reborn product is “sustainable from every angle” and uses recycled cotton, elastane and polyester; aniline-free dyestuff; and water-safe dyeing methods.
Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin began his career in Karachi, Pakistan about 25 years ago. He now heads the major global retailer with sales of over $40 billion. Pakistan continues to be a part of Ikea's global supply chain. The focus of the company has dramatically shifted to sustainability both in terms of the environment and the people involved in the production process. In recent years, Pakistan has started exploring the use of hemp as a more sustainable fiber for use in textiles.